(2) Population and levels of living in the world.
(3) Objective and economic development in developing countries.
(4) Impact of population on economic development.
(5) Need to control birth rate.
The International Conference on Population and Development (IPCD, Cairo, 1974) was the first international event which articulated the relationship between population and development. The conference agreed that population related goals and polices are integral parts of socio-economic development leading to improvement in the quality of life of human beings.
There are wide differences in the levels of living and the quality of life among developed countries. The problem in most of developing countries gets aggravated by the size of their population and the rate at which it is increasing. They have, therefore, to develop faster even to remain at the same level of development.
India’s contribution to the increase in world population is the largest, although it is the second most populous country in the world. This is so because India’s rate of growth of population is very high. India’s rate of growth of population is around 1.9 per cent. The main cause of the high rate of growth of population is the high birth rate. There is a significant relationship between the size of population and level of living per capita is most widely used index of level of living. It is very high in all the developed countries. In India the per capita income is very low. It is less than $ 1 per day.
It has also been observed that the number of births per couple decreases with the increase in per capita income of the family. This trend is visible both in urban and rural areas. This happens because high income families have a high standard of living, nutritious food, better health and medical care and better living conditions. Therefore, the infant and child morality is prevented. Since the parents are confident of the survival of their children, there are less child birth in these families. Moreover, in these families, children go in for higher education and remain dependent on their parents for longer period. The family is very conscious of maintaining its high standard of living. So they prefer a small size family. Thus, the high income families tend to follow a small family norm.
On the other hand, the low income families tend to be large in size. In these families the level of living is low. The members of these families are generally illiterate. There are no special costs involved in the beginning up of the children rather the children at very young age start helping the family in work. The infant and childhood morality is high. These families, therefore, tend to have more children.
Economic development means more production and a more equal distribution of production as well as more equal opportunities to produce. The primary objective of economic development in developing countries is to alleviate poverty, reduce unemployment and improve the quality of life of the people. They need resources for it. In developing countries like India resources are very scarce. This results in lower rate of production. In India, the low level of production is divided among a very large number of people. So the average share is less. As the rate of growth of population is high, whatever is achieved by economic development gets divided among a much larger number.
Human resource is an important factor in the economic development of a country. It can help in accelerating the pace of economic development only when the population is in proportion to the economic resources of the country. If the population is large and its quality is underdeveloped, it retards economic development.
The high rate of growth of population in India is due to high birth rate and low death rate. Low death rate is a healthy sign. In order to reduce the high rate of growth of population, the birth rate must be reduced. A reduction in the birth rate would lead to smaller size of family. A small size family can meet the basic necessities of like food, clothing, shelter and medical care of its members in a better way. If a small family norm is followed, there is possibility that the development efforts would provide better quality of life to the people.
To reduce the birth rate, preventive methods must be used. One such method is raising the age at marriage, particularly of the girls. This reduces the reductive period and so results in less births. Further, the size of the family can be planned in many ways. It can be done through family planning methods particularly the use of contraceptives. The use of contraceptives can help in controlling high birth rate of population.