Overpopulation In India

A Look At Overpopulation In India

Overpopulation in India is a serious problem, and despite the Indian government's awareness of the problem, and attempts to mitigate the problem, a real solution has yet to be found. Insofar as the ability to produce food is concerned, India can be considered a rather rich agricultural nation. However, no matter how much food is produced, a steadily increasing population can eventually cause the demand for food to outstrip the supply.

Of course food can be imported, alleviating problems at least temporarily, but even here there are limits. Since India accounts for roughly 16% of the world's population, has a population exceeding one billion people, and is on track to become the world’s most populated nation, outstripping China by the middle of this century, India's population problem can easily become a global population problem.

Overpopulation In India Not Always A Problem - India achieved independence in 1947. At the time it was still a populous nation, and their was widespread poverty, but overpopulation in India wasn't considered to be a serious issue, one reason being that the birth rate and mortality rate were about equal, so there was no such thing as a population explosion. That explosion happened following independence, though it's uncertain whether gaining independence played a major role. Mortality rates dropped fairly significantly since 1947, but birth rates did not. Birth rates have dropped somewhat in recent years, but mortality rates continue to decline, so the decreasing birth rates have not yet had a braking effect on population growth.

The Urban Poor - Economics and education play a significant role in attempts to deal with the population issue. India's urban poor contribute most to overpopulation in India. It is mostly among the urban poor where you find the larger families, where the quantity of children outweighs the quality of children in importance. More children mean more breadwinners for the family, even if, because of lack of a good education, none of the children are apt to earn more than the lowest of wages. Parents also view a large number of children as a source of security in their later years.

Ignorance Often A Barrier - Traditions, religious beliefs, and other aspects of Indian culture combine to make curbing population growth difficult. These often are in opposition to attempts by the government to provide better education for all. Female children are still looked upon as being less desirable than male children, and in many families, educating either sex is regarded as a waste of time. Rather than being considered a burden, female children need to squire a good education in order to better serve society, and male children need education to be able to advance beyond doing only menial forms of labor. In short, India needs more and more well-educated people to increase productivity, enhance economic growth, and to better address the many problems facing the nation.

The Indian government faces some daunting challenges and tasks. The population is expected to reach 1.5 billion people by 2040, an increase of 500 million in 50 years. Not only must overpopulation in India be addressed by producing more food, and importing more food, but the country must do a better job of distributing that food than is presently the case. The rift between social classes, between rich and poor, and even communications problems between generations within the same family make putting into place workable solutions quite difficult in many instances. Fortunately, as a democracy which is considered respectful of human rights, the Indian government has not had to resort to Draconian measures to solve its many problems. Hopefully the efforts the Indian government have been putting into educating its citizens the last two decades, coupled with the increasing number of its citizens attending institutions of higher learning, will enable India to one day find its way.