EFFECTS OF POPULATION GROWTH

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In the last 5 decades, the world has witnessed the highest growth rates ever recorded in world history (United Nations, 2015). Increase in the number of people in the world puts pressure on the constant availability of resources such as water and land. As such population growth has a negative effect on economic growth, availability of enough food for all and growth of per capital income in many countries. However, it also has a positive impact on the economy since it increases the availability of cheap labour.

In the agricultural sector, increase in population leads to greater demand for food worldwide. Throughout the human history, population growth has always been associated with hunger and malnutrition in children. This has not changed in the 21st century, especially in African countries. Increasing number of people leads to increased use of land for human settlement. Consequentially, arable fertile land is converted into settlement areas such as cities. This leads to decreased availability of land for agricultural use while the demand for food increases. As a result, countries that have experienced exponential population growth, such as China, have come up with innovative ways to meet this increasing demand. For instance, advanced use of technology, irrigation, development of new crop varieties and use of chemicals and pesticides (Scheider & ET all, 2011). Despite all this efforts, there is still a large number of people in the world who have no food security.in order to improve the situation, some people are switching from increased consumption of plant products to consumption of animal based foods since animal foods are more accessible.

In a similar manner, population growth has a negative effect on economic growth. In families, an increase in the number of children leads to increase in the poverty level if the family does not have more resources to cater for the needs of these children. Subsequently, the little income is distributed among all the members of the family where each person gets very little in comparison to their needs. Further mothers how have had many children are less productive economically in comparison to mothers with fewer children. This trend leads to minimal achievements in the world efforts to eradicate poverty in Asia and Africa. Further, population growth results in a reduction in the capital-labour ratios and reduced savings for many families.

In situations where the majority of the people are children, there is high dependency ratio since these children do not contribute to income generation, placing a strain on economic resources available to a country. Also, these children pose a challenge in the education sector since it is difficult to offer quality education to a large number of students with limited resources. In the end, this negatively affects the quality of workers the country will have in the future, thus affecting its productivity. As a result, the nation experiences negative growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capital income (Ali, Amin & Ali, 2013).

On the other hand, a large population has a positive contribution to the economy in some countries. There is a large supply of cheap labour which lowers the cost of production. When a country has a large labour force, there is an increase in division of labour and high levels of specialization resulting in maximum efficiency in the industrial sector of the economy. Additionally, increase in population leads to increased demand for food and other social services which creates opportunities for entrepreneurs (David, Martins, & Yusuf, 2012). Again, investors from other countries are attracted into the country to take advantage of the thriving business and the low cost of production. For illustration, china attracts multinational companies to set up industries in the country since its cost of production is very low in comparison to other countries such as the USA. The strength of the Chinese economy is derived from the countries robust population.  In this case, population growth has a positive effect on the growth of GDP per capitol income.

A big question brought about by population growth how the world can maintain sustainable development in the face of the challenges that arise.in the agricultural sector, use of chemicals, irrigation and heavy use of machinery in the farm has led to degradation loss of soil fertility and environmental degradation. Likewise, destruction on natural habitats to build cities and roads is the biggest contributor to destruction of ecosystems threatening the lives of other animals on the planet (PRB, 2009).

As a result of increased human activity and industrialization and pollution, the planet is now at risk of complete destruction due to global warming that has brought about climate change.to avert the situation countries are now coming together through the signing of treaties to take control of pollution and mitigate the effects of climate change (PRB, 2009). Attempts are being made worldwide to conserve the remaining natural habitats and protect the environment through adoption of sustainable agricultural methods. Further some countries are putting measures in place to reduce the high fertility rates they are experiencing (UN report, 2015).

In summary the increased rate of population growth has had more negative effects than positive ones. Countries are experiencing food challenges, increased poverty and stagnated economic growth. Increased human population has placed a great demand on natural resources leading in over exploitation .As a result the world has been unable to practice sustainable methods of agriculture and general development.

 

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