Vol.3, No.2 | [Articles] Population Growth and Economic Development in Southern Mediterranean Countries: A Comparative Focus




The Southern Mediterranean (SM) countries, nine North African and Middle Eastern partners and one permanent observer which border the Mediterranean Sea (MS) as defined in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (or Barcelona Declaration) launched in 1995, form one of the slowest growing regions in terms of economic and social development. Many development economists blame the slow development of SM countries on high population growth. Others, however, defend the view that high population growth could encourage economic growth through expansion of the labour force. The myth of Asia’s miracle of the newly industrialised economies (NIEs) was unmasked by Krugman (1994), demonstrating that the impressive economic growth was in fact fuelled by high population growth. This phenomenon gives SM countries hope with regards to exploring possibilities for achieving economic development through high population growth. However, the governments of SM countries have failed to tap demographic dividends but instead turn to migrants to further economic development.

Keywords : Population Growth, Demographic Transition, Demographic Dividends, Migration and Economic Development