National Security Decision Memorandum 314

Jason Solley
November 26, 1975
National Security Decision Memorandum 314
TO: The Secretary of State
The Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Agriculture
The Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare
The Administrator, Agency for International Development
SUBJECT: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for United States Security
and Overseas Interests
The President has reviewed the interagency response to NSSM 200 and the covering
memorandum from the Chairman of the NSC Under Secretaries Committee. He believes that
United States leadership is essential to combat population growth, to implement the World
Population Plan of Action and to advance United States security and overseas interests. The
President endorses the policy recommendations contained in the Executive Summary of the
NSSM 200 response, with the following observations and exceptions:
AID Programs
Care must be taken that our AID program efforts are not so diffuse as to have little impact
upon those countries contributing the largest growth in population, and where reductions in
fertility are most needed for economic and social progress.
Research and Evaluation
An examination should be undertaken of the effectiveness of population control programs
in countries at all levels of development, but with emphasis on the LDC’s. The examination
should include an evaluation of AID program efforts as well as other efforts by national or
international groups. The study would attempt to determine the separate effect of the population
program, taking account of other economic or social factors which may have also influenced
Research on broader issues should be undertaken examining the factors affecting change
(or lack of change) in the birth rate in different countries.
1.Funding for Population Programs:
The President desires that a review be undertaken quickly to examine specific
recommendations for funding in the population assistance and family planning field for the
period after FY 1976. The President wishes a detailed analysis of the recommended funding
levels in the NSSM 200 study bearing in mind his desire to advance population goals. This
analysis should include performance criteria to assure that any additional funds are utilized in the
most effective manner. The appropriate level of funding of multilateral programs which
effectively support this objective should be included in this review. The Chairman of the USC is
responsible for preparing this analysis which is due 60 days from the date of this NSDM.
The Role of Other Countries:
Emphasis should be given to fostering international cooperation in reducing population
growth in pursuing the recommendations of the World Population Plan of Action. It is important
to enlist additional contributions from other developed and newly rich countries for bilateral and
multilateral programs.
Basic Approach to Developing Countries’ Population Programs:
Leaders of key developing countries should be encouraged to support national and
multilateral population assistance programs.
The objective of the United States in this field is to work closely with others rather than
to seek to impose our views on others. Our efforts should stress the linkage between reduced
population growth and the resultant economic and social gains for the poorest nations. In all
these efforts, we should recognize the basic dignity of the individual and his or her right to
choose freely family goals and family planning alternatives.
National and World Population Goals:
The President believes that the recommendation contained in paragraph 31(c) of the
Executive Summary dealing with the announcement of a United States national goal is outside
the scope of NSSM 200. Of course, domestic efforts in this field must continue in order to
achieve worldwide recognition that the United States has been successfully practicing the basic
recommendations of the World Plan of Action and that the nation’s birthrate is below the
replacement level of fertility. In order to obtain the support of the United States citizens for our
involvement in international population programs, it is important that they recognize that
excessive world population growth can affect domestic problems including economic expansion
as well as world instability.
Concerning the consideration of World Population Goals in paragraph 31(b), it should be
understood that the general goal of achieving global replacement levels of fertility by the year
2000 does not imply interference in the national policies of other countries.
The Under Secretaries Committee, in conjunction with all appropriate agencies of the
Executive Branch, may wish to make further recommendations to the President on these subjects.
Coordination of United States Global Population Policy:
Implementation of a United States worldwide population strategy will involve careful
coordination. The response to NSSM 200 is a good beginning, but as noted above, there is need
for further examination of the mix of United States assistance strategy and its most efficient
The President, therefore, assigns to the Chairman, NSC Under Secretaries Committee,
the responsibility to define and develop policy in the population field and to coordinate its
implementation beyond the NSSM 200 response.
The Chairman is instructed to submit an initial report within six months from this date
on the implementation of this policy, with recommendations for any modifications in our
strategy, funding programs, and particularly, the identification of possible deficiencies.
Thereafter the Chairman is instructed to submit reports to the President annually.
The Chairman is authorized to request other appropriate bodies and agencies to assist him
in this task as required. For the purpose of implementing this NSDM, the Under Secretaries
Committee should include’ in addition to the addressee members, ex officio representatives of the
following agencies:
Council on Environmental Quality
Office of Management and Budget
The President’s Science Adviser
cc: The Chairman, NSC Under Secretaries Committee
The Director, Office of Management and Budget
The Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers
The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Director of Central Intelligence
The Chairman, Council of Environmental Quality

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