24 Apr: NSSM 200: Directive Cover Letter

* Population Security: National Security Memorandum 200: Kissinger Report.
* State Dept: 113. National Security Study Memorandum 200, Washington, April 24, 1974. Subject: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for US Security & Overseas Interests.
* NSSM 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for US Security and Overseas Interests; The Initiating Memo; 1974 National Security Study Memorandum and Ford’s NSDM 314 Implementation Memo.

National Security Memorandum 200: Kissinger Report.


The National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) directive [PDF] was signed on 24 April 1974, by Henry Kissinger on behalf of President Nixon. The complete report [PDF] was presented to President Ford in December 1974. NSDM 314: National Security Decision Memorandum 314 [PDF] was signed in 1975 by National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft on behalf of President Gerald R. Ford. The new President’s forthright approval of virtually all of the NSSM 200 recommendations appeared to set the U.S. on a direct course toward development and implementation of a sophisticated national population policy.

24 April 1974 Secretary of State Directive Cover Letter



April 24, 1974

National Security Study Memorandum 200

TO: The Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Agriculture
The Director of Central Intelligence
The Deputy Secretary of State
Administrator, Agency for International Development

SUBJECT: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests

The President has directed a study of the impact of world population growth on U.S. security and overseas interests. The study should look forward at least until the year 2000, and use several alternative reasonable projections of population growth.

In terms of each projection, the study should assess:

– the corresponding pace of development, especially in poorer countries;

– the demand for US exports, especially of food, and the trade problems the US may face arising from competition for resources; and

– the likelihood that population growth or imbalances will produce disruptive foreign policies and international instability.

The study should focus on the international political and economic implications of population growth rather than its ecological, sociological or other aspects.

The study would then offer possible courses of action for the United States in dealing with population matters abroad, particularly in developing countries, with special attention to these questions:

– What, if any, new initiatives by the United States are needed to focus international attention on the population problem?

– Can technological innovations or development reduce growth or ameliorate its effects?

– Could the United States improve its assistance in the population field and if so, in what form and through which agencies — bilateral, multilateral, private?

The study should take into account the President’s concern that population policy is a human concern intimately related to the dignity of the individual and the objective of the United States is to work closely with others, rather than seek to impose our views on others.

The President has directed that the study be accomplished by the NSC Under Secretaries Committee. The Chairman, Under Secretaries Committee, is requested to forward the study together with the Committee’s action recommendations no later than May 29, 1974 for consideration by the President.


cc: Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff