Population and Associated Issues

Mains Marks Booster     3rd August 2023        
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“Population is the strong driver of the economy as well as the quality of the labor force.” Ali Babcan

Recent Context:

  • Recently published State of World Population report 2023, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) predicts that by the middle of 2023, India would surpass China as the world's most populated nation.
  • The Report on World Population Prospects, 2022 said the global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen under 1 per cent in 2020.
  • The world’s population could grow to around 5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050. It is projected to reach a peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s and to remain at that level until 2100.

Factors influencing the distribution of population

Physical Factor


·       Low population density in extreme weather areas


·       Preference for flat plains and gentle slopes

 Natural Disasters

·       Inhibition of population concentration due to frequent storms, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires

Socio-economic -cultural Factors


·       Industrial belts attracting large populations, like the Kobe-Osaka region of Japan


·       Cities offering better economic possibilities, educational and medical resources

Social Organization

·       Promotion of migration and settlement in new regions through community networks

Demographic Factors


·       Migration influenced by push factors (negative circumstances) at the place of origin and better opportunities in distant lands

Political Factors

Political turmoil

·       Negative impact on population growth due to conflicts between political parties or persons of different religious beliefs


·       Negative impact on population growth due to prejudice or discrimination

·       E.g., Delhi Riots 2020, Manipur Riots 2023, etc.

India’s Demographic Dividend:

  • Demographic dividend refers to the growth in an economy that is the result of a change in the age structure of a country’s population.
  • India has 62.5% of its population in the age group of 15-59 years.
  • According to the Economic Survey 2018-19, India’s Demographic Dividend will peak around 2041.

Interesting Facts: India surpassed China as the world’s most populous country in 2023 with India has catching up with China’s population of 1,426 million.

 India-Demographic Data

  • Total Population: 1.22 billion (2011 Census) (17.71.% of World Population). India will be the most populous country by 2100.
    • Rural Population: 68.84 % (Census, 2011)
    • Urban Population: 31.16% (Census, 2011)
  • Working Population: Working adults (20-64 years) will reduce from around 762 million in 2017 to around 578 million in 2100
  • Total Fertility Rate: Reduce to 1.29 by 2100 from 2.1 in 2019
  • Immigration: India will be the second-largest net immigration in 2100

Advantages of Demographic Dividend

Challenges of Demographic Dividend

Consequences of Overpopulation

  1. Unemployment:
  • It is extremely tough to generate jobs for a large population in a country like India. The number of illiterate people grows every year due to a variety of factors such as illiteracy, a lack of resources, the use of old technologies, a low level of investment, and so on.
  • According to monthly time series statistics from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CIME), India’s overall unemployment rate was 8.10 percent in February 2023, but it declined to 7.6 percent in March.
  1. Manpower utilization: Due to the country's economic downturn and the slow growth and expansion of businesses, there are an increasing number of unemployed people in India.
  2. Pressure on infrastructure: Infrastructure development is not keeping pace with population increase which leads to lack of transportation, communication, housing, education and healthcare facilities.
  3. Resource Utilization: Forests, water resources, and land are all overused.
  4. Reduced Output and increased costs: The cost of producing food has increased. The main impact of excessive population is inflation.
  5. Inequitable income distribution: With an increasing population, there is an unequal distribution of income, and inequalities within the country are growing.

Current Context regarding overpopulation:

  • In the new Earth4All Initiative report, the researchers advance two scenarios.
  • In the first, called “Too Little, Too Late”, researchers predicted that if economic development continues as it has in the last five decades, the world’s population would peak at 8.6 billion in 2050, roughly 25 years from now, and decline to 7 billion by 2100.
  • In the second scenario, called “The Giant Leap”, the researchers conclude that the population will peak at 8.5 billion by 2040 – a decade sooner than 2050 – but then rapidly decline to around 6 billion by 2100.
  • This, they say, will be due to our investments in poverty alleviation, gender equity, education and health, ameliorating inequality, and food and energy security.

 Planning in India associated with Population:

  • First Five-Year Plan: India began a population control program in 1952.
  • Third Five Year Plan: In 1965, the sterilization technique for both men and women was adopted under this plan.
    • An independent department called the Family Planning Department was setup.
  • Fourth Five-Year Plan: Birth control measures were encouraged.
  • Fifth Five Year Plan: National Population Policy was announced on 16 April 1976 which increased the minimum age for marriage age for boys from 18 to 21 years and for girls from 14 to 18 years.
  • Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Plans: Focused on controlling the population for long term demographic advantage.

Population Control Bill Introduced in Lok Sabha:

In December 2022, two Members of Parliament of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Ravi Kishan and Nishikant Dubey, introduced in the Lok Sabha a private members’ Bill aimed at population control in India.

 Ethical Consideration for Population Control:

  • Individual Autonomy: Respect individuals' rights and privacy in making decisions about family planning.
  • Informed Consent: Ensure access to accurate information and empower individuals to make informed choices.
  • Voluntary Nature: Encourage voluntary participation in population control measures.
  • Non-Discrimination: Prevent discrimination based on gender, caste, religion, or socio-economic status.
  • Reproductive Health Services: Provide comprehensive reproductive healthcare and family planning services.
  • Sustainable Development: Balance population control with environmental sustainability and future well-being.

Steps being taken by the government for population control:

  1. Mission Parivar Vikas:
    • To accelerate the family planning in Indian families.
    • Focus of this scheme is to reduce the TFR (Total fertility rate) to 2.1 by the year 2025 in 7 high populated states i.e., Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan
  1. Compensation scheme for sterilization acceptors - Under the scheme MoHFW provides compensation for loss of wages to the beneficiary and to the service provider (& team) for conducting sterilizations.
  2. Clinical Outreach Teams (COT) Scheme - The scheme has been launched in 146 Mission Parivar Vikas districts for providing Family planning services through mobile teams from accredited organizations in far-flung, underserved and geographically difficult areas.
  3. Scheme for ASHAs to ensure spacing in births: Under this scheme, services of ASHAs to be utilized for counselling newly married couples to ensure a delay of 2 years in birth after marriage and couples with 1 child to have a spacing of 3 years after the birth of 1st

International Focus on Population

  • SDG 3 aims to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services, including family planning, information, and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.
  • SDG 10.7 aims to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policy.


The government should offer programmes or courses that are employment-related and job-oriented to help people looking for work. The government might increase employment for the overall economic benefit of our nation by investing in career-focused training and related economic changes that result in new skill requirements for the global workforce.

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