Should the World Celebrate or Introspect World Population Day?

11th July was the World Population Day. The Policy Times attempted to highlight some population management issues, reasons and impact of population mismanagement and how can we contain population growth.

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Should the World Celebrate or Introspect World Population Day?
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The world population is increasing rapidly. It is a big concern for the world today. World population has been growing tremendously especially in last 5-6 decades. This problem is getting bad to worse in developing countries. In every corner of India or public places, you would often see a clear sign of increasing population whether it is a railway station or a market, shopping mall, religious gathering, hospital, etc.

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Let us visit the history of population growth. In early 19th century, the world population was about 1 billion and in late 1920s, it reached to 2 billion. In the first phase since when the world has started managing population headcount, it took 100 years for the world population to double. In 21th century, the population has grown to triple in size. According to the United States Census Bureau, the world population was about approximately 7.2 billion from 2015, 7.35 billion from 2016 and 7.5 billion in 2019. The global population is still increasing rapidly and projected to reach about 10 billion by 2055.

World Population at a Glance:

Year Population in million Year Population in million
500 BC 100 1950 2,525
AD 1 200 1970 3,682
1000 400 2000 6,127
1800 1,000 2019 7,584

Sources: UN Data

However, the world population is distributed unevenly. Half of the population on the planet is concentrated in about ten countries – China (1,420,062,022), India (1,368,737,513), United States (329,093,110), Indonesia (269,536,482), Brazil (212,392,717), Pakistan (204,596,442), Nigeria (200,962,417), Bangladesh (168,065,920), Russia (143,895,551), and Mexico (132,328,035).

While India is the 7th largest country in the world in terms of size and sixth largest economy, it is the 2nd most populated country in the world. According to most recent UN data, India’s population is approximately 1.37 billion as of 2019.  One in every six people in the world lives in India. The country added 185.5 million people between 2001 and 2011 censuses. The report said that India’s population would overtake China in around seven years or by 2024. Where the population of China is projected to remain stable until 2030 and after it may be a slow decline while India is projected that it will reach 1.5 billion by 2030 and 1.66 billion by 2050.

India’s population Growth Chart: 

Year Population Growth(%) Year Population Growth(%)
1950 376,325,200 0.00% 2005 1,147,609,927 1.67%
1970 555,189,792 2.15% 2010 1,234,281,170 1.47%
1990 873,277,798 2.17% 2015 1,310,152,403 1.20%
2000 1,056,575,549 1.85% 2019 1,366,417,754 1.02%

Sources: UN

Reasons behind Population Explosion

The main reasons of population explosions are Poverty and Illiteracy. Poverty and illiteracy are the important factors, which contribute to overpopulation. Since poverty as well as illiteracy rates are high in developing countries, they don’t understand what would be the result of population explosion and don’t care about the need of family planning.

Lack of awareness and Family Planning 

In addition of poverty and illiteracy, in the developing countries large number of population don’t have any knowledge about family planning due to lack of awareness. They get their children married at early ages, which leads to high chances of having more kids. While in developed countries literacy rate is high, they have proper knowledge about family planning and most of them are employed and hence less kids.

Rise in Birth Rate

The average birth rate is increased due to advancement of medical technology and modern medicines. Infertility problem finds its solutions, which increases chances of conception.

Better Healthcare 

Mortality rate is reduced due to modern medicine and advance healthcare. Now fertility rate is higher than the mortality rate and this leads to overpopulation. Modern parental care also helps to improve the chances of survival for both mother and baby.

Effects of Population Explosion

Overpopulation is never healthy for any country for many reasons. And it has severe impact on the economic and societal health and wellbeing of the nation. Some of the disadvantages of having overpopulation that most countries faces are below –

Unemployment

An unemployed youth is not only loss of economic opportunity but also can be rise of anti-social elements and activities. Now for a poor and emerging country, It is difficult to generate mass employment to absorb the huge population. For example, India produces about 50,00,000 total graduates every year but the country is not able to create jobs to employ all of these graduates. More horrifyingly, despite creating this massive pool of graduates, it has limited impact on literacy rate.

Reduction of Natural Resource

Natural resources such as lands, water, energy, food, etc. are limited. So, with increasing population, there seems to depletion of per capita allocation of natural resources. Overpopulation also results into deforestation due to new houses, highways, and cities, etc. This further imbalances the ecosystem.

Environmental effect

New factories are being established to provide not only the basic needs but also to meet the human luxury. This produces a large amount of various gases and liquid pollutants, which pollutes the environment. This is also for the increasing number of vehicles. The uncertain draught, floods, cyclones are all reasons and sign of global warming and climate change.

Increase in the Cost of Living

Nowadays, the cost of living is increasing rapidly due to overpopulation. Production and distribution have not been able to match with the increasing population.



Now the million-dollar question is – how can we contain population growth and stop overpopulation? Below are some quick fixes at the policymaking level –

To provide better and free education: Education is the most sustainable solution to contain population growth. While Europe and America have higher education and employment, they are suffering from negative population growth.

Women education and employment: If countries can educate and employ women, there will be less chances of high population.

Making people aware about family planning

Introduce sex education in the syllabus



The Article is written by Asif Karim who is a student of BSc in Medical Microbiology, Dehradun. He aspires to be civil servant and contributes in national building.



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Should the World Celebrate or Introspect World Population Day?
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11th July was the World Population Day. The Policy Times attempted to highlight some population management issues, reasons and impact of population mismanagement and how can we contain population growth.
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The Policy Times