Overpopulation : Causes , Effects and Solution

Overpopulation : Causes , Effects and Solution

World Population Problem

Overpopulation : Causes , Effects and Solution

The population of a country , i.e., Human Resources is the most important and only active component of production . Besides , it is the ultimate beneficiary of all economic developments, progress and prosperity When the population is excessive , the per capita income is low and so the standard of living is also very poor. The poor living standard makes a person less efficient . The lower efficiency of labour hinders the very progress of the nation. 


Total number of persons, i.e., male , female and children constitute the ‘Absolute Population.’ But when the available resources are not sufficient to fulfill the requirements of the population and exploitation of natural resources is not adequate to support the population , then the population becomes Excessive. This is called Overpopulation. This is very distinctly reflected in the low standard of living. On the contrary,when all the resources of a country including the human power are in the stage of full employment ,any magnitude of population becomes ideal . The low per capita income , inadequate facilities of education, health , housing, slow rate of industrial development etc, reflect that India is an overpopulated country. There has been great awareness in this direction , but more sincere efforts are needed for rapid industrialization so that Excessive population of today may be an asset in the future.

During  2019 , India’s population is  1,368,737,513 , comprises  51.80%  male and 48.20%  female population. The Density of population is  416.33  people per square km.The rate of growth  of current population is 1.08% 

Rise and Growth Rate of India’s population


The economic development of a country depends to a great extent on the utilization of its physical resources by its labor force. Labor force of a country makes a positive contribution to its development. . It is also true that the rapidly growing population retards the process of development . This is true in respect of India . It faces a serious problem of population explosion. India’s population is the second largest in the world after China . India covers about 2.4% of the total land area of the world whereas , it has to support about 16 percent of the world population . A study of the growth of population of India indicates showing facts ;
  • During the first 60 years i.e, 1901 to 1961, population increased by about 201 millions but it increased by about 246 millions in the last 20 years.
  • The year 1921 can be regarded as ‘The Year of great Divide’ because since that year India’s population has been continuously increasing. It doubled itself during 1931 and 1971. The growth of population before 1921 was very slow . The total increase between 1901 and 1921 was 13 millions. Not only this growth was but it was irregular as well . There was great ups and downs. During 1901-11 , the population increased , but declined in the decade of 1911-21.
  • After independence the growth of population accelerated at a fast rate. During 1921-51 , the growth rate was  nearly 1.2 per cent but during 1951-61, it was 2.2 percent and during 1961-71 it jumped to 2.5 percent. 
  • The growth of population in India is faster than of many countries of the world . During 1981-91, the growth rate per year was 2.11 percent in India whereas it was 1.2 percent in China , 0.7 percent in Japan and 1.0 percent in U.S.A . The population of India was 91.160 crores as on 1.3.1996. 
  • During  2018 , India’s population was  1,354,051,854 , comprises  51.81%  male and 48.19%  female . The Density was 411.87  people per square km.The rate of growth was 1.11 % .

Causes of  Overpopulation

The causes of increase in population can be explained under two headings :
  1. High Birth Rate
  2. Low Death Rate

Causes of  Overpopulation

Reasons for High Birth Rate 

  • Lack of Education : Education makes rapid change in the attitude of the people towards family, marriage and the birth of a child. As a majority of the population is uneducated and illiterate , they cannot take been interest in scientific education.
  • Early and Universal marriage : The practice of marriage at the growing age is the reason of the rapid increase in population of India.
  • Widespread Poverty : In India per capita income is very low as compared to others advanced countries . Nearly 38 % of the population is below the poverty line . Therefore widespread poverty is also come and effect of high birth rate.
  • Decrease in Mortality rate : Population explosion in the country is existed because of the wide gap between the birth and death rate. The death rate has been decreased due to control over many dreadful diseases like plague, malaria, small pox and tuberculosis. Hence growing awareness and facilities for sanitation and cleanliness had helped to reduce the incidence of mortality to a larger extent.
  • Control of Famines and flood : During early years of 19th century , India faced countess famines and floods in the country.  The Bengal Famines of 1943 had toll of lakhs. But, now these types of famines are the talk of the past only.

Reasons for the Low Death Rate 

  • Reduction in Epidemics : In India , efforts are being made to reduce the epidemics like plague , malaria , etc. According to the Seventh Five Year plan , a seem of Rs 715 crore has been spent on this particular aspect. 
  • Medical Facilities : Medical facilities in the country are developing rapidly. According to the  Five year plans about rs. 2,000 crore, have been spent for the betterment of medical facilities . Such facilities reduced the death rate rapidly. 
  • Spread of knowledge and awareness : With the spread of mass media and communication like radio , television , network , newspapers etc , the people have come to known the measures to save themselves from various kind of killing diseases.
  •  Expansion of Education : The development of education facilities and especially the woman education increases the knowledge of  health care . This has reduced the death rate . 
ALSO READ ; Economics is the study of Human Activities to Wealth
                       ; Unemployment Rate

Solution of Overpopulation

  • Increase in Agricultural Production and Productivity : More agricultural land should be reclaimed . Modern agriculture practices with advance technology and better irrigation facilities should be adopted. Extensive use of high yielding varieties of seeds and adequate use of Manures and fertilizers should be encouraged.
  • Marriage at Higher Age : Even though the Government has increased the age of marriage , yet the law is not being enforced strictly. The postponement of marriage will reduce the child bearing period.
  • Family Planning Programme : The family planning programme needs to be made more and more popular . 
  • Education Extension : More and more educational  institutes should be started in rural areas to educate the people there. The spreading of the education would improve the general awareness among the people to have a smaller family. 
  • Development of Industries : Rapid development and growth of industries is the need of the hour . Different kinds of  industries of large scale , small scale , and cottage scale should be started .The Industrialization will bring better balance between population and production.
Effect of Overpopulation

Effect of Overpopulation

The rate of growth of population is very high in India and the present situation is being called as Population Explosion . Various effects of excessive population are :
  • Food Shortage : In case the growth of population is rapid and there is no proportionate increase in agricultural production , the shortage of food is bound to occur. In our country , there has been significant increase in the production of foodgrains because of the Green Revolution, but ever growing population is frequently causing food shortage.
  • Unproductive Consumers : With rapid increase in population , the number of children and old persons is adding to unproductive consumers. The number of unproductive consumers was 372 million in 1971,  464 million in 1981 and 529 million in 1991. These unproductive consumers are to be fed and looked after. 

  • National and Per Capita Income: The fast growing population retards the average growth rate of national income and per capita income.  Because whatever is added to national product , it is being consumed by rapidly increasing population in India. In India , the Five Five year plans could not yield encouraging results because of this very reason. This has resulted in a very poor growth rate of National and Per Capita Income.
  • Unemployment Problems : Ever increasing population is aggravating the problem of unemployment in our country . Inspite of several measures adopted through Five Year Plan , the number of unemployed is increasing continuously , because new opportunities of employment are not being created in the same proportion .

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