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    Comparison in the Fertility Rates

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    You are a demographer, a person who studies population patterns. Like most demographers, you are well aware of the growth of the human population in the last century. In 1900, the earth had a population of about one and a half billion people. By 2000, earth's population had quadrupled to six billion people. Most of these people live in the developing world.

    One of your responsibilities is to help educate the public about the consequences of over-population. People don't understand much about demographics, so part of your job is to put your findings into language that lay people can understand. Sometimes you are asked to give speeches to business and environmental organizations. For example, next week you are scheduled to deliver an address on sustainable development to the annual meeting of Citizens for a Greener Planet. Shortly after that, you are participating in a panel discussion at Westmont College on the causes of famine.

    You have academic responsibilities as well. For example, in a few weeks, you will be presenting a paper to the World Population Council on why fertility rates remain high in developing nations. It will be a difficult issue to present, since part of your presentation will have to deal with why some developing countries have been slow to adopt contraceptive practices that are commonly used in developed nations.

    In 1922, the futurist H.G. Wells predicted that human survival would depend on "the race between education and catastrophe." Wells was speaking about mankind's ability to pervert science in ways that might cause the destruction of the planet. He might have just as well been speaking about the potential of mankind to over-exploit the Earth to the point where too many people will be left competing for too few resources. It is an important part of your job to alert the public to the consequences of the population explosion, of which climate change, air and water pollution, the destruction of forests and wilderness areas, and the loss of biodiversity are the most frequently mentioned. You know that these consequences can be averted if humankind has the wisdom to maintain the balance between its needs and the resources that are available to sustain them.

    Details: You have been asked to prepare a presentation to present at the next meeting of the World Population Council on why fertility rates in developing nations remain significantly higher than fertility rates in developed nations. As a typical example, the fertility rate in Canada is about 1.6; conversely, the fertility rate in Pakistan is about 5.6.

    Your presentation should provide evidence of any co-relation between mortality rates and fertility rates in developed and developing of nations. You will also address cultural issues that effect family size, as well as social mores regarding contraception in developing and developed societies.

    Instructor Comments: PowerPoint presentation assignments must include at least two creditable sources listed on the reference slide in accordance with APA guidelines. You must include in-text citations (on the slides when needed) in the notes section of the presentation for each source listed on the reference slide. Please discuss the information outlined on the slides in the notes section (speaker notes) of each slide.

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