Population policy explained

Population policy refers to the statement law or regulations enacted to some demographic goals. It is a deliberate effort by the government to influence the demographic factors like fertility, mortality and migration. Thus the ultimate goal of the population policy is to influence population size, composition, distribution and growth. The policy also tends to take into consideration the relationship between population and development as well as the impact on environment condition.   POPULATION POLICY CAN BE EXPLICIT OR IMPLICIT

EXPLICIT POPULATION POLICY, refer to the document or clear statement issued by the government department and its commission which is intended to control population growth and raise the standard of life of the people in the country. Explicit policies can also stem from the law, policy declaration by a party or directive issued by the President of the country. Explicit laws are well stipulated and strictly followed or reinforced. Such policies prevailed in China where the limit in the number of children was set and incentives were given to all those who could follow while penalties were given to those who did not follow. Other countries with explicit policy are Sweden and England. Hence the explicit policy is the elaborate statement that spell out the rationale objective, goals, targets policy program and implementation.  

IMPLICIT POLICIES, refer to particular law, regulation or statement, which may have direct or indirect effect on population growth. Implicit policy is not as elaborate as explicit since it is somehow unclear and cannot be easily understood leading to failure in terms of implementation. Population policies, whether explicit or implicit, have the ultimate aim of influencing a country’s population size, composition, distribution and growth.  


  • Consideration of regional and district variation with regard to the level of socio-economic development
  • Adherence to the development vision which among other things emphasize the role of the market in determining resources allocation and uses
  • Continued democratization of the political system with its intended political pluralism as symbolized in the emergence of various political parties or actors and mushroom of independent mass media
  • Thrift exploitation of the country’s non-renewable resources taking consideration the needs of future generations.
  • Recognition and appreciation of the central role of the government, NGOs, private sector communities and individuals in population and development.


This policy takes cognizance of the achievement, constraint and limitation of implementing post population policies as well as new development and continuing challenges  


The achievement of both implicit and explicit population policies include the followings: –

Considerable awareness of population issues particularly those related to reproductive health and child survival by the masses of the people for example fertility, infant and child mortality has decline overtime.

– Adoption of an explicit population policy in 1992, which recognized the links and interrelationship between population, resources, the environment and development

– Expansion and /or introduction of population studies in institutions of higher learning in the country

– Increased number and capacity of NGOs engaged in population related activities including advocacy and social mobilization, service delivery and capacity building

– High knowledge and use of contraceptive methods among both men and women and male involvement in family planning which has increased contraceptive prevalence from about 10 in 1980s to 16 in 1996.