Here, population growth refers to the increase in the number of individuals across the world. According to a research, the last two centuries witnessed population explosion with the number increasing from 1 billion in the year 1800 to 7.6 billion in 2017 and various studies expect this number to surpass 10 billion post-2050. Prior to the 19th century, people lacked medical facilities and death rates were high. With the advancement of the science and medicines, the death rates declined and high birth rates in the 19th and 20th century led to the population growth. And the same reasons are still keeping the numbers high. While the developed countries have seen low numbers in last few decades, developing and poor countries growth rates are rising. The impact of population growth varies with world region.
Positive effects of population growth:
Population growth contributes to the new inventions and growth of a country.
Enhances nation security
Today, civilians in several small nations such as South Korea have to carry mandatory military service. To maintain the integrity of a nation during war, the government necessitates these services among public. Such practices do not take place in countries with high population growth. With more civilians at hands, the government gets the opportunity to choose the physically fit soldiers to keep the country secured from external disturbances. In this way, population growth helps in boosting nation’s solidarity.
High population means the huge number of brains. More demand of every basic necessity in such countries encourages these brains to bring new ideas to fulfill required needs of a nation. Green Revolution in India in the 1970s is a fair example of innovative technology. The increasing food demand led to the invention of High Yield variety seeds which doubled the production and maintained food security of the country. Also, today’s popular IT technologies developed in countries with high population growth.
Population growth provides numerous business opportunities. It leads to increase in demand for goods and services. And this demand encourages businessmen to try their luck in manufacturing the products and compete in the market. The countries with high production in specific goods gain monetary benefits by exporting them. Increase in the labor force makes a country capable and enhances its infrastructure advancement.
Negative effects of population growth:
Numerous factors stimulate government to enact laws in limiting population growth.
Unemployment is an important cause of the overpopulation. With an increase in the number of individuals for few jobs, the competition rises and a small amount gets an employment. And those jobs are either disguised or an underemployment. Many developing and under-developed countries face this problem as they do not possess required infrastructure and facilities to generate employment for masses. Also, the rates of living standard, diseases, and suicides are high, in these countries.
Food security issues
A nutritious food and a 3 meals-a-day is a major problem arises with the population growth. As food is a basic requirement of an individual, the demand increases with population. The government of countries with low capacity and cropping area finds difficulty in fulfilling these demands. At times, these countries have to import grains in a large amount, which results in limiting the budget set for the profitable development. And the high pressure on the available food stock engenders inadequate supply, which leads to malnourishment and diseases, thereafter.
History shows that high food demand changed the forests into the cultivable lands. Low forest area means decreased wildlife, which increases animals-humans conflict at the boundary regions. Also, cutting of forest leads to unanticipated climate changes, which impact the human life and settlements. The population growth enhances the limited natural resources use such as coal and petroleum, which degrades the environment in the form of air, soil, and water pollution.
Low per capita income
For a balanced per capita income, the economic and population growth must go hand in hand. In countries, where population growth rate exceeds economic growth, the per capita income lowers. This, in turn, minimizes the savings and lowers the living standard among the general population.
Lower land-man ratio
The agriculture sector employs maximum labor force in developing countries. In countries such as India, the overpopulation in rural areas has led to the land fragmentation. This leads to the lowering land-man ratio, which means low income per head, a foremost cause of poverty.
With population growth, the demand for every basic good increase. This demand leads to inflation, which means higher spending on necessities. The low income and high price increase cost of living, which drags an individual to poverty.
Many studies criticize population growth, as it impacts a nation’s self-reliance to great extent. Today, the population across the world is increasing at alarming rate. The concern regarding its consequences is fair but the need of an hour is to find the solutions to limit them. At first, the developing/ underdeveloped countries with high growth rate such as India, Nigeria must bring out the government policies and create awareness among masses regarding the issues arising from overpopulation. Also, the negative effects can only be minimized if government and citizens work together to achieve the same goal.