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Major Factors Affecting the Increase in Population Growth

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As can be seen in Figure 1, the world’s population grew very slowly until about 1750. There was a long period of stationary growth (no growth) until 1000 B. C. E. , when the world’s population was approximately 300 million; this was followed by a period of slow growth from 1000 B. C. E. to approximately 1750, at which time global population was an estimated 800 million. Until this time, the world’s population was kept in check by high death rates, which were due to the combined effects of plagues, famines, unsanitary living conditions, and general poverty.

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After 1750, the world’s population grew substantially; by 1950 it had tripled to around 2. 5 billion. In this 200-year period, the doubling time was 122 years. Growth from 1950 to 1985 was even more dramatic; by 1985, the human population was 5 billion. World population had doubled in thirty-five years. By 2000 global population was 6 billion and is projected to be 9 billion in 2050. Population growth did not become exponential until around 1750. Before that, high mortality counterbalanced the high fertility needed by agrarian parents.

Death rates were high and life expectancy was low; life expectancy at birth was in the range of twenty to forty years (most likely around thirty years) until the middle of the eighteenth century. This high mortality was a function of several factors, including poor nutrition, which led directly to deaths through starvation and indirectly through increasing susceptibility to disease; epidemics; and, quite possibly, infanticide and geronticide, especially during times of food shortage.

Starting in the middle of the eighteenth century, the mortality rate began to decline in the West, the first place in the world where the natural balance between births and deaths was altered by humans. This decline in deaths occurred not because of major medical breakthroughs (e. g. , penicillin was first used only in the 1940s) but rather because of improvements in food availability, housing, water cleanliness, personal hygiene, and public sanitation. Later, in the twentieth century, medical advances, particularly vaccinations against infectious diseases, accelerated mortality decline.

Western mortality decline was relatively slow, paralleling socioeconomic development, and it occurred in a global context in which European population “surplus” (arising from gaps between lowering mortality and more slowly lowering fertility) was able to migrate to new areas (e. g. , the United States, Canada, and Australia) that were very sparsely populated by Aboriginal peoples (whose numbers were reduced even more by contagious diseases brought by Europeans). Mortality decline in less developed countries followed a different path. First, mortality decreases did not begin until around 1950, much later than in the West.

Second, in many less developed countries, substantial mortality reductions occurred in a short period of time. A classic example is Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), where the death rate was halved in less than a decade, starting in the early 1950s. (In the West, a comparable reduction typically took around one century. ) In these less developed countries, mortality decreases were not matched by fertility decreases, where they produce population growth rates much greater than those experienced in the West. So the demographic transition that took two centuries to unfold in the West occurred (or is occurring) within the span of a single life.

Third, mortality decline did not parallel economic development. Rather, the impetus behind third world mortality reductions originated, for the most part, in factors external to the society. For example, the speedy mortality decline in Ceylon was due to the importation of American technology (pesticides and the airplanes for spraying them) that killed the mosquitoes that were responsible for malaria, the leading cause of death. During the cold war, it was not uncommon for the United States to provide nonaligned countries with such assistance in the hopes of wooing them away from the Soviet Union and a communist development model.

As a result, the world witnessed unprecedented rapid population growth between 1950 and 1985, owing, in large part, to third world increases. FIGURE 2 Further, the phenomenal increase in human numbers over the past 250 years is largely the consequence of mortality declines—not fertility increases. The first deaths to be reduced were those due to infectious diseases, the victims of which were most often children. The old killers of the past were to be replaced by chronic and degenerative diseases; the primary victims shifted from the young to the old.

The rate of global population growth has declined significantly from its 1970s highs (see Figure 2). Current estimates anticipate a continued decline to about 0. 5 percent in 2050. This corresponds to a doubling time of 140 years, a rate that has fostered concern about how the world will cope with 18 billion people in 2190. It is in the less developed countries that the continued growth in population will occur in the twenty-first century. Even though mortality is much higher in less developed countries (e. g. life expectancy at birth in 2000 was 75 years in the more developed countries and 62 to 64 years in the less developed countries), fertility remains even higher, thus accounting for relatively high growth in the third world. However, projections are not guarantees. Population may grow more slowly if, optimistically, fertility declines more quickly than experts expect (e. g. , between just 1965 and 1987 the average number of children born to Thai women dropped from 6. 3 to 2. 2) or, pessimistically, if mortality increases, especially in light of the persistence of HIV/AIDS pandemic and other communicable diseases.

While theories about population growth first appeared in ancient Greece, the English clergyman and economist Thomas Malthus (1766–1834) is considered to be the pioneering theorist of the modern age. Malthus formulated a “principle of population” that held that unchecked population grows more quickly than the means of subsistence (food and resources) to sustain it. Population will be controlled either by preventive checks (lowering the number of births, particularly by postponement of marriage age) or by positive checks (increasing deaths as a result of famines, plagues, natural disasters, war).

Given a morally based preference for preventive checks, later followers of Malthus (neo-Malthusians) have supported family planning and contraception even though Malthus himself felt that contraception was unacceptable. Other neo-Malthusians have focused upon the claimed negative effects of rapid population growth: war, violence, and environmental degradation. Karl Marx’s views on population were directly opposed to those of Malthus. Marx disagreed with the Malthusian idea of a universal principle of population that applied to all societies. For Marx, population growth depended upon the economic base of society.

Thus, capitalist society is characterized by its own population principle, which Marx termed the “law of relative population surplus. ” He argued that capitalism creates overpopulation (i. e. , a surplus of people relative to jobs), leading to increased unemployment, cheap labour, and poverty. Also, capitalism requires unemployment in order to ensure a docile, low-paid class of labourers. Marx envisioned that overpopulation would not occur in post capitalist, communist society. In the middle of the twentieth century, demographic transition theory became the dominant theory of population growth.

Based on observed trends in Western European societies, it argues that populations go through three stages in their transition to a modern pattern. Stage one (pre-transition) is characterized by low or no growth, and high fertility is counterbalanced by high mortality. In Stage Two (the stage of transition), mortality rates begin to decline, and the population grows at a rapid pace. By the end of this stage, fertility has begun to decline as well. However, because mortality decline had a head start, the death rate remains lower than the birth rate, and the population continues to experience a high rate of growth.

In Stage Three (post transition), the movement to low fertility and mortality rates is complete, producing once again a no-growth situation. The theory of demographic transition explains these three stages in terms of economic development, namely industrialization and urbanization. Since about 1980, demographic transition theory has been criticized on a number of grounds, including its assumption that the demographic experience of non-Western societies will inevitably follow that of the West; its failure to consider cultural variables; and its hypothesized relationship between population growth and economic development.

Indeed, all three theories above contain assumptions about population growth and economic development; however, there is mounting evidence that this relationship is complex and varies from context to context. As the twenty-first century begins, the attempt to erect a general theory of population growth has been abandoned, signalling for some an alarming trend in population studies. S. B. Mukherjee in his book titled “Population growth and urbanization in South and South-East Asia” talks about the socio-economic correlates of population growth.

He says that mostly high birth rates lead to higher economic development and sometimes it is also the opposite. He has identified the dependent and independent variables for population growth very splendidly and analyzed their relationships with the use of statistical methods but he did not give any specific conclusion at the end of his discussion. The statistical data analysis is quite complex and needs special expertise to interpret the in depth meanings of the statistical values. Michael P.

Todaro and Stephen C. Smith in their book titled “Economic Development” nicely and elaborately discussed population growth and economic development from a broad perspective by giving in a lot of details and by presenting some useful arguments. The writers mention the challenges of population growth at the start, then they made a review of the world population where a comparative picture is shown on what the world’s population was before, what it is now and how much will it rise in the future.

Then the population structure and why population growth is occurring is well explained with special emphasis on the population trends in developing countries. How fertility rates can lead to development, what happens when population growth is desirable and undesirable, what can be the role of developing nations in terms of population and economic policy planning and how developed nations can play their role and help developing countries with their population growth and economic development – all these issues are highlighted in the discussion with due importance and proper details.

The writers conclude their discussion with the fact that birth rates in many developing countries have decreased in the recent years leaving a hope for optimism which is very true and also the developed countries should come forward with development assistance for the poor developing countries. In the book named “Understanding Population Change” by Charles B. Nam, the writer talks about the relationship between population growth and work force.

If population increases, then there will be more people to work and contribute to the economy. The writer gives a well explained picture of how the total population of a country is divided into the working and non working class. The writer then mentions that level of living is also linked with population growth. If population increases and the economy are developed, then the level of living of the people of that country will tend to rise also. The writer also talks about economic development saying that he relationship of population growth and economic development is not the same in every country, but normally population growth leads to other factors which help foster the economic growth of the country which may or may not be true for all the countries. Dr. A. K. M. Kafiluddin, Professor Emeritus of National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine, in his book titled “Population Research, Environmental Conservation and Economic Development” talks about population growth and economic development from two perspectives: one from the global perspective and the other from the perspective of Bangladesh.

The writer elaborately talks about the economic consequences of population growth i. e. how the economy of a country is affected when population growth is faster and vice versa. It is also mentioned that when population growth is in a slower pace, the percentage of people in the country living in poverty decreases which implies that economic development is fostered at declining population growth levels.

The writer also talks about the implications of a high population growth on the economy in terms of employment levels, productivity and skills of labour, income disparities and changes in the production sectors to keep pace with the international markets. Dr. A. K. M. Kafiluddin also gave a similar viewpoint like Charles B. Nam that no firm statements cannot be made about the relationship between population growth and economic development as different countries have different experiences in this regard i. e. hat is true for one country might not be suitable for another country as its population growth pattern and economic structure might be different. Claus Chr. Portner in his article on “Population Growth and Economic Development’ talks about why studying the relationship between population growth and economic development is important by giving detailed analysis on the purpose, structure and theories of population growth and economic development. The writer talked about various models of population growth and economic growth explaining their pros and cons in a very straight forward manner.

The analysis of Walter Rostow’s five step model of economic development was also a part of the literature review conducted for the preparation of this paper. Walter Rostow’s theory said that an economy cannot change overnight. It changes in 5 steps and it takes time to change to insure economic development in the society. Any society at its early stage will be at the traditional level, and then it will move to a level where it will be ready for a take-off to the economic transition.

Next at the take-off stage the society will move towards economic development from which it will move towards the maturity level and then come to a halt assuming that everything in the society runs smoothly. Well Rostow’s theory was criticized for the fact that no society in practice comes to a peaceful and harmonious stage after it achieves economic development. The policy is enforced at the provincial level through fines that are imposed based on the income of the family and other factors.

Population and Family Planning Commissions exist at every level of government to raise awareness about the issue and carry out registration and inspection work. Despite this policy, there are still many citizens that continue to have more than one child. In 2008, China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission said that the policy will remain in place for at least another decade. In 2010, it was announced that the majority of the citizens first subject to the policy are no longer of reproductive age and it has been speculated that many citizens simply disregard or violate the policy in more recent years.

Still, the deputy director of the Commission stated that the policy would remain unaltered until at least 2015. Methodology Since the research topic is quite extensive and theoretical where there are a lot of Conceptual implications and statistical data, this research paper is heavily dependent on secondary sources for information and references. The detailed methodology followed while preparing this paper is given below: – First the research idea was generated which is the relationship between population growth and economic development. – The variables were identified and the factors affecting the variables were also distinguished. Then help was taken from secondary sources* for information and references.

Then with the help of the secondary sources, the research question was formulated. – The research question was then analyzed into further details taking into account the variables related to population growth and economic development. – A relationship was tried to establish between population growth and economic development with the help of statistical evidence and case studies. – Then the role of media as an intervening determinant was identified with the help of a suitable communication model. With the detailed analysis of the research question, a conclusion was reached as to whether population growth leads to economic development or not. Questioners/Survey: Do you think the population cause problems in the country of the Philippines? Interpretation of the Data (Own Analysis): Now let’s proceed to the main discussion of whether population growth leads to economic development or not. Before any analysis of the research question, at first it is important to understand what actually population growth and economic development means.

Population growth means an increase in the population of a particular country. The population of a country increases only when the total birth rate or fertility rate of the country exceeds the total death rate or mortality rate of the country. This means that more people are born in the country making the population go up. Population can also increase if the total emigration rate of the country is higher than the total immigration rate of the country. This means that more people are entering the country which in result increases the overall population of the country.

Population growth up to a certain extent is desirable. Population growth is a blessing for some countries while it can be a serious problem for other countries. Developed countries of the world do not face the problem of overpopulation; in fact some developed countries lack sufficient manpower due to under population and have to attract immigrants from other countries to fill their manpower resources. While on the other hand, many developing countries of the world are facing the burden of over population and as a result lot of adversities persist in those developing countries.

Now let’s talk about economic development. The simplest definition of economic growth is an increase in real gross domestic product (GDP)* (that is, GDP adjusted for inflation). The growth rate of real GDP is the percentage change in real GDP from one year to the next. We can express the rate of growth in, for example, the period 2004-2005, as follows: Growth rate of GDP = [GDP of 2005 – GDP of 2004]/ GDP of 2004 ? 100 In other words, economic development refers to the transition of a country from a low income economy to a high income economy with respect to its increased population.

Economic development includes all the processes and policies through which a country makes its economic, political and social progress and ensures well being of its people. The University of Iowa’s Center for International Finance and Development states that: “‘Economic development’ or ‘development’ is a term that economists, politicians, and others have used frequently in the 20th century. The concept, however, has been in existence in the West for centuries.

Modernization, Westernization, and especially Industrialization are other terms people have used when discussing economic development. Although no one is sure when the concept originated, most people agree that development is closely bound up with the evolution of capitalism and the demise of feudalism. ” Now let’s see how population growth is related to economic development. Population growth can have both positive and negative effects on economic development of a country. He positive effects include: – Population growth is related to technological advancements.

Increasing population will lead to technological changes that will be used to meet the rising demand for goods and services. – Population growth creates a huge labour force and since labour is abundant in the society, it becomes cheaper also. – Businesses will utilize the cheap labour and will provide them with more and better job facilities. – Since labour is cheap, the extra money can be used in technological research and development. – The technological improvements can provide and handle the extra demand for goods and services needed to serve the rising population.

This is because technological improvements will result in increased production and can increase the overall demand of the country, thus resulting in economic growth. – Increase in the overall output of a country increases the per capital income of the nation. – Increase in population growth that triggers economic development will increase the income of the people of the country which increases overall spending in the economy thus fostering growth. However some economists argued that an increased population does create some negative effects at the start but it does lead to economic development.

At the start of the increase in population, when consumers increase, there is a greater demand for natural raw materials. This will cause a shortage of goods and services and will trigger high prices in the market. Then the nation will concentrate on finding out alternative raw material sources. The search leads to cheaper raw materials which in return lead to cheaper products and the country will be able to satisfy the increasing demand of the overall population. So the nation is left in a good condition and is said to achieve a stable state of economic development.

On the contrary, other economists are mainly concerned about the negative consequences of population growth on the economic growth of the country which include: – Over population hampers the growth output per worker, this happens because the other factors of production besides labour e. g. capital and land do not increase in the same proportion as the labour force. – In families with many members, it is hard to save up some money as most of the money will be spent in fulfilling the demands of the overpopulated family.

Since savings decrease, generation of new investment is hampered that leads to negative economic growth. – The per capital economic growth decreases due to increased of population. – If the population of the country increases very rapidly, then the supply of goods and services will be insufficient to feed the increasing population leading to shortage problems. – The shortages lead to a rise in prices and since the income of the population remains fixed, their purchasing power decreases, they cannot afford to buy the high priced goods. This in turn lowers the demand for some goods in the market. Increase in the population will lead to the depletion of natural resources which are very limited. As natural resources become scarce, the overall production processes hampered. – Increased population lead to a decrease in labour wages because the fixed amount of capital investment has to be distributed among a large number of people and when the income of the people decrease, poverty arises. Resolution and Recommendation: Based on my observations, many agree that the population cause many problems in our country. The question is, how will we solve this problem.

Cite this Major Factors Affecting the Increase in Population Growth

Major Factors Affecting the Increase in Population Growth. (2017, Mar 07). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/major-factors-affecting-the-increase-in-population-growth/

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