This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Where the Hungry Are

Joshua Keating has a great post on Slate today highlighting a recent report on world hunger from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, DC. IFPRI has created a Global Global Hunger Index which measures malnutrition in countries based on three factors: the percentage of people who are undernourished, the proportion of children who are underweight, and the child mortality rate. Their latest index uses data from 2010-2012.
Though there are still roughly 870 million hungry people in the world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the trends are positive overall, with global hunger falling by one-third since 1990. According to the IFPRI, hunger fell most dramatically between 1990 and 1995, then slowed in the late 1990s, then began to fall again after 1995. South Asia still has the highest Hunger Index score of any region though it has also seen the steepest decline:


The spatial pattern of hunger follows the spatial pattern of high mortality and high fertility, and while that is obviously not surprising (especially given the variables that comprise the IFPRI index), it is a reminder of why it is so important to bring both fertility and mortality under control throughout the world.

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