Population Change - Factors, Implications, Measures

The population change refers to change in the number of people during a specific time period. The world population has not been stable. It has increased manifold. Population changes constantly due to birth rate and death rate and relocation of people in search of better sources of income. Population change is a continuous global phenomenon. 30 years down the line, by 2050, the global population is expected to rise by 2 billion, from 7.7 billion to 9.7 billion. As per the recent UN report, by 2050, India is expected to add 273 million people. For more information on the UPSC Exam, visit the given link IAS Exam.


  1. The population is defined as the number of people in an area.
  2. Population density is the measurement of the number of people in a given square mile.

Population Change – Causes

Some of the reasons behind population change are given below

  1. Higher fertility rates
  2. Growing older population
  3. Migration

The population increase in the world is mainly due to the rapid increase in natural growth rate. The difference between the birth rate and the death rate of a country is called the natural growth rate.

How are Births and Deaths measured?

  1. Births are usually measured using the birth rate i.e. the number of live births per 1,000 people.
  2. Deaths are usually measured using the death rate i.e. the number of deaths per 1,000 people.

Migration – Difference between Immigration & Emigration

  1. Migration is one of the causes behind the change in the population of a country.
  2. Migration is the phenomenon where people move in (immigration) or people move out (emigration) of a country; place or locality.
  3. Countries like the United States of America and Australia have gained in-numbers by in-migration or immigration.
  4. The general trend of international migrations is from the less developed nations to the more developed nations in search of better employment opportunities.
  5. Within countries, a large number of people may move from the rural to urban areas in search of employment, education and health facilities.

Population Change – 4 Factors

There are 4 major factors affecting Population change.

  1. Birth rate
  2. Death Rate
  3. Immigration
  4. Emigration

Population Change – Formula

The population change is calculated by the formula given below.

Population change = (Births + Immigration) – (Deaths + Emigration)

Population Growth – Implications

  1. Lack of sufficiently available resources to meet the needs of a growing population.
  2. Eradicating poverty and hunger becomes more difficult
  3. Providing better health and education facilities becomes more difficult.
  4. The rise in unemployment and underemployment.
  5. Excess strain on infrastructure – Due to rapid population rise, it is very difficult to provide adequate housing and transportation facilities.
  6. Increasing pollution, rise in traffic congestion leads to a reduction in productivity.
  7. Overexploitation of water and other natural resources resulting in no scope of replenishment which is a recipe for a natural disaster.
  8. Increasing air and water pollution, leading to an increase in diseases, which ultimately leads to a rise in expenditure on healthcare.

What is Total Fertility Rate (TFR)?

It is an indicator of the total number of children born or likely to be born to a woman in her lifetime. As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) varies across various sections of society.

  1. The poorest section of society has a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 3.2 children per woman.
  2. The second poorest section of society has a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 2.5 children per woman.
  3. The wealthiest section has a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 1.5 children per woman.

The results imply that population growth is concentrated in economically weaker sections of society.

Population Change – Measures to control the Population Explosion

Control measures can be broadly classified into social and economic measures.

Social Measures

  1. Strictly follow the minimum age criteria of marriage.
  2. Raise the status of women, by providing them education, financial independence and equal job opportunities.
  3. Increase the social security schemes for people in old age, so that people will have a sense of security that they won’t have to depend on others at old age, hence the compulsion to have many children.
  4. Focus on family planning measures.

Economic Measures

  1. Increase employment opportunities, and help in raising the standard of living. This will act as a deterrent for having a huge family. As per studies, it has been concluded that people at lower economic strata have larger families than people at higher economic strata.

Population Change – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2021 exams.

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