Cover: How Americans View World Population Issues

How Americans View World Population Issues

A Survey of Public Opinion

Published 2000

by David M. Adamson, Nancy Belden, Julie DaVanzo, Sally Patterson

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This report presents results of a national survey of how Americans view global demographic trends and issues in the context of U.S. international economic assistance. The survey asked about three groups of topics: attitudes about U.S. economic assistance overseas and priorities for targeting U.S. aid; knowledge and views of global demographic facts and trends; and views on specific issues, including family planning programs, abortion, and congressional actions on population-policy measures. The survey found that, notwithstanding a perception that Americans have become more absorbed with domestic problems since the end of the Cold War, a majority feels that U.S. economic assistance to other countries is necessary and appropriate. Most Americans lack knowledge about the world's population size and growth rate but are nonetheless concerned about global population growth and its possible consequences. Support for U.S. funding of voluntary family planning activities, both overseas and domestically, is strong. The legal right to abortion, however, remains a contentious issue that divides the American public.

The study is a product of the Population Matters project within RAND Labor and Population unit.

This report is part of the RAND monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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