World Population Year

August 2, 1974

Report Outline
Global Awareness of Population Ills
World Population Growth in History
International Quest for Solutions
Special Focus

Global Awareness of Population Ills

Emergence as Fundamental International Issue

A STRIKING CHANGE in public attitudes toward population problems is taking place across the world. Until a few years ago, most governments avoided discussion of population matters and ignored demographic issues in their economic and social planning. Only a handful of governments had official policies on population. Most of these were in developed countries, and the policies were aimed at increasing rates of population growth. Almost universally, family planning efforts were severely restricted, or grudgingly tolerated on humanitarian and health grounds.

Within the past two decades, public discussion of population problems has become respectable. More important, an increasing number of governments—especially in the less-developed countries—have taken a stand on population matters and have adopted official policies designed to influence the growth, composition and distribution of population.

The emergence of population as a fundamental issue in public policy is capped by 1974 being declared “World Population Year” by the United Nations. From Aug. 19 to 30 in Bucharest, Rumania, the U.N. will sponsor a World Population Conference, to be attended by high-ranking government officials from virtually all U.N. member states. The delegates will attempt to agree on a World Population Plan of Action to deal with such issues as excessive population growth, international migration, and the pressure of population on resources and energy. In a related move, the U.N. will sponsor a World Food Conference in November in Rome.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Jan. 16, 2015  Global Population Growth
Nov. 16, 2012  Changing Demographics
Nov. 21, 2008  Declining Birthrates
Jul. 17, 1998  Population and the Environment
Jul. 16, 1993  Population Growth
Oct. 26, 1984  Feeding a Growing World
Aug. 02, 1974  World Population Year
Nov. 24, 1971  Zero Population Growth
Nov. 01, 1967  Population Profile of the United States
Aug. 15, 1962  Population Control
Jun. 13, 1952  Overpopulation
Mar. 10, 1930  Population Problems
Global Issues
Population Control