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An Expanding Populace in a Contracting World

Malcolm H. Merrill, MD, MPH
JAMA. 1966;197(8):632-637. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110080072023.
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In approaching the topic of this discussion, it is essential that we first accept the complexity of the population problem. We must try to see its interrelationship to many as yet unsolved problems —employment, education, health services, transportation, migration, housing, industrialization, agricultural productivity, increasing per capita income—to mention only a few. Other participants will deal with specific aspects of the problem. My purpose is to present an overview of an expanding world population and its relationship to national interests.

In dealing with this subject, it is also essential that we keep in mind that as we work toward the solution of population problems our focus should be the individual. The focus cannot be to reduce, increase or stablize numbers of people. It must be to help make possible a richer, fuller life—jobs, homes, resources; freedom from hunger, disease, and ignorance; time for development of innate capacities—in short, enriching the quality

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