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Asian Pac Popul Programme News. 1985 Sep;14(3):15-8.

Malaysia (country/area statements).

[No authors listed]



According to this statement presented to the Committee on Population of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Malaysia by 1984 achieved a crude death rate of 5.3/1000, an infant mortality rate of 17/1000 live births, and a 1983 life expectancy at birth of 67.6 for males and 72.3 for females due primarily to socioeconomic development, better nutrition, and a health system covering 95% of the rural population. Substantial mortality differentials still exist between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak, between urban and rural areas, and among ethnic groups. Differences in the coverage and quality of mortality statistics also exist. 83.2% of Malaysia's total population of 15.5 million is in Peninsular Malaysia, 7.3% in Sabah, and 9.5% in Sarawak. In Peninsular Malaysia, 55.1% are Malays, 33.9% Chinese, and 10.3% Indians. About 40% of the population is urban, and 39% is under age 15. The average annual rate of growth declined from 2.6% in the 1960s to 2.3% in the 1970s. The total fertility rate fell from 5.1 children in 1970 to 4.1 in 1980. A rise in age at 1st marriage and reduction in marital fertility have been partly offset by an increase in the proportion of women of childbearing age. The population is projected to grow to about 22 million by the year 2000. Chinese and Indians are expected to approach replacement level fertility by that year, but Malay fertility is expected to remain high for some time. Internal migration, 45% of which is intrarural, increased markedly in the 1970s, probably due to rapid modernization, industrialization, land development, and regional imbalances in economic development. In absolute terms a total of 410,000 persons moved from rural to urban areas during the 1970s. Important progress has been made in regional development programs, but further regional development requires resolution of problems related to internal migration and greater efforts to relocate industries in the less developed areas. The clinical approach adopted by the National Population and Family Development Board through 1973 has given way to a multisectorial and multidisciplinary integrated approach with emphasis on family development, family health, and family welfare. Clinical reproductive health services are made easily available to the population. Strategies include broadening of family planning services, integrating population with development planning, supporting projects to improve the status of women, and promoting research on fertility. Survey results indicate that knowledge of family planning methods is almost universal, while prevalence is estimated at around 50% of currently married couples. Malaysia's new population policy is designed to decelerate the rate of decline in population growth until replacement level fertility is achieved in the year 2070. An announcement by the Prime Minister suggests that Malaysia has the capacity to support 70 million inhabitants if the people are willing to work hard and be productive.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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