Population debate dimensions and prospects.


In this discussion of population attention is directed to the world population situation, the population situation in India, and the resulting challenges at the individual, family, national, and international levels. It took thousands of years for the world to reach the level of 1 billion population around 1850 A.D. In 80 years the population increased from 1 billion to 2 billion, and in 40 years (1930-70) the population increased to 3.6 billion. Declining mortality, continued high fertility, low marriage age, a young population, and rapidly growing numbers of women in or about to enter childbearing age account for the rapid population growth. According to UN long range global projections, based on data assessed in 1978, the world population will be 6.2 billion in 2000. The future increase in population will take place almost totally in the less developed countries. Recently fertility decline has been reported in these less developed nations. Whether the population will be 8 billion or anywhere between 8-14 billion will be influenced by future development in the area of fertility, mortality, development plans, the manner of dealing with human rights and dignity, cultural and ecological issues, production efficiency, and population policies. The debatable issue is the role of family planning programs in the current trend toward declining fertility in developing countries. India's population is estimated to have been about 100 million at the beginning of the Christian era. By 1871 the population may have been around 255 million. As the death rates began to decline, the population growth rates steadily increased. A population of about 361 million was recorded in 1951. The 1981 Census enumerated about 684 million people. The actual population of India may be 700 million or more. It appears that the rate of growth has been halted. Assuming that this is the case, it is evident that the slowing down has occurred in 49.68% of the population. This leaves 50.32% of the population showing an increase in growth rates. There are several unfavorable factors such as high mortality rates, particularly infant mortality. Considering both favorable and unfavorable factors, projected Indian population in the year 2000 may be around 1 billion or perhaps 97.5 million, as projected by the World Bank estimate given in 1981. Available evidence indicates that India's family planning program is being interwoven with other development plans such as plans for health, increasing the marriage age, and status of women. The number of eligible couples protected is about 23%; the level will have to be raised to 60-70% to achieve the birthrate objectives. Every possible effort should be made to reach stationary population earlier than the World Bank projection.

Cite this paper

@article{Raina1983PopulationDD, title={Population debate dimensions and prospects.}, author={B. L. Raina}, journal={Yojana}, year={1983}, volume={27 1-2}, pages={11-4} }