Effects Of Overpopulation And Under Population
Economic development of a country depends to a great extent on the quantity and quality of population. The efficient utilization of the available natural resources, capital stock and technology by the people influences the economic development. For this, the population of a country should neither be overpopulated nor underpopulated. There are crucial effects of overpopulation and under population on the economic development. Effects of overpopulation is tantamount to problems of overpopulation
Both overpopulation and under population are undesirable for the progress of a country. The effects of overpopulation are explained as follows:
Effects of overpopulation In an Economy :
1. Food shortage: The common effects of overpopulation results in food shortage as food production can’t be increased in proportion to the increase in population. Food production lags behind the increase in population due to the influence of Law of Diminishing Returns.
2. Unemployment: There is a remarkable effects of overpopulation in service sector. Excessive population leads to massive unemployment. As the country’s natural resources, capital stock and technology are limited. It is not possible to provide employment opportunities for all the people. Besides, excessive population leads to underemployment or disguised unemployment in rural areas.
3. Fall in efficiency of labor: When population increases after a particular stage, the number of laborers also increases. As a result each laborer gets fewer amounts of capital and machinery. This leads to a fill in the efficiency of labor.
4. Increase in dependents: Overpopulation implies increase in population beyond a particular level. Birth rate increases due to over population. The size of working population becomes less when compared to the size of children and old-aged persons. As the children and old aged-persons come under the category of dependents, their nourishment becomes a problem.
5. Pressure of population on land increases: The effects of overpopulation are greater in rural areas than in urban areas. As agriculture is the primary occupation in these areas, the excessive population brings pressure on land. As a result, the marginal productivity of the additional laborers is zero. Ultimately the average productivity of labor and land remains less.
6. Decline in standard of living: All efforts of government for promoting the living conditions of people yield no fruits due to the effects of overpopulation. Shortage of foodstuffs, scarcity of houses, ill-clothing, unfair distribution of national income etc are some of the undesirable effects of overpopulation. As a result the standard of living of the people declines to great extent.
7. Inflation: Overpopulation results in the growth of inflationary conditions in the country. As the output and productivity in different sectors fall and as demand for various goods and services increase due to overpopulation, prices of these goods and service go up.
8. Heavy pressure on transport and education: There are vigilant effects of overpopulation on transport and education. As the needs of the people increase, they require more communication and transport amenities. But government, due to insufficient financial resources, can’t construct and develop means of communications and transport. Similarly provision of education to the ever growing population becomes a difficult task.
Effects of under population In an Economy :
The effects of under population are mentioned as follows :
1. Shortage of labor force: One of the effects of under population is the shortage of labor force. As a result the available natural resources capital stock and technology can’t be utilized properly.
2. Specialization — not possible: Under population makes specialization impossible. As the supply of laborers is limited, specialization and rationalization schemes can’t be undertaken.
3. Low per capita income: In underpopulated countries, the natural resources are not completely utilized. As a result per capita income will be low.
Tests of overpopulation:
Economists have expressed different views regarding the tests of overpopulation.
Firstly, Malthus expressed the opinion that overpopulation is indicated by the prevalence of positive checks. These positive checks include occurrence of famines, epidemics, diseases, squalor, wars, floods etc.
Secondly, modern economists advocated the optimum theory of population. According to them if the per capita income decreases due to an increase in population, then that country is overpopulated.
Thirdly, some other economists have considered that overpopulation is due to the factors like unfavorable balance of trade, unemployment, high birth and low death rates.
Hence three different opinions were put forwarded by the economists regarding the overpopulation of a Country.