Beyond the Numbers: How Americans View Global Population Issues
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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Two developments have heightened interest among the policy and research communities about American views on international population issues. First, the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development ICPD in Cairo, Egypt, influenced the way in which many stakeholder communities in the international arena frame population issues. Instead of focusing on aggregate population statistics and trends, these communities have become more focused on individual and family-level quality-of-life issues, such as access to health and family planning services and freedom to achieve desired family size. The extent to which Americans views on the subject accord with this international shift in emphasis remains unclear. Second, the end of the Cold War has triggered a thorough reassessment of Americas role in the world. This development has prompted considerable debate - about whether to emphasize military or development assistance overseas and the merits of multilateral rather than unilateral approaches to addressing global problems. However, no survey of American public attitudes on population issues or foreign assistance more generally has been conducted since the ICPD. To address the need for more-current information RANDs Population Matters program conducted a nationally representative survey of 1,500 Americans. The survey asked specifically about three topics 1 attitudes about U.S. economic assistance overseas and priorities for targeting U.S. aid 2 knowledge and views of global demographic facts and trends and, 3 views on specific issues, including family planning programs and abortion.
- Sociology and Law