Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type



Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Grant Hokit

Second Advisor

Murphy Fox

Third Advisor

John Addis


Countries in the developing world continue to feel the effects of rapid population growth despite slowing growth in some regions. Due to limited funding and costs of fieldwork however, programs working to slow population growth have been hesitant to spend money to compare different methods. My study used computer modeling to create control models for Haiti and Niger, two countries with the highest fertility in their respective regions. Control models were compared to experimental models that took into account improvements in either education or family planning programs. The models revealed that in Haiti, helping women with no education achieve primary education would be the most effective method of reducing growth, given that helping women achieve secondary education led to population decline. In Niger, achievement of secondary education for all women would be most effective. These results may suggest that more emphasis should be placed on education as a strategy for slowing population growth in developing countries.