Outright government opposition to population control is broadly based on three factors: religious influence, military considerations and economic expansion. Whenever government rejection of population control occurs it calls into question the attempts made by other nations, creating international tension and the potential risk of war. Apart from this, it overrides ecological and standard-of-living considerations and encourages elitism. Milder opposition may form part of a self-determination effort against population programmes devised by other nations, and from underpopulation in comparative terms.
Never before have so many governments asserted their desire to adopt population policies. More than four out of every five persons in the less developed regions of the world live in countries whose governments favour policies aimed at reducing the rates of population increase. Two out of every three people throughout the world are ruled by governments which regard demographic change as a significant factor affecting the nature, scope or pace of social and economic development. 94 less developed countries support, directly or indirectly, the provision of facilities for fertility regulation.