In the developing countries the ratio of children to adults is typically very high because of the high birth rate. The burden of childhood dependency may be lightened by putting the children to work at an early age, but the employment of children is not compatible with a high standard of education and therefore is not a satisfactory solution. In so far as the birth rate continues to remain the same, any addition to the adult population implies a proportionate increase in the number of births. If death rates fall while birth rates remain constant, the size of each successive generation will be larger but the average number of dependent children per adult will be practically unchanged. The developing countries will continue to suffer the economic handicap of heavy childhood dependency as long as birth rates remain unchanged.