50, 100 and 150 Years Ago; April 2001; Scientific American Magazine; by Staff Editor; 1 Page(s)
1950 CENSUS-"Between 1940 and 1950 the U.S. experienced the largest numerical population increase in its history. According to the first detailed returns of the official 1950 Census count, our population rose by over 19 million during the decade. This large increase was not anticipated: the 1950 total of 150,697,361 was about seven million above the highest prediction made by population experts a decade ago. Wartime prosperity lifted the birth rate and produced the largest crop of babies ever. Concurrently the death rate has fallen to a new low. Immigration, although a relatively negligible factor, also added about one million, including refugees and displaced persons."
DDT SHORTAGE-"The World Health Organization last month reported a developing shortage of DDT so serious that it threatens the breakdown of the campaign against insect-borne disease, which since the end of the war has wiped out malaria in many parts of the world. The shortage is due to increasing use of the insecticide by farmers and by the armed forces for the defense program, and shortages of the ingredients. Roberto Caceres Bustamente, Under Secretary of Public Health in El Salvador, declared: 'DDT is for us a problem of living or dying. In a population of 2,500,000 there are more than 200,000 cases of malaria.'"