Can population dynamics impact economic growth? Using three countries; Zambia, Rwanda and China I have compared the population structures in 1970 and 2019.

They all had a similar population structure in 1970, with a wide base. Meaning they had a larger dependent population of children. In 1979, China introduced the ‘One Child Policy’. This in effect reduced the proportion of children in the population and relatively increased the proportion of the productive age of 15 – 64 years. China’s economic story is well known.

Rwanda’s population structure is showing signs of early reduction at the base. Fertility rate in Rwanda has declined more sharply than Zambia. Rwanda’s Economic story is becoming a shining example on the African continent. So am tempted to think that population structure could play a critical role in shaping economies. Almost all developed countries have lower proportions of the dependent populations (young and the aged).

That is why I think developing countries’ investment in family planning could be one of the most economically impactful programs in healthcare provision. This is a followup to the discussion with Dr. Sharon Kapambwe



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