India and Population Issues

India has recently made a significant progress when it comes to diffusing modern agriculture, building new industry, and developing natural resources, all which have helped increase national wealth. However, over the last couple of years, India has experienced very rapid population growth. India has struggled to constrain and reign in its rapidly exploding population. India is the second most populated country in the world. It has a population of 1.15 inhabitants. By the year 2050, demographers expect India’s population to surpass the population of China. Rapid population growth in India is becoming an alarming issue. A country with a rapid population growth and increased wealth must provide basic services, food, and clothing for any additional people. Overpopulation is a relationship between the size of the population and a region’s level of resources. The capacity of land to support life derives partly from human actions to modify the environment through agriculture, industry, and exploitation of raw materials.

Why is India’s rapid population growth an issue?
* Depleted natural resources: as the population increases, there will be a depletion of natural resources, which will burden the people of India.
* Poor economic development/increased poverty/severe uneven development (some areas as bustling cities and others as backwater villages)

Some population facts about India:

* Crude Birth Rate (CBR): 21.72 births/1,000 population
* Crude Death Rate (CDR): 7.6 deaths/1,000 population
* Natural Increase Rate (NIR): 1.407% (Since India has such a
huge population, even if they are increasing by a small amount
percentage wise, that small percentage means HUGE numbers.)
* Population of India is estimated to increase to 1.593 billion
by year 2050.

India contains more than three fourths of the South Asian population concentration. Much of the area’s population is concentrated:
-along the plains of the Ganges and Indus rivers.
-Population is also concentrated in India’s coastlines, which are the
Arabian Sea to the west and the Bay of Bengal to the east.
-In India, growth rates are higher in the east and northeast.

Map of population density with darker red meaning a higher density

Growth rates vary in India for the following reasons:
* Religion favors high fertility rates
* 1960s Population planning program (Not successful)
* 1970s Country began forced sterilization program for men with 3
or more children.
o During 1975 and 1977, the government declared a state of emergency and instituted "infamous family planning” initiative beginning April 1976, which involved the vasectomy of thousands of men and tubal ligation of women, either for payment or under coercive conditions. The UN declared forced sterilization to be inhumane and cruel and it has since been greatly reduced.
* 2004 State of Uttar Pradesh began guns for sterilization program.
* Today, most states use advertising and persuasion to lower birth rates.

o A government sponsoring family planning program continues today. However it’s emphasized in education. Advertisements on the television and radio networks and information through local health centers, the national campaign is limited due to the cultural diversity of the Indian people. Currently the dominant form of birth control is sterilization of women, instead of vasectomies for men. However these women have already borne several children. Effective methods have not yet been devised to induce recently married couple to have fewer children.

It is believed that unless attitudes and behavior changes drastically, India’s population would exceed 3 billion a century from now. (external link)