From Our Partners: “Let’s Not Be Squeamish about Family Planning’s Fiscal Benefits,” IntraHealth International

Family planning has changed the world for us all over the past few decades. But better health isn’t the only advantage. There’s another, though we in the global health field have often been hesitant about lauding it too loudly.

I’m talking about the relationship between family planning to prosperity.

The fiscal benefits for countries with robust family planning programs are huge. As more people than ever make the transition from large families and short lives to smaller families and longer lives, we’re reminded that these three elements—health, family size, and prosperity—are irrevocably intertwined.

Part of this is due to a phenomenon called the demographic dividend, and this is how it works: After a period of low fertility in a population (such as when modern contraceptives enter the picture, and women and families begin choosing to have fewer children), there is a window of time during which the number of working-age adults grows faster than the number of nonworking-age people who depend upon them. If a country has its ducks in a row (for instance, by making sure there are enough jobs available for these working-age adults), it can take advantage of this window by growing its economy, freeing up resources, and using them to meet other pressing needs.

The results can be greater access to education and income for women, and higher quality of life for everyone.

Click here to read the full post by Pape Gaye of IntraHealth International at the Huffington Post.