THE CHANGING POPULATION

Growing Population and Controlling Birth Rates

Growing Population and Controlling Birth Rates

Why is there a need to achieve sustainable development?

Growing Population A rapidly growing population can place great strain on a country’s food supplies, health, infrastructure and education, and a young population with a poor economic situation can lead to civil unrest. With increasing urbanisation, more and more young people from the countryside move to the city to find a new life. Many of them end up living in inadequate housing in high crime areas.

As the population of the world increases, it becomes even more important that we manage our environment well. Every year millions of people die because they cannot access clean drinking water, but on the other hand, every other species on earth also requires water to survive.The more people there are to feed, the more natural resources must be used to feed them: this means more forests must be cut down to provider land to grow crops, more livestock must be reared and slaughtered, ever-increasing numbers of fish must be taken from the ocean.

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THE CHANGING POPULATION


Countries have tried a range of policies to try and control birth rates.

Many countries attempt to control the birth rate in their country, with mixed results. In India families with more than two children cannot vote in some elections, but the population is growing faster than ever. In Iran both men and women must undergo mandatory contraception lessons before marriage, and here the birth rate has sharply reduced.

In the United States, ‘Title X’ family planning clinics have provided contraceptive advice to low-income families for decades. Singapore has also tried – unsuccessfully – to encourage only educated families to have more than two children.

China has the largest population in the world, though it is estimated it will soon be outnumbered by India. In 1978 the country started a ‘one child‘ policy – families were generally forbidden to have more than one child or else face fines. The government estimates that it has prevented more than 400 million births, but critics have claimed there have been forced sterilisations and that many girls have been aborted because boys are more economically ‘valuable’.