113. National Security Study Memorandum 200, Washington, April 24, 1974.1 2

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April 24, 1974

National Security Study Memorandum 200

TO: The Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Agriculture
The Director of Central Intelligence
The Deputy Secretary of State Administrator, Agency for International Development

SUBJECT: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests

The President has directed a study of the impact of world population growth on U.S. security and overseas interests. The study should look forward at least until the year 2000, and use several alternative reasonable projections of population growth.

In terms of each projection, the study should assess:

-- the corresponding pace of development, especially in poorer countries;

-- the demand for US exports, especially of food, and the trade problems the US may face arising from competition for resources; and

-- the likelihood that population growth or imbalances will produce disruptive foreign policies and international instability.

The study should focus on the international political and economic implications of population growth rather than its ecological, sociological or other aspects.

The study should then offer possible courses of action for the United States in dealing with population matters abroad, particularly in developing countries, with special attention to these questions:

-- What, if any, new initiatives by the United States are needed to focus international attention on the population problem?

-- Can technological innovations or development reduce growth or ameliorate its effects?

-- Could the United States improve its assistance in the population field and if so, in what form and through which agencies -- bilateral, multilateral, private?

The study shuld take into account the President’s concern that population policy is a human concern intimately related to the dignity of the individual and the objective of the United States is to work closely with others, rather than seek to impose our views on others.

The President has directed that the study be accomplished by the NSC Under Secretaries Committee. The Chairman, Under Secretaries Committee, is requested to forward the study together with the Committee’s action recommendations no later than May 29, 1974, for consideration by the President.

Henry A. Kissinger

cc: Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–204, National Security Study Memoranda, NSSM 200 [2 of 2]. Confidential. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  2. The President directed a study of the implications of worldwide population growth on U.S. security and overseas interests.