Population growth is a process which has become a global concern since it influences the way resources are utilized and managed. It is thus vibrant to develop strategies which can control the population growth rate since it put a lot of pressure and strain on the available scarce resources. In real life, economic resources are always scarce in supply, and the concept of opportunity cost is quite applicable so as to satisfy the unlimited wants. Population growth is an increase in the number of individuals in the population. The global population growth amounts to around 75 million individuals annually, a figure which is equivalent to 1.1% per year (United States 20). The population is expected to grow to 8.4 billion by 2030 and further to 9.6 billion by 2050.The main reason behind the world population growth is a decline in the death rate or an incline in the population's lifespan. Besides, it is due to an incline in the birth rate or fertility rate. The processes thus have forced the concerned bodies and governments to devise mechanisms in which they can use to reduce the rapid growth in population. The arguments against and for population growth rate in relation to resource allocation and usage is thus very important for the government, NGOs and other bodies for the formulation of strategies as well as decision-making for economic growth and development.
In the contemporary society, there are a various argument against the population growth as compared to its benefits. For instance, population tends to lower the rate of capital formation, especially in underdeveloped countries. It is because population growth tends to diminish the capital per head hence a reduction of productivity of the countrys labor force. The reduction in the capital per head is caused by the incline in the dependency ratio which stood at 30% to 40% in developing and underdeveloped countries ("14 Major Negative Effects of Population Explosion"). These thus lead to the reduction of the income levels which diminish savings hence an effect in the capital formation. Lets consider a country like Lebanon which has a population growth rate of 9.37%; its gross capital formation is low with a figure of -7.3%. It thus shows that with the rapid population growth rate, the capital formation tends to decline over time. Besides, the incline in the population growth rates needs a subsequent incline in the level of investment. The process can force a country to invest beyond its capacity thus putting a lot of strain on the scarce resources as the amount set aside for savings decline. It thus brings an imbalance between the amount required for investment and the subsequent availability of the investment funds. Besides, it can result in a situation where a lot of income is devoted to the demographic investments as opposed to economic development, a process which can cause a lot of problem in the country either in the short or long run.
The population growth rate also tends to reduce the per capita availability of capital. It normally goes that a large population size reduces the per capita availability of capital, especially in less developed and underdeveloped countries since, the capital is scarce and inelastic in supply. Therefore, an incline in the population growth leads to a subsequent decline in the volume of capital per worker, a process which causes a subsequent decline in the level of productivity and diminishing returns ("14 Major Negative Effects of Population Explosion"). On the other hand, the population growth rate also has adverse effects on per capita income of an economy. Before the country attains the income optimization level, an incline in population aid in increasing per capita income of an economy since the resources is not exhausted at this level. However, when this limit is realized, then the population growth tends to lower the income per capita. It thus goes that in the situation where the population growth is lower, there will be a subsequent incline in the per capita income (Crow and Kimura 209). On the other hand, if the population growth rate exceeds the per capita income, there will be a possibility of a decline in the economic growth due to the scarcity of economic resources to be used in the production process to meet the increasing demand for goods and services.
In addition, large population caused by a rapid population growth rate also catalyzes the creation of unemployment and food problems. For instance, as the population increases, a large number of persons join the labor market hence a country becomes labor abundant. The process makes the country to experience an oversupply of labor hence unemployment. These are mainly common in undeveloped countries where the unemployment, underemployment and disguised unemployment thrive. Therefore, an incline in the population increases the chances that the underdeveloped or developing countries will not get the right solution to unemployment levels. On the other hand, population growth rate triggers the scarcity of food in an economy. It is because, when the population grows, it simply means more mouths are to be fed, which creates a lot of pressure on the available food materials (Maitland and Swart 80-81). The result thus is a food shortage which affects the economic growth rate through a trickle-down effect. For example, when there is a food crisis, a lot of people will be undernourished hence leading to a decline in the level of productivity of labor force. Besides, food scarcity will put a lot of strain on the foreign exchange resources as more imports are to be brought into the country to save the situation. Other negative effects of population growth comprise of causes a perpetual vicious cycle of poverty, leads to a reduction of efficiency of the labor force, it causes a decline in the development of a social infrastructure, it causes adverse effects on the environment, and creates an obstacle to self-reliance. It also leads to an incline in the dependency ratio, causes a declining trend of agricultural development and it tends to lower the standard of living since a lot of pressure will be put on the available scarce resources.
Even though the population growth has myriad disadvantages, there are also some benefits which accrue out of the growing population. Some of the benefits comprise; economic growth since most people will spend on the food, clothes, education, sporting goods, and toys hence an increase in the production hence growth in the gross domestic product. It is also important since it adds diversity in the world and it creates an opportunity for people to learn and appreciate other cultural backgrounds. The new generation will also ensure that the morality of the people is enhanced from one generation to another. It also aids to bring new generations who can think big and make the society to grow strong.
Therefore, when the advantages and benefits are compared to the disadvantages as well as the cost of population growth to an economy, then, I can conclude that it is not prudent to encourage a higher population growth rate especially in developing and underdeveloped countries since it does more harm than good. It is because it interferes with the welfare of the people living in the country and puts a lot of pressure on the available scarce resources hence leading to over exhaustion of the available resources. However, in the situation where the optimal population growth level (when the resources can manage the population without strain) is not yet attained, then the population growth can be beneficial to the economy since it will lead to economic growth. Thus there is need to develop various strategies for reducing the population growth in the underdeveloped and developing countries. Some of these strategies comprise of delayed marriages and improvement of medical facilities, taking the legislative actions which aim at controlling the population (strict rules against a child or early marriages, the abolition of child labor, beggary and adoption of family planning).Besides, they should enhance the provision of incentives to ensure efficiency in the implementation of the policy measures, women empowerment, eradication of poverty as well as the provision of cheap and readily available contraceptives. The adoption of these strategies and efficiency as well as implementation goodwill will ensure that the nation subjected to the high population of Lebanon, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Indonesia, and Tanzania have managed the condition. However, in the situation where a country is well endowed with enough resources (capital abundant), like the United States, then an incline in population growth is very beneficial since more labor will be needed to improve the productivity of the available capital.
"14 Major Negative Effects of Population Explosion." www.economicsdiscussion.net/population-explosion/14-major-negative-effects-of-population-explosion/4461"http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/population/benefits-and-advantages-of-an-increasing-population-of-a-country/32890/." www.yourarticlelibrary.com/population/benefits-and-advantages-of-an-increasing-population-of-a-country/32890/.
Crow, J. F., and M. Kimura. An introduction to population genetics theory. Harper & Row, 2009
Haugen, D. M., et al. Population. Greenhaven Press, 2012.
Maitland, I., and A. Swart. Regional geography for grade 12. Kagiso, 1998.
United States. 2010 census of population and housing. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 2012.
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