The Population Growth
Population growth has a crucial influence on the course and extent of economic modification. The overall world population is estimated to reach six to seven billion. In the assessment of demography and economic development, there are suggestions that the developing nations are likely to experience the implausible economic growth if the population growth rate is slowed down. Most of the national population has shifted to the replacement-level fertility, whereby a woman is supposed to have more than two children. According to this policy, the individuals and the government should put the structural capacities in place in order to provide the major services to these children (Gilbert & Braat, 1991).
The replacement family policy has had incredible outcome in some nations. The fertility rate in the United States, which is one of the most industrialized countries worldwide, was approximately 1.87 in 2013. East and Southeast Asia are the emerging industrial powers that enjoy courtesy of the policy. Countries that have implemented the programs by providing wide access to family planning, have a reduction in the family size. This reduced the number of dependents per a working adult (Rajeswar, 2000). Fertility reduction has coincided with or initiated the transition to a sustainable economic growth. However, major conclusions cannot be derived from the above examples only since there are more questions about the connection of high fertility to population growth and the impact of the population density increase on the economic enhancement (Moffatt & Hanley, 2001). Employment and poverty, conservation of resources, human assets investments, policy implications, as well as economic stagnation and decline are the main aspects, which are of significance to population growth.
Employment and Poverty
With few exemptions, it is greatly convincing that there are connections between high fertility and the subsequent population growth, on the one side, to the persistence of poverty and salary stagnation in most developing nations, on the other side. High fertility rates and rapid population growth tend to enhance the transfer of poverty across generations. At the same time, it increases the difference in income and health status that distinguish the poor population from the upper and middle class people. Due to the high rates of fertility among the low-income people in the developing nations, the rapid population growth has a greater probability of decreased income at the lowest end of the salary scale (Tosun, 2003). There is another point of view on this issue, which elucidates that high numbers of low-skilled people and low-salary workers in some of the developing countries can stagnate the adoption of advanced technologies, which are considered more efficient and less labor-intensive. For example, the recently industrialized nations of Asia suggest that when salary growth and the relative income equality are connected with investment in sectors such as education and technology, there are greater chances for the emergence of a sustainable economic growth.
Conservation of Resources
The growth of population has crippled the productivity of the renewable natural resources and the environmental services offered. Renewable natural resources include rainfall fresh water, fisheries and agriculture that can be harnessed and utilized without damaging their viability. The services offered by the environment include the pollination of crops by insects and other animals, pest control offered by species-rich ecosystems, the absorption of minerals and nutrients, recycling in the soil, catchment and filtration of water, and the prevention of disasters, such as floods. In North America, some countries such as Mexico which is highly developed, its abundant natural resources such as minerals and petroleum have played a central role in its development. In South America, Brazil is reaping from its numerous natural resources. Agricultural products are exported such as coffee, beef and soybeans. They have minerals such as gold and iron ore.
The pressures linked to population growth are most threatening to the environment. The services and products provided by the environment are particularly threatened when the ownership rights are difficult to assign or maintain. The fisheries, forestry products, resources accrued to freshwaters, as well as the genetic diversity and atmosphere, are likely to be affected in case of human inflicted pressures (Todaro et al, 1996). However, there are weaker economic effects of population growth on the non-renewable natural resources, such as minerals and petroleum. It is showed by the trends in energy research and the markets and governments’ responses to adjustments in supply, which increase costs and facilitate more efficient utilization, conservation and substitution when scarcities are experienced (Rubio, 2014). In South America, Brazil has rainforests which are significant in the country’s development, although destruction has been experienced in a bid to create more farmland.
Human Assets Investments
The capacity to plan the number and spacing of births at the family level can incredibly impact the family’s economic status. This can be achieved with the help of improved child and maternal health, productive utilization of time, human energy and resources. Women have a chance in increasing their income significantly, even though this opportunity is limited in several societal organizations. In numerous developing countries, children in large families seem to be less well-nourished for a long period of time. This diminishes their academic performance and, thus, their future income potential. Generally, parents with a few children are more able to invest in each child than those with many children (Rajeswar, 2000). Averagely, kids from smaller families obtain higher levels of education. This is evident in the developing countries, such as nations in Southeast Asia and Latin America, which have had significant economic and social transformation. The parents’ background can especially affect the probability of school enrollment of the girl child.
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A large number of school-age children in countries with rapid population growth enforces pressure on the available educational and healthcare facilities. A rapid increase in the number of pupils enrolled in school and the average schooling attainment exert an upward stress on the national education budgets. Inadequate rapid growth in governments’ revenue or significant shifts in the expenditure priorities decrease public expenditure per each student. However, most developing nations shift priorities, make significant gains in education and health regardless of the budget pressures experienced. It is not predictable if these countries can sustain the trends; increasing enrollments improved average education attainments and elevated public health care services without ignoring other priorities of population growth (Moffatt & Hanley, 2001).
The population growth rate and the quantity of the yearly growth increments are crucial. Even in the countries that adjust to their present population growth rates, there is a need for governments and other institutions’ time and effort concentration to expand the urban infrastructure, offer new and improved health and educational services, as well as successfully implement technology, environmental regulations and the expansion of trade (Leung, 2000). The developing nations, where population growth is reduced through the decrease in the number of births, tend to have a higher probability to increase per capita economic growth rates and take more time to create the demanded jobs.
Economic Stagnation and Decline
Rapid population growth rate and increased fertility rates have the greatest negative consequences when the national institutions are inefficient, especially in the poorest nations of the developing world. Recent research offers a deeper insight, implying that population growth seems to have a downward economic spiral affecting the national organizations and the significant assets. Generally, the non-functioning institutions with poorly developed markets, inefficient government initiatives and guidelines, do not succeed in the provision of protection, management and establishment of the essential assets in an environment of growth. In turn, the degradation of assets can impair the emerging institutions when there is a high demand for market and policy resolutions. For example, in Sub-Saharan Africa, output growth and job generation lag behind the growth rates of the inadequately skilled workforce. Often, states find it difficult to politically and financially invest in human assets in the areas required to establish workable institutions and labor forces that are educated and healthy. The same human assets have attracted overseas investment to countries in Latin America and East Asia (Lehmijoki & Palokangas, 2009).
Researches done in the countries of South Asia, Africa and Latin America have suggested that population growth often incorporates a complex combination of causes, driving natural resource depletion that if not resolved, causes conflicts within countries. Civic unrest permits more asset depletion, increasing societal divisions, inhibiting trade and discouraging foreign investment (Greiner, 2012). There are many sub-Saharan African countries that appear to have been trapped in a downward spiral, each having a high fertility rate with relatively lower average per capita income than two decades ago. To break the trend, additional investment is needed in private and public sectors with wise targeting and sustenance.
Central America shares some similar features with the Sub-Saharan Africa. Politically and culturally, it is disconnected thereby enhancing underdevelopment. Wars have magnified the problem hampering development. Generally, South America is an underdeveloped world. Most of its population, reside around the periphery. European colonialism has greatly influenced this region as they are still trying to emerge. Unrests and revolutions experienced as they struggle to achieve democracy. This has greatly interfered with economic development.
There is a reliance on the ability of the developing economies to manage and adjust to the larger and denser populations. This ability is observed mostly in parts of South Asia and Latin America since they have an economic recovery apart from promising democratic reforms, fertility decline and market liberalization (Reddy, 2012). This expectation is different in the poorest nations of sub-Saharan Africa, where the rate of fertility is still high. This trend has raised economic concerns. Countries such as Haiti, Pakistan and other Sub-Saharan African nations, which depend heavily on the domestic natural resources and the agricultural output with inadequate foreign exchange, are undergoing a rapid depletion and degradation of the freshwater supplies, forests and arable land.
Increased access to family planning does not substitute policy reforms and the direct investments in the economic sectors. Investment in family planning programs complements institutional strengthening, being essential in health intervention. Additionally, the institutions’ quality has a much greater impact on population programs and guidelines in the developing nations (Greiner, 2012).
Slowing fertility, creating enabling institutions and promoting economies are critical in solving the economic crisis, which occurred due to population growth. The importance of institutions is critical in figuring out how the developing nations can adjust, in terms of the economy, to the growth of population and how specifically the poorest nations do not adjust. Fertility decline has created economic opportunities for the developing nations through less dependency rates, more children investment and elevated savings. There is an importance of realization of good policy guidelines and active competitive markets, which is responsible for the conversion of the economic opportunities to actual assets. The newly industrialized Asian economies, which have vibrant policies and trade history, were the initial discoverers of the dividends consistency with the institutional enablement.
Both the developed and developing nations must improve their institutions to a certain extent. Nations are able to decrease their spillover costs related to population growth by improving the emergence and restructuring institutions, which are widely representative and have more response to long-term issues, and by promoting a slower growth and eventually stabilized population.