(Dr. Shankar Chatterjee)
Human resource is a great resource for any country but if any resource is not within the limit it may create problems. For example water is a great resource and rain provides us with a sustainable and perennial source of water. But too much rain may create floods. Similarly population is a resource but with inelastic supply of land with a huge number of population crises may occur. The well-known theory of population is the Malthusian theory. Thomas Robert Malthus published his essay on “Principle of Population” in 1798 and modified some of his conclusions in the next edition in 1803. His theory is simple. In his own words: “By nature human food increases in a slow arithmetical ratio; man himself increases in a quick geometrical ratio unless want and vice stop him. The increase in numbers is necessarily limited by the means of subsistence. Population invariably increases when the means of subsistence increase, unless prevented by powerful and obvious checks.”
According to the 2021 edition of the World Population Data Sheet, the global population is projected to increase to 9.7 billion by 2050. It is pertinent to mention that the World Population Data Sheet is released annually by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), a non-profit organization that tracks population indicators for more than 200 countries and territories. Based on www.prb.org/news/2021-world-population-data-sheet-released/, few points are presented here for the benefit of readers, academicians and researchers.
Global life expectancy at birth is 75 years for women and 71 years for men.
The global total fertility rate (TFR)—lifetime number of births per woman—is 2.3, still above the replacement-level TFR of approximately 2.1 births per woman, but down from a TFR of 3.2 in 1990.
India is projected to have the greatest absolute increase in population size of any country between 2021 and 2050, rising nearly 246 million to 1.64 billion.
Niger has the highest TFR (7.0), followed by Somalia (6.9) and Chad (6.4). Some of the lowest TFRs are in South Korea (0.8), Taiwan (1.0) and Ukraine (1.1).
China, Thailand and Ukraine are among 39 countries and territories projected to have smaller populations by 2050.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the youngest population of any sub-region with 42% of its population under age 15, compared with 14% in Southern Europe.
Western and Southern Europe have the largest share of people ages 65 years and older (21%), while sub-Saharan Africa has the smallest share (3%). In the United States, the share of people who are ages 65 and older (17%) nearly equals the share of people who are younger than age 15 (18%).
Between 1990 and 2020, the proportion of births to women ages 35 and older increased in Europe (from 8% to 24%), Oceania (from 13% to 23%), the Americas (from 11% to 16%), and Asia (from 9% to 12%). It changed little in Africa, from 17% to 16%.
The proportion of births among adolescent girls (ages 15-19) in Africa remained flat at 15% between 1990 and 2020. During the same period, it declined in the Americas (from 16% to 12%), Asia (from 11% to 5%), Europe (from 9% to 3%) and Oceania (from 8% to 6%).
85% of South America’s population lives in urban areas.
I have presented the facts and figures collected from the secondary sources as mentioned above so that readers can get an idea about population issues. Also this will help academicians for further research. (Author is a former Professor& Head (CPME) NIRD &PR, Hyderabad)