Population and Economic Development
The population is a resource that is called human resource. Population becomes human capital when investments are made in the form of education and health. Literacy rate, the health of a person and the skills acquired by the people determine the quality of a population. This significantly contributes to the growth of an economy by enhancing national income, cultural richness and efficiency of governance. In this article, you are going to read how a growing population lead to economic development.
There are two different opinions about the relationship between population growth and economic development. Some economists are of the view that population is an imperative source of economic development. On the other hand, some economists regard population growth as a retarding factor of growth. Hence, it is essential to analyze the impacts of a large population.
Advantages of a Large Population
Population growth is a boon for the economic development of a country in the following ways:
Better use of available resources: Many resources such as land, water, forest and land resources are available in a country. These resources can be better used with an increase in the supply of labour. Therefore, a growing population is useful for using the available resources.
Rise in the national output: A growing population can be engaged in different productive activities, which lead to a rise in the national output.
Expansion of market: A growing demand for various goods and services brings an expansion in the market for those goods and services. Because of an increase in the population, there will be a demand for innumerable goods in the market. When the demand for consumer goods expands in the market, the producers of these goods will receive an incentive to produce more of these goods. Raw materials and machinery are required to produce these goods on a large scale. Hence, the demand for capital goods also increases and its market also expands.
Higher employment opportunities: If investors get an incentive to invest more in productive activities, there will be a generation of employment opportunities in the country.
Disadvantages of Large Population
Population growth is regarded as a negative factor against economic development because of the
Low per capita income: A rapid growth in population led to a slow growth in the per capita income of India. In recent years, the rate of growth in the per capita income is only five-fold as compared to a ten-fold increase from 1951 to 2010.
Low level of food grains: The agricultural sector had borne the entire burden of population pressure in India. From 1961 to 2001, the food grain production in absolute terms has increased to 140% and the per capita availability of food grains per day declined to about 11%.
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