The Demographer and His World

  • Norman B. Ryder


Of all the problems which face mankind today, perhaps the greatest is the so-called ‘population explosion’. Over large areas of the world populations are now growing faster than ever before. Often these areas are the poorest, either because they have few resources or lack the capital and knowledge to exploit them. Often too they have political and social systems that appear quite inappropriate to deal with the variety of problems associated with rapid population growth. In this situation, what can the social scientist offer? At first glance the answer might appear to be — not very much. In fact, however, the social scientist can offer a greater understanding of what is involved in the problems associated with population growth. He can define them more precisely, clarify the issues and so lay the foundations for more enlightened policy.


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  1. I. F. W. Notestein, ‘The Birth Rate Subsides in Western Europe’, Population Index, vol. 21 (1955) 76–7.Google Scholar
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    P. K. Whelpton, Cohort Fertility: Native White Women in the United States (Princeton, 1 954 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman B. Ryder
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUK

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