Population Growth and Economic Development

2581 Words Nov 1st, 2010 11 Pages
POPULATION GROWTH AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The consequences of population growth on economic development have attracted the attention of economists ever since Adam smith wrote his Wealth of nations. It was only Malthus and Ricardo who created an alarm about the effect of population growth on the economy.
Population and Economic Development
However, the consequences of population growth on the development of LDCs are not the same because the conditions prevailing in these countries are quite different from those in the developed economies. These economies are poor, capital scarce and labor abundant. Population growth adversely affects their economic development in the following ways, first faster population growth makes the choice more
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These have to be imported which accentuate the balance of payments difficulties. Thus growth of population retards agricultural development and creates a number of other problems discussed above.
Population and Employment
A rapidly increasing population plunges the economy into mass unemployment and underemployment. As population increases the proportion of workers to total population rises. But in the absence of contemporary resources, it is not possible to expand jobs. The result is that with the increase in labor force unemployment and underemployment increase. A rapidly increasing population reduces income, savings, and investment. Thus capital formation is retarded and job opportunities are reduced, thereby increasing unemployment.
Population and social Infrastructure
Rapidly growing population necessitates large investments in social infrastructure and divers resources from directly productive assets. Due to scarcity of resources, it is not possible to provide educational, health, medical, transport and housing facilities to the entire population. There is overcrowding everywhere.
Population and Labor Force
The labor force in an economy is the ratio of working population to the total population. Assuming 50 years as the average life expectancy in an underdeveloped country, the labor force is in effect the number of people in the age group 15 – 50 years. During the demographic