Population Growth

Population can be defined as the number of inhabitants in a particular area. It deals with people and their dwellings and also with the environment that this people live in. Population can be defined through various perspectives ranging from age, ethnicity, birthplace, location and many more. Population can also be defined in different categories and they include population size, population structure and population distribution. Population distribution is the widespread of people with certain similar characteristics within a particular area. Population size refers to the total number of people inhabiting a particular area. As for the population structure it refers to the number of people with similar characteristics within a population.1
Population growth is the change of the number of people living in a particular area over a certain period of time. The population growth rate can be either positive or negative meaning it can either be an increase in population or a decrease in population. Simply put, population growth rate is the birth rate minus the death rate of a country or a particular area. There are two percentages that are linked to the population growth of a country and they include the natural growth and the overall growth. The natural growth accounts for the number of births and the number of deaths that are experienced in a particular country or region. The overall growth however, accounts for the migration of a particular country, that is, it caters for the number of people migrating to and from the country or region.2

1.Population Statistic Unit. Statistics New Zealand Statistics House. ( November 2009).
2.Matt Rosenberg. Population Growth Rates and Doubling Time. Population Growth Rates. (March 2011).
According to the neoclassical perspective of population growth, population growth rate is defined as the birth rate less the death rate and is independent of the GDP. This means that this perspective does not take into account the migration record of the country and so it only concentrates on the natural growth of a population. This can therefore result to a positive population rate or a negative growth rate. If there are more births than deaths, it results to a positive growth rate and vice versa. If the population growth is positive, it results to an increase in the labor supply since there are more people that are available in the work force. This results to an increase in the GDP of a population since there is an increase in the aggregate hours that a person works.3
The birth rate depends wholly on the opportunity cost of a woman??™s time. Female education has been on the rise in the recent years and currently a high number of females are educated. Female education increases the wage rate of a woman since she stands to earn more with academic qualifications and so the increase in wage rates increases the opportunity cost of having children. As more women are educated, they become more aware of family planning methods and so this affects the family size that a woman desires since with the new enlightenment she can decide on the number of children she wants. Female education has then increased the opportunity cost of having children and so because of this the birth rate has reduced. Female education also increases the opportunity cost of a woman??™s time in the economic activities.4

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3. Chartered Financial Analyst Institute. Growth Theories.
4. Subbarao Kalanidhi & Raney Laura. Social Gains From Female Education: A cross
national study. Volume 1. ( November 1992).
The availability and the quality of health care determine the death rate that is experienced in a country. There has been an improvement on both of these perspectives of health care. On the quality of health care, various strategies have been implemented to improve it and some of the examples include: rapid response teams that work on the emergencies; ventilation bundles that improve the care given to the patients and; implementation of multidisciplinary rounds that react to the needs of the patients and inspect on their conditions. This helps to reduce the mortality that is experienced in the hospitals.5
Health care has been made available in all the regions worldwide. This has been done by opening up of health care facilities especially in the regions that did not have health care amenities and also improvement of the facilities that are already in existence.
According to the neoclassical economic approach of population growth, since the death rate and the birth rate both reduce, they compensate each other and so the population growth does not depend on the level of income that a person is earning. This means that even if the level of income of individuals increase, it does not necessarily mean that the population will increase in the same degree. This is because there are many other factors that are now contributing to the change in the population growth and these factors vary from one region or country to another since different countries experience different growth rates.

5. Whittington J, Simmonds T, Jacobsen D. Reducing Hospital Mortality Rates (part 2).
IHI Innovation Series White Paper. Cambridge, MA: Institute for Health Care Improvement. (2005).
Sustainability of the population growth refers to the maximum population that the earth can support without incurring any environmental damage. The sustainability approach explains that sustainability of the population growth will become more attainable when a balance between the population and nature is achieved. As the rate of the population growth declines, it results to an increase in the absolute population. The population grows and replaces itself and so it means that the population is a renewable resource. As much as the population grows, it doesn??™t mean that it grows indefinitely; meaning there will come a time when the equilibrium population size will be achieved. This equilibrium population will be achieved when all individuals on the earth match the resources that are available to them.6
However, an increase in the population results to an increase in demand for the natural resources and so this equals to increased demand for the living space. The growth of human population was recorded to be at its highest in 1987 with a whopping addition of 87.01 million people into the population. But since then there has been a decline in the population with an average of 2.1 million less people being added to the population. Recent studies have revealed that if 3 million less people are added per six years, there is believe that by 2020 there will be zero population growth with a record of 6.64 billion people inhabiting the earth. It is then implied that if environmental damage is to be reduced it means then that the population growth has to be controlled and even reduced so that the balance between the population and the environment is maintained.7

6. Minter-Gulland and Mace. Pp. 14-17. (1998).
7. Mark R. Elsis. We Have Passed our Sustainability. (2000)
Sustainability is mainly concerned with whether the world??™s economy is compatible with the maintenance of the world??™s resources; both the renewable and non-renewable resources. The population being a renewable resource it is considered in the sustainability concept. Sustainability is looked at with the different resources that are available. There is the water resource that continues to be depleted with the increase in the population. Increase In the population means that there are more people relying on the same water resources and yet the water resource is not renewable. An activity that the population engages in that threatens the water systems includes heavy agricultural activities that involve massive irrigation. Hence due to the rapid depletion of the water resource, there has been the establishment of restrictions to limit the consumption of water. This is put in place to ensure that the water resource can sustain the future generations.8
The capacity of the world to provide food for the human population??™s consumption is basically limited by the global climate change. It has been noted that the level of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere has increased with the up rise of the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution has brought along with it emission of gases into the environment that affect the atmosphere negatively since they are raising the global temperatures. In order to reduce the global temperatures the annual global emissions should be drastically reduced. This means that the greenhouses should be controlled since they are the main source of these global gas emissions that are raising the global climate around us.9

8. Dr. Bob Birell. Population growth and sustainability. Monash University. (2010). 6-7.
9. Ibid, 8.
Rapid depletion of the resources is a dangerous indication that the earth has exceeded its sustainability level or its carrying capacity. It also indicates a more dangerous fact, that the world??™s future carrying capacity or sustainability is rapidly being depleted posing a danger to the future generations since they will not have any resources to depend on for survival. So for there to be a reduction of the resources, there has to be controlled population growth. This will be easier to be achieved if the people organize themselves more politically, economically and socially.10
Most of the non-renewable resources have substitutes since they are used mainly to maintain the civilization of the world. However, the disappearance of some of the non-renewable resources is not necessarily a major threat to the human existence per se. However, the depletion of the essential resources results in the reduction of the biophysical carrying capacity or the sustainability of the planet. The essential resources are those that can determine the size of the human population, in a positive or negative way. They include fertile soils, the water sources and the forests. The forest is known to produce many goods that are essential to the human beings. However, the most important role that the forests play is to balance the gases in the atmosphere since they provide a balance of the gas emissions.11

10. Gretchen C. Daily & Paul R. Ehrlich. Population, Sustainability and Earth??™s Carrying Capacity: A framework for estimating population sizes and lifestyles that could be sustained without undermining future generations. (1992).
11. Ibid.

Since sustainability is hard to maintain with the increase in the human population, several measures have to be taken to try and maintain the carrying capacity of the earth especially for the future generations. Insurance for the resources should be sought after according to the level of severity and uncertainty of the depletion of the resource so that when depletion does occur, someone can be compensated in the same capacity of the depletion levels. Other social structures should also be implemented in a bid to preserve the resources even further. One of the mechanisms that can be implemented would be charging fees for the utilization of some resources and this will help in curbing misuse of the resources. Another mechanism that can be implemented would be to impose taxes on the people who wish to use resources. This will control the amount of resources that will be depleted by an individual since there is no freedom of misuse of resources.12
A country will be at an advantage of not depleting its resources if it has a low population density and abundant resources. This is because this means that there is no one time that the country will surpass its sustainability levels. This also means that the future generations have their needs taken care of since the country has sufficient resources. Though this is a rare feature among the countries, Canada has been ranked among the most healthy countries in the world several times.13

12. Ibid.
13. Don Kerr & Roderic Beaujiot. Population Growth and Sustainability: Canada Considerations. (IDEAS). (2007).

Industrialization is to blame for the depletion of the resources and also the contamination of the existing resources. This is because industrialization uses up the resources that are available to make advancements. It is also responsible for contamination in the sense that the chemical compounds that are left after use are mostly disposed off into the water sources and the soil resources. This affects the productivity of the resources and in return affects the availability of resources for human use.
The growth should be really observed and controlled since an increase in the human population will lead to scarcity of resources since the situation will be past the economies of scale. Also, the level of population growth and sustainability varies in different countries or regions. This is because each country and region experiences different levels of economic development and industrialization. It can therefore be concluded that the level of depletion of resources varies.
In conclusion on population growth on the neoclassical economic view the growth rate depends on the population rate and also on the technological changes. It does not depend on the income or savings level and so a rise in the savings does not necessarily mean that there will be an increase in the population. A quick population growth reduces the per capita output and consumption level of a country.14

14. Neri Salvador & Carlo Panico. Classical, Neoclassical and Keynesian views on Growths and Distribution. Edward Elgar Publishing. (2006).

Bartlett Albert A. Reflections on sustainability, population growth and the environment-
Revisited. Renewable Resource Journal Vol. 15 No. 4. (1997-1998). Pp. 6-23.
Birell Bob. Population Growth and Sustainability.Monash University. (2010). Pp. 6-7
Chartered Financial Analyst Institute. Growth Theories.
Daily Gretchen C. & Ehrlich Paul R. Population, Sustainability and Earth??™s Carrying Capacity:
A framework for estimating population sizes and lifestyles that could be sustained without undermining future generations. (1992)
Elsis Mark R. We Have Passed Our Sustainability. (2002).
Gulland Minter & Mace. (1998). Pp. 14-17
Kalanidhi Subbarao & Laura Raney. Social Gains from Female Education: A cross national
Study, Volume 1. (1992).
Kerr Don & Beaujiot. Population Growth and Sustainability: Canadian Considerations.
(IDEAS) (2007).
Narasaiah Lakshmi M. Population Growth. Discovery Publishing House. (2001).
Population Statistics Unit. Statistics New Zealand Statistics House. (2009).
Reilly Kelly. Population Growth and the Environment: A neoclassical view.
Rosenberg Matt. Population Growth Rates and Doubling Time. Population Growth Rates. (2001)
Salvador Neri & Panico Carlo. Classical. Neoclassical and Keynesian Views on Growths and
Distribution. Edward Elgar Publishing. (2006).
Whittington J., Simmonds T. & Jacobsen D. Reducing Hospital Mortality Rates (pert 2). IHI
Innovation Series White Paper. Cambridge, MA: Institute for Health Care Improvement. (2005)

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