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Population growth and family change in Africa: the new urban elite in Ghana

CollectionsANU Press (1965- Present)
Title: Population growth and family change in Africa: the new urban elite in Ghana
Author(s): Caldwell, John C.
Date published: 1968
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Australian National University Press
In Africa, as in most developing countries of the world, the population is growing rapidly, mainly because of a swift fall in death rates. This is aggravated by the African tradition of very high fertility; the average family has probably been larger there than in any other continent. The high rates of population increase have now reached a stage which could endanger living standards and reduce the possibility of economic growth. In the economically advanced countries of the world, population growth finally slackened when parents decided deliberately to limit the numbers of their children. This happened first among the economically better-off groups in the towns. The author believed it possible that a similar situation might have arisen in Africa, for the large towns, and especially the educated people within them, are the source from which social and economic change is spreading at an unprecedented rate throughout most of the continent. This book gives the results of a survey taken in Ghana to confirm this. The survey showed considerable and increasing pressure on the elite families to limit their size, the main pressure coming from the educational needs of children. This may have farreaching effects in the rest of the country. In many ways Ghana has been the most advanced of the tropical African countries, and the changes in the way of life of the new elite there portend much both for Ghana{u2019}s future and the future of other countries on the African continent.


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