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Chris McMurray Australian Centre for Population Research, ANU Culture, Catholics and Condoms: Population Planning in Kiribati.

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Presentation on theme: "Chris McMurray Australian Centre for Population Research, ANU Culture, Catholics and Condoms: Population Planning in Kiribati."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chris McMurray Australian Centre for Population Research, ANU Culture, Catholics and Condoms: Population Planning in Kiribati

2 Post-colonial Pacific characterised by slow economic but rapid population growth PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu population growth rates all > 2.5% per annum Imbalance is critical in the former Gilbert Is Tuvalu: 10,000 pop, 26 sq km, $US 910 Kiribati: 90,000, 812 sq km, $US 620.

3 Kiribati : 92% of pop in Gilberts 41% in South Tarawa

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6 1.8% average pop increase South Tarawa Other Islands

7 South Tarawa and Betio : Few job opportunities, esp for school leavers overcrowding lack of sanitation pollution infectious disease chronic disease.,

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9 Population Policy 1. Population education to promote fertility reduction 2. Development of new growth centres to relieve pressure on South Tarawa 3. Permanent overseas settlement to limit population increase.

10 What are the prospects for success? The population policy = behaviour modification Only worth modifying if there are benefits Policy success depends on a promise – that future benefits will outweigh present sacrifices ….so….. benefits must come within a reasonable time so the sacrificers receive the benefits.

11 The hardest objective to achieve. I-Kiribati like large families and see children as security  >50 per cent Catholic who oppose modern contraception  Fertility based on individual decisions, while benefits may appear general not individual  Few other ways for women to achieve status. 1. Fertility decline

12  The only real motivator is higher economic returns from children – i.e. big growth in employment opportunities Promoting emigration also has risks  Work opportunities overseas to lead to a brain drain and also may sustain higher fertility.

13 2. Growth centres Urbanisation promotes lower fertility, but decentralisation is always difficult l Kiritimati only real growth centre – lots of unused land but high cost location l North Tabiteuea is based on hospital services l Temaiku is another South Tarawa suburb None likely to generate much employment, so no great incentive to reduce fertility.

14 3. Permanent emigration Objective = -500 per year…….. …to where???? Even if modified to ‘guest workers’ ……to where? To do what?? Competitors: -> Australia: Nauru, Solomons, PNG -> NZ: Samoa, Tonga, Cooks, Tokelau, Tuvalu.

15 Conclusion Kiribati Population Policy is part of the national development strategy Success depends on substantial economic growth and employment generation… …soon enough to convince potential child bearers that fewer children = economic betterment of their family.

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17 Thank You


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