The Demographic Survey of the Occupied Palestinian Territories

The survey showed that fertility remains high in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with a total fertility rate if 5.8 in the West Bank, and 7.8 in the Gaza Strip 
Source: FAFO is a Norwegian  independent and multidisciplinary research foundation focusing on social welfare and trade policy, labor and living conditions, public health, migration and integration, and transnational security and development issuesGaza mapa 


The Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip has long had some of the highest growth rates in the world, due to a combination of high fertility and low mortality. Although fertility has recently declined, the age structure of the population implies that the brisk population growth will continue over the coming years. This report presents likely scenarios for this population growth, and traces some of its implications for the delivery of services to society.

Demographics of the Palestinian territories


Population Control Movement Contains the Seeds of its Own Destruction (and Ours)

One of the favorite claims of the population control movement is that the world is running out of resources: food, energy, and space. “There is plenty of evidence to suggest that humanity is already exceeding the planet’s limits and that we are reducing the earth’s capacity to support life, including human life,” purported Robert Walker, the president of the Population Institute, in a recent debate with our own Steven Mosher.

These—and similar dire predictions—have been bandied about for over two hundred years. The overpopulation drum-beaters repeatedly claim the imminent end of humanity, perpetually predicting earth-ending disaster just around the corner. These predictions, unsurprisingly, have not come to pass.

One, of course, might be tempted to dismiss the claims of population alarmists as the warnings of well-funded but harmless cranks. One might be tempted to wave them away with a rather cynical sort of amusement if government officials did not take their claims as dark gospel—and if their vision of population control was not exported to poorer countries, often by force.

It is therefore important to understand why their relentless claims of impending disaster never come to fruition. Population controllers falsely assume an arbitrarily static model of technological growth, coupled with an endlessly growing population—a “population bomb” without any advances to sustain ever-growing hordes.

In a certain sense, they are correct—if society did not advance technologically, and the population grew indefinitely, then the human race would not be able to provide enough necessities for its continued survival.

But that has never happened. The pace of technological advance has grown faster over time, making larger populations possible. In fact, the pace of advance has grown faster than the pace of population growth. Today, the world population is the largest it has ever been, yet the proportion of humans living in absolute poverty is the lowest it has ever been. This remarkable reality derives from the fact that human beings produce, as well as consume.

Because humans alone have the beautiful capacity to innovate, population control policies harm the very people they claim to help. Technological advance alwayscomes from humans; it can never spring up from any other form of economic capital other than human capital. Alas, many in the corridors of power have bought into the claims that undesirable people (by which they often mean poor people in developing countries) must be reduced, or else the world will end in a sea of asphalt.

In short, the population control movement will create the very future it fears if its policies are adopted: a society stuck in economic stagnation, relying on the ever-diminishing resource of human ingenuity. By thinning the human population, you destroy the future. Humans are the world’s greatest resource.

One-Child Policy Drives Chinese Father of Four to Suicide

One-Child Policy Drives Chinese Father of Four to Suicide.

One-Child Policy Drives Chinese Father of Four to Suicide

Wang sacrifices his life to embarrass officials into letting his “illegal” children attend school

China’s draconian one-child policy has claimed many victims—hundreds of millions of unborn children have lost their lives, tens of thousands of women have died from botched abortions and sterilizations, and tens of thousands more have committed suicide to end the pain of late-term, forced abortions—but Wang Guangrong’s story is particularly tragic.

Chinese father driven to suicide over "family planning" fees Wang GuangrongWang, a 37-year old Chinese father of four, had long been persecuted by local government officials for daring to flout China’s restrictions against multiple children. He had been subjected to heavy fines, had his livestock confiscated, and his children declared to be non-persons.

Things came to a head when Wang sought to have his children, three daughters and one son, enrolled in the local school. Public education in China is free, at least up to junior high school, but local officials insisted that Wang pay another round of heavy fines before agreeing to admit his children. After the previous rounds of fines and punishments, Wang and his wife were destitute.

They had nothing left to give the government—except Wang’s life. Public suicides in protest of official wrongdoing have a long history in China. So Wang decided to end his life in the hope that this would shame local government officials into allowing his children to attend school. That way, they would have the chance at a better life that an education would provide them with.

A British newspaper, the Daily Express interviewed Wang’s wife, Wu Jinmin, who explained that her husband grew desperate after his children were denied schooling. “He couldn’t take it anymore,” said Wu. “‘What did we bring them into the world for, to be as dumb as cattle?’ he said to me. ‘I cannot see my children grow up uneducated.’ And then he cut his wrists.”

Wang’s sacrifice was not in vain. When the domestic and international press picked up on the story, local government officials were quick to engage in damage control. They promised to compensate his widow for the loss of her husband and even pledged to build a new house for her and the children.

We are glad that Wang’s widow and children will not be left to starve in the shadowy world that China’s illegal children occupy. But millions of other children of the shadows—“black” children, as they are called in China—have not been nearly as lucky. They have not just been abandoned by the Chinese state, they have been positively ostracized by a government which refuses to feed, house, clothe, or educate these lost children in any way.

One sees them begging on the streets, or working in sweatshops, or hawking cheap trinkets to passers-by, all in a desperate effort to survive. Their only crime is that they were born without official permission in a state where birth permits are mandatory.

None of this is any secret, of course. The Chinese people are constantly barraged with anti-natal propaganda, and are well aware of the extensive system of punishments that awaits those like Wang who violate the misnamed “family planning policy.” Everyone in China understands that having multiple children makes you—and your “black” children—enemies of the state.

We would not have predicted that the one-child policy would have endured this long, given its devastating effects on Chinese society. Suicides, forced abortions, sex-selection abortion—all are rampant in China. China’s bachelor population already numbers in the tens of millions, while its population of elderly is also in the tens of millions.

What kind of a government considers it a crime to bear too many children, and punishes those who do? What kind of a country leaves loving fathers like Wang Guangrong with no way to help his own children but to take his own life?