chapter
5 Pages

INTRODUCTION

THE statistical facts set out in Part I have become increasingly familiar in recent years. The public has begun to be “population-conscious,” though not to the same extent in this country as in others, where the military authorities have regarded the birth-rate as a matter of great importance to them. (As usual, the most effective way of securing attention for a social problem has been to link it up with “national defence.”) The only important thing which remains to be done in this respect is to emphasize the magnitude of the issues. Even if the man in the street has accepted the idea that the population is likely to fall “some time soon,” he has not been Convinced that the next generation will be 20 per cent smaller than the present one. Nor is this attitude difficult to understand, since the annual figures for the total population still show a small increase. The man in the street can hardly be expected to appreciate the subtleties of a net reproductive rate, especially in view of the publicity given to the official figures for the crude birth-and death-rates.