What is the population? The word population comes from the Latin word Populus meaning people. Population or human population refers to the total number of people found in a given area at a specified time

The following are the importance of population

  • It promotes the supply of labor that can be used in exploiting or harnessing the idle resources like minerals, land, water bodies etc
  • It can encourage or stimulate the diffusion of technology into the destination from other areas the people who migrate posses different skills of different environmental orientations these can be spread into destination and help in the utilization of local resources

  • Migration can lead to the expansion of market for the local goods in the destination regions
  • It can encourage the intensification of agricultural activities as a result of the reduction in the size of arable land.
  • It can stimulate the growth of towns (urbanization) and the associated advantages.
  • Development of strong defense against external enemies.
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Population change refers to the difference between the size population at the beginning and at the end of a period. It can refer to the growth or decline in population

The following are effects of population change on individuals and nations.

The effect of population change is quite varied. Population change affects both individuals as well as the nations at large.

The effect can be positive or negative.


A high fertility rate results in a large number of children that a family has to look after.

Migration has its own effects on individuals in a number of ways.

  • Some individuals may change their lifestyles by becoming more sophisticated. This happens after gaining more skills and exposure to more sophisticated lifestyles where the individual migrated to.
  • Some individuals after migrating to urban areas and getting jobs may take a much longer time to get married.
  • When spouses are separated for long periods of time, this may lead to the breaking up of marriages. Either spouse may engage in extramarital relationships during the period of absence of the partner.
  • Some individuals who migrate to urban areas lose their cultural values and this leads to immorality. Some turn to crime.
  • Some people save a lot of money from the income they get from working. The income is used to improve their standards of living.


  • It tends to lead to increased poverty. This is because these countries are lagging behind in technological advancement in areas such as agriculture and industries because of the insufficient capital as well as poor management of resources. As technological advancement continues, population pressure may cease.
  • Overpopulation is a situation whereby a region or country has such a high population that it cannot be supported fully due to a strain on the available resources. In such a situation, many people live in abject poverty.
  • Overpopulation also leads to unemployment or even underdevelopment of a nation or even underemployment.
  • Overpopulation leads to poor housing and health facilities because the demand for these facilities is far greater than the supply.

  • Agricultural resources are underutilized because of a shortage of land and traditional land tenure systems which hinder modernization of agriculture
  • Slow industrial growth because of a shortage of skilled labor. Although there is a large labor force, it is largely unskilled.

My conclusion; Most overpopulated developing nations have a population that is largely traditional. The bias of traditional attitudes slows down modern development as many people stick to the traditional customs and ways of doing things. A large population increases the demand for food. This demand reduces the production of cash crops while increasing the production of food crops.




Population pressure is a situation in which the number of people is greater than the carrying capacity of the land and its resources.

In this case, the resources are fewer than the number of people and hence cannot satisfy the needs of the people in that particular area.

Population pressure is related to overpopulation.

Population pressure can be mitigated by either reducing the population in relation to resources available or by increasing the capability of the population to extract the resources through improving the technology and skills of the population.

The population can lead to negative impacts such as hunger and starvation, overcrowding in social services, unemployment, and environmental destruction.

What are the different aspects of population pressure?

There are many different aspects of population pressure, but some of the most important include:

  • Resource depletion: When a population grows too large, it can put a strain on the resources that are available. This can lead to shortages of food, water, and other essential resources.
  • Environmental degradation: Population pressure can also lead to environmental degradation. This can happen when people overuse natural resources, pollute the environment, or destroy habitats.
  • Economic inequality: Population pressure can also lead to economic inequality. This can happen when the resources are not distributed evenly among the population.
  • Social conflict: Population pressure can also lead to social conflict. This can happen when people compete for resources or when they are forced to live in crowded or polluted conditions.

What are the causes of population pressure?

The causes of population pressure can vary from place to place, but some of the most common causes include:

  • Rapid population growth: Rapid population growth is the main cause of population pressure. This can happen when there is a lack of access to family planning services or when there are cultural or religious factors that discourage people from using birth control.
  • Low levels of economic development: Low levels of economic development can also contribute to population pressure. This is because people in developing countries often have more children in order to help with labor or to provide for them in old age.
  • War and conflict: War and conflict can also lead to population pressure. This is because people who are displaced by war or conflict often have to live in crowded and unsanitary conditions.
  • Climate change: Climate change is also a factor that can contribute to population pressure. This is because climate change can lead to food shortages, water shortages, and other environmental problems that can force people to migrate to other areas.

What are the effects of population pressure?

The effects of population pressure can be far-reaching and can have a significant impact on the environment, the economy, and society. Some of the most common effects of population pressure include:

  • Environmental degradation: Population pressure can lead to environmental degradation, such as deforestation, soil erosion, and water pollution.
  • Economic inequality: Population pressure can lead to economic inequality, as the resources are not distributed evenly among the population.
  • Social conflict: Population pressure can lead to social conflict, as people compete for resources or as they are forced to live in crowded or polluted conditions.
  • Disease outbreaks: Population pressure can also lead to disease outbreaks, as people are more likely to come into contact with each other and with disease-carrying animals.
  • Refugee crises: Population pressure can also lead to refugee crises, as people are forced to flee their homes due to environmental degradation, economic inequality, or social conflict.

What are the solutions to population pressure?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to population pressure, as the best approach will vary depending on the specific circumstances. However, some of the most common solutions include:

  • Family planning: Family planning is one of the most effective ways to reduce population growth. This can be achieved by providing access to contraception and by educating people about the benefits of smaller families.
  • Economic development: Economic development can help to reduce population pressure by providing people with better opportunities and by reducing the need for large families.
  • Environmental protection: Environmental protection can help to reduce population pressure by preventing environmental degradation and by ensuring that resources are used sustainably.
  • Education: Education can help to reduce population pressure by raising awareness of the issue and by providing people with the skills they need to make informed decisions about their family size.
  • International cooperation: International cooperation is essential to addressing population pressure. This is because the issue is global in nature and requires a coordinated response from all countries.


Population structure refers to a composition in terms of the proportion of people according to certain status categories such as age, sex, educational level, marital status, the labor force (skilled or unskilled), ethnic status, household characteristics, health, citizenship, rural or urban category as well as economic status.

The age-sex structure is commonly used in studying the population structure of a country.

Population structure is influenced by the birth rates, death rates, marriage status and rates, incident of migration, the structure of the labor force, level of education, economic level, and political aspects.

How is population structure determined?

Population structure is determined by a number of factors, including:

  • Birth rate: This is the number of births per 1,000 people in a population in a year.
  • Death rate: This is the number of deaths per 1,000 people in a population in a year.
  • Migration: This is the movement of people into and out of a population.
  • Natural increase: This is the difference between the birth rate and the death rate.
  • Social factors: These include factors such as education, employment, and healthcare.

Why is population structure important?

Population structure is important because it can affect a number of things, such as the economy, the environment, and the social fabric of a society.

For example, a population with a large number of young people may have a higher demand for education and healthcare services. A population with a large number of older people may have a higher demand for retirement and healthcare services.

Population structure can also affect the environment. For example, a population with a high birth rate may put a strain on natural resources, such as food and water.

Finally, population structure can affect the social fabric of a society. For example, a population with a large number of immigrants may have to deal with issues of cultural integration.

How is population structure changing?

Population structure is constantly changing due to a number of factors, such as changes in the birth rate, the death rate, and migration.

In general, the world’s population is aging. This is due to a number of factors, including declining birth rates and increasing life expectancies.

The aging of the population is having a number of implications, such as an increasing demand for healthcare services and a shrinking workforce.

What are the challenges of population structure?

There are a number of challenges associated with population structure, including:

  • Poverty: A large population of young people can put a strain on the economy and lead to poverty.
  • Unemployment: A large population of older people can lead to unemployment, as they may be unable to find jobs that match their skills and experience.
  • Inequality: A population with a large number of people from different socioeconomic backgrounds can lead to inequality.
  • Social unrest: A population with a large number of people who are dissatisfied with their living conditions can lead to social unrest.

How can we address the challenges of population structure?

There are a number of ways to address the challenges of population structure, including:

  • Investing in education and healthcare: This can help to improve the skills and productivity of the population.
  • Promoting economic growth: This can create jobs and opportunities for the population.
  • Encouraging social mobility: This can help to reduce inequality.
  • Addressing the root causes of social unrest: This can help to prevent social unrest.



The following are Factors favoring high population growth rate in Africa:

  • Limited use of family planning methods.
  • Many people don’t use family planning methods that’s why end up with many children. This leads to high population growth rate. 
  • Decrease in death rate: There is improvement in the general levels of living, improvement in level of education of people, and improvement in the health services with increase in the number of hospitals, dispensaries and health centers, increase on the number of Doctors and nurses and other health personnel hence decrease in death rate leading to rapid growth of population. 
  • Old-age insurance: Children are considered as insurance for a good life in old ages by their parents, for that they produce more children in order to insure themselves.  

  • High infant mortality rate: Parents produce many children in Africa because of not being sure of the number of children who can survive. To avoid unwanted surprises they produce more, some die and other survive.  
  • Cultural believes for large families: Children are sources of prestige in some societies. Many people produce many children for prestigious reasons.  
  • Early marriage: Women marry at a younger age leading to a longer fertility period and more children are produced leading to rapid growth of population.
  • Religion. Some religions preach to people not to use family planning methods to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Not using family planning results into unwanted pregnancies that lead to rapid growth of population.

causes of high death rate in Africa:

  • Insufficient health facilities like hospitals, health centers and dispensaries with enough care
  • There is rapid increase in population but social services and infrastructures have not increased to match the population growth
  • Political instability and insecurity. Many countries of Africa are engaged into war and insecurity is common in those countries hence loss of lives which lead to decrease on the number of population. Example of some countries of Africa includes Sudan, DRCongo, Maghreb, etc.
  • Low levels of Immunization. Children get infected with infant killer diseases leading to increase in the death rate of young children.
  • Poverty, Many people die because cannot afford to buy requirements of life like drugs and food. The cost of life is high than the revenue of many African people living under poverty.

  • Ignorance. Lack of enough information on health care like reproductive health that leads to death of many people.



Overpopulation is a function of the number of individuals compared to the relevant resources, such as the water and essential nutrients they need to survive.

It can result from an increase in births, a decline in mortality rates, an increase in immigration, or an unsustainable biome and depletion of resources.

Overpopulation is a situation where people in a particular country are many in relation to the available resources; it is also a situation whereby the population of a country is above the optimum population.

This situation will force people to compete for the available resources and due to shortages of resources; there will be a general decline in the standard of living.

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Positive effects of Overpopulation


Large Population makes it possible to mobilize enough people to defend the integrity of the country in times of war and any other emergencies. 

Increase in Labor Market

Increasing population ensures an increase in the labor force.

Lack of growth in the labor force will make a country static, retarded, and gets to equilibrium at less than full employment level of the economy.

Large Market

Investors would like to invest in a country with a large population.

As the population continues to grow so will be the growth in demand for food, shelter, clothing etc.

Negative Effects of Overpopulation


As a result of overpopulation, the available resources would not be able to do round and this will result to poverty in the country.


Overpopulation leads to unemployment, this is as a result of the number of people looking for job outruns available resources.

Social Problems

Overpopulation brings about social problems such as bribery, prostitution, armed robbery etc.

A decrease in the standard of living

Overpopulation leads to a fall in the standard of living. As a result of increased number of people, demand for essential commodities becomes highly competitive and it is those that are rich that would be able to afford them, thereby bringing a fall in the standard of living. Brain drain

Increase in Government expenses

Possible increase in dependency ratio

Low Per capita income if production level does not increase

Increase in imports, which will result to balance of payments deficit

Shortage of food

Difficulty in educating the children 

Under utilization of Labor


Food security is when people at all times need to have physical and economic access to food to meet their dietary needs fo an active and healthy life.

this is opposite to food insecurity which is when someone is unsure when they might next eat

factors affecting food security

human factors affecting food security

  • poverty prevent people affording food and farmers buying modern equipment
  • poor infrastructure makes food difficult to transport
  • conflict disrupt farming and prevent supplies
  • food waste due to poor transport and storage
  • climate change is affecting rainfall pattern making food production difficult

physical factors affecting food security

  • temperature need to be ideal for certain crops to grow
  • the quality of soil is important to ensure crops have the necessary nutrients
  • water supply need to be reliable to allow food to grow
  • pest diseases and parasites can destroy vast amounts of crops that are necessary to feed large population
  • extreme weather events can demage crops for example floods

malthus and boserup’s theories about food supply

malthus theory

Malthus believed that population would increase faster than food supply

this would lead to a shortage of food

Malthus believed this would cause large scale famine, illness, and war

this would occur until the population returned to a level that can be supported by available food

boserup theory

boserup believed that however big the population grew, people would find ways to manage

if food supplies became limited, people would find new ways to increase production

these solutions would often involve creating new technologies


For more than thirty years, China’s One Child Policy has done much to limit the country’s population growth.

In recent years, there have been sensational news stories of women forced to end their pregnancies early to comply with China’s One Child Policy.

Here are ten essential facts about China’s One Child Policy:

  • China’s One Child Policy was created in 1979 by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping to temporarily limit communist China’s population growth. It has thus been in place for more than 32 years.
  • China’s One Child Policy most strictly applies to Han Chinese living in urban areas of the country. It does not apply to ethnic minorities throughout the country. Han Chinese represent more than 91% of the Chinese population. Just over 51% of China’s population lives in urban areas. In rural areas, Han Chinese families can apply to have a second child if the first child is a girl.

  • One major exception to the One Child Policy allows two singleton children (the only offspring of their parents) to marry and have two children. Additionally, if a first child is born with birth defects or major health problems, the couple is usually permitted to have a second child.
  • When the One Child Policy was adopted in 1979, China’s population was about 972 million people. In 2012 the population of China is about 1.343 billion people, 138% growth over that time period. By contrast, India’s population in 1979 was 671 million and in 2012 India’s population is 1.205 billion people, which is 180% over the 1979 population. By most estimates, India will surpass China as the world’s most populous country by 2027 or earlier, when both countries’ population is expected to reach about 1.4 billion.

  • If China continues its One Child Policy in the decades to come, it will actually see its population decrease. China is expected to peak in population around 2030 with 1.46 billion people and then begin falling to 1.3 billion by 2050.
  • With the One Child Policy in place, China is expected to achieve zero population growth by 2025. By 2050, China’s population growth rate will be -0.5%.
  • China’s sex ratio at birth is more imbalanced than the global average. There are about 113 boys born in China for every 100 girls. While some of this ratio might be biological (the global population ratio is currently about 107 boys born for every 100 girls), there is evidence of sex-selective abortion, neglect, abandonment, and even infanticide of infant females.
  • For families who observe the One Child Policy, there are rewards: higher wages, better schooling and employment, and preferential treatment in obtaining governmental assistance and loans. For families who violate the One Child Policy, there are sanctions: fines, employment termination, and difficulty in obtaining governmental assistance.

  • Families who are permitted to have a second child usually have to wait from three to four years after the birth of the first child before conceiving their second child.
  •  The recent peak total fertility rate for Chinese women was in the late 1960s, when it was 5.91 in 1966 and 1967. When the One Child Policy was first imposed, the total fertility rate of Chinese women was 2.91 in 1978. In 2012, the total fertility rate had dropped to 1.55 children per woman, well below the replacement value of 2.1. (Immigration accounts for the remainder of the Chinese population growth rate.)
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