Demographic change is the change in the size, composition, and geographic distribution of a population over time and is a worldwide phenomenon. Population growth is not just occurring in newly industrialized countries or the most developed countries like the US, Japan, or Canada. In 1820 there were roughly 1 billion people on earth; today, that number has risen to 7.6 billion. This article will expound more on the demographic change.
Factors that cause the demographic change
Migration and urbanization
Migration and urbanization are major factors that lead to demographic change. Factors like war or political upheaval cause migration, and it is a significant factor that leads to demographic change around the world. On the other hand, urbanization is a result of rural to urban migration, which causes the people living in a rural area to migrate in large numbers increasing population density. Accordingly, it results in growth in the city.
Better health services
Better health services are one of the prime causes of demographic changes worldwide. Public health programs, family planning, healthcare, etc., save many lives increasing the population.
Stopping population growth
Stopping population growth is another factor that leads to demographic change. Population growth leads to an increase in various kinds of problems like the land being used up and the quality of food, which leads to a rise in poverty.
Diagnosing disease, influencing people’s eating habits and hygiene, distributing contraceptives, and educating people about family planning contribute significantly to controlling population growth. Nations like India and China have led to a decrease in fertility rates worldwide, with some countries peaking below replacement levels. These efforts have been a significant step towards slowing down the demographic change.
Lower Birth rates
Some of the measures taken to stop population growth include education and health services, which lead to a lower birth rate and slowing down population growth. Having an educated populace and better healthcare also decreases poverty and starvation; for instance, India has almost eradicated female infanticide. The declining birth rates have played a significant role in slowing down demographic change.
The world’s demographic change
The US has the fourth highest population globally; it has a total population of 303 million people. The real fertility rate of the US is 1.9, and life expectancy at birth is 78 years. The growth rate in the US is 1.15, which means that the country will have 308 million inhabitants by 2040. The population will be older with higher median age and fewer people under 16 than before or after 2010. US population will continue to become more diverse, with a higher percentage of Hispanics, Asians, and other minority groups, reflecting the nation’s increasing ethnic and racial diversity. The US has also decreased its fertility rate from 3.3 in 1969 to 2.1 in 2014. Many factors have been responsible for such a decline, such as the impact of federal programs and women working more outside the house. Before, when they were mostly confined to their homes doing domestic work with no income and thus not having control over their own lives, this too has helped decrease the fertility rate.
Effects of Demographic change
i) The increasing population of an area causes the land to be used up due to construction and agricultural work and the production of food. The rising population also leads to high density leading to various health issues like epidemics, crowding, and crime.
ii) The population density increases in certain areas leading to overcrowding, and when crowded, the people cannot lead a useful life.
iii) There is an increase in the crime rate leading to various kinds of crimes like murder and extortion.
iv) The growing population also leads to food shortages, and if there are food shortages, you will see a rise in food prices. This has happened in Africa, which has led to rising food prices.
Decreasing population growth
Decreasing population growth is also a significant factor that causes demographic change. As the fertility rates decrease, and in some cases, countries even report zero population growth, the number of people in any given area is likely to remain constant or drop slightly. In recent years, China’s fertility rate has fallen below 1.6 and has stayed there over the past two decades. As a result of their low fertility rates, no large-scale migration flows into China, with most migrant flows being the other way around: More than 40 million Chinese have emigrated overseas since 1980. Fertility averages—and thus birth rates—have also declined in Japan and Europe, although fertility in much of Eastern and Southeastern Europe is still persistently high.
Increasing population growth
The opposite is true for nations with high fertility rates. Many of these countries see significant population increases, which can strain their economy and other resources. Russia, for instance, has a total population of about 144 million people, with a rapidly growing (2.5% per year) birth rate and a 0% annual decrease in the fertility rate from the early 1960s to the present. In Bangladesh, a rising birth rate led to an explosion in population growth after 1975, resulting in more than one hundred million people by 2005.
Macroeconomic analysis shows a negative correlation between growth and population growth. The more the population grows, the less the economic growth rate goes down. The birth rate decrease of the people in developed countries harms economic growth. In India, The fertility rate is one of the significant factors that impact the growth and development of a nation.
The description of the effect of demographic change on the world and the United States gives us a better understanding of the various factors contributing to slowing down or speeding up these population trends. Factors like decreasing birth rates and decreasing fertility rates are responsible for slower population growth, while an increased birth rate leads to a boom in population growth. This is mainly because the developed nations have a lower fertility rate, while the developing countries still have high birth rates.