Population and Economic Development

It is defined as a situation where a country has more people than its physical human resources can support with adequate living standard. Simply put, over-population refers to a situation where the population exceeds the available resources of the country.

Over-population can lead to competition for the available resources leading to a fall in the e standard of living of the people.

Advantages of Over-population

The advantages of population are the same as the advantages of large population.

They include;

  1. Large labour force
  2. Large market for the goods produced
  3. Organized army or defence
  4. Quick information dissemination
  5. Investors are easily attracted.
  6. It can lead to urbanization
  7. Respect from international bodies e.g WHO, UN etc.
  8. They enjoy foreign aid

Implications or Disadvantages of Over-population

The disadvantages of overpopulation is the same with the disadvantages of large population

They include;

  1. Pressure on natural resources
  2. Increase in crime rate
  3. Insufficient food
  4. Unemployment/under-employment
  5. Inadequate housing facilities or poor accommodation
  6. Traffic congestion
  7. Environmental pollution
  8. Pressure on social amenities
  9. Inadequate health services
  10. Reduction in standard of living
  11. High cost of living

Control of Over-population

  1. Family planning
  2. Discouragement of early marriage
  3. Increase in food supply
  4. Encouragement of monogamy
  5. Limiting the size of town
  6. Provision of gainful employment for women
  7. Stiffening of immigration laws
  8. Enlightening the people on the dangers of over population
  9. Encouragement of emigration


Meaning of Under-population

It is defined as the type of population that is less than the nation’s resources or the available resources. Simply put, under-population is a situation where the population is too small relative to the available resources. The standard of living of the area can be increased if the population is increased.

Causes of Under-population

  1. Decrease in the birth rate
  2. Increase in death rate
  3. High level of emigration (people leaving a country)

Advantages of Under-population

  1. There will be abundant resources
  2. Availability of employment
  3. Low pressure on social amenities
  4. Low traffic congestion
  5. Adequate planning
  6. Low crime rate

Implications or Disadvantages of Under-population

  1. Inadequate labour force to manage the abundance resources
  2. Low level of production
  3. Low savings and investment
  4. Low standard of living due to inadequate labour force
  5. Underutilization of infrastructures
  6. Government does not like investing in places of under population
  7. Small size of the market
  8. Low level of export

Optimum Population

Meaning of Optimum Population

Optimum population may be defined as the type of population which when combined with the available resources and the level of existing technology secure a maximum of return per head. This is the situation in which output per head is maximum.

It is the best type of population and it defers from country to country.

Optimum population is neither too small nor too large i.e. optimum population stands in between the two.

Diagrammatical Representation of Under-population, Over-population and Optimum Population

population study

Implications of Optimum Population

  1. At a given level of technology, it balances population with available resources
  2. The management or control of economy that has optimum population is very easy.
  3. An optimum population ensures or secures a maximum return per head.
  4. An optimum population is the population that produces full employment.
  5. Optimum population is a dynamic population that changes with the changing quantity and quality of a country’s available resources.
  6. Optimum population also ensures the highest standard of living in a country.

Summarily, aside overpopulation, under-population and optimum population, there are;

  1. Large population
  2. Ageing or declining/decreasing population- it is a population with an increasing percentage of old people, while the relative percentage of children and workers are decreasing. It is also known as a stationary or static population.

Click here to ask a question and get an answer published in the forum. Read our disclaimer.

Get paid for every topic you create in: Forum!MAKE-MONEY