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Population and Associated Issues – Growth and other Issues

Population Issues

Population Problems of Underdeveloped Countries

Problems of Over-population

• Rapid population growth

• Unemployment

• Poor standards of living

• Slow growth of industry: The labour force though large in number is unskilled and has no background of industrial employment

• Traditional attitudes militating against change

 Problems of Under-Population

• Uneven Distribution of Population

• Remoteness

• Under Utilization of resources

• Slow growth of Industry: This is due to shortage of labour, especially skilled labour in under populated countries

. Population Problems of Advanced Countries

• Ageing Population: Due to low birth rate the proportion of young people in the population is relatively small.

• Small Work force

• Rural Depopulation: Steady movement of population occurs from countryside to towns due to the pull factors of city life..

• Urbanization

Factors that affect population growth

  • Infant mortality

o IMR is the lowest at 15 in Kerala and the highest at 73 in Uttar Pradesh. Empirical correlations suggest that high IMR leads to greater desire for children.

• Early marriage

 This figure is as high as 68% in Bihar. Not only does early marriage increase the likelihood of more children, it also puts the woman’s health at risk.

• Level of education

o Fertility rate usually declines with increase in education levels of women.

• Use of contraceptives

o Temporary vs Permanent- According to NFHS III (2005-06), only 56% of currently married women use some method of family planning in India. A majority of them (37%) have adopted permanent methods like sterilization.

• Other socio-economic factors

o The desire for larger families particularly preference for a male child also leads to higher birth rates. It is estimated that preference for a male child and high infant mortality together account for 20% of the total births in the country.


The Sex Ratio in the country has shown an improvement. As per the Census, sex ratio has increased from 933 females per thousand males in 2001 to 943 females per thousand males in 2011. State/UT-wise details of sex ratio are annexed.

As per the Census, 2011 the child sex ratio (0-6 years) has shown a decline from 927 females per thousand males in 2001 to 919 females per thousand males in 2011.

Some of the reasons for neglect of girl child and low child sex ratio are son preference and the belief that it is only the son who can perform the last rites, that lineage and inheritance runs through the male line, sons will look after parents in old age, men are the bread winners etc.

Exorbitant dowry demand is another reason for female foeticide/infanticide. Small family norm coupled with easy availability of sex determination tests may be a catalyst in the declining child sex ratio, further facilitated by easy availability of Pre-conception sex selection facilities.

Measures taken to control the population growth of India

  • More emphasis on Spacing methods like IUCD.

• Availability of Fixed Day Static Services at all facilities.

• Quality care in Family Planning services by establishing Quality Assurance Committees at state and district levels.

• Improving contraceptives supply management up to peripheral facilities.

• Demand generation activities in the form of display of posters, billboards and other audio and video materials in the various facilities.

• National Family Planning Indemnity Scheme’ (NFPIS)

• Compensation scheme for sterilization acceptors – under the scheme MoHFW provides compensation for loss of wages to the beneficiary and also to the service provider (& team) for conducting sterilisations.

• Increasing male participation and promotion of Non Scalpel Vasectomy.

• Emphasis on Minlap Tubectomy services because of its logistical simplicity and requirement of only MBBS doctors and not post graduate gynecologists/surgeons.

• Accreditation of more private/NGO facilities to increase the provider base for family planning services under PPP.

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July 2022