Importance of population studies:
population studies helps us understand the processes that influence the size, growth, characteristics, and distribution of human population. By analyzing birth rates, death rates, immigration patterns and actuarial tables of life expectancy, we hope to explain past trends and accurately predict the future. This allows for proper planning and careful use of resources/funds.
The economic planning and development of many countries including India, is very much influenced by the changes in population. India with its increasing human resources and abundant natural
resources is still considered a developing country. It is still not in a position to use its resources adequately for the betterment of the growing population. Poverty prevails to great extent in India due to
poor clothing, inadequate housing, poor medical care and malnutrition. The situation in India today is marked in terms of lack of electricity in many villages, insufficient food for a large part of its
population and very little health care and education facilities.
(1) For the Economy:
The study of demography is of immense importance to an economy. Population studies help us to know how far the growth rate of the economy is keeping pace with the growth rate of population. If population is increasing at a faster rate, the pace of development of the economy will be slow. The government can undertake appropriate measures to control the growth of population and to accelerate the development of the economy.
Rapid population growth reduces per capita income, lowers the standard of living, plunges the economy into mass unemployment and under employment, brings environmental damage and puts a burden on existing social infrastructure. Population studies highlight these problems of the economy to be solved by the government.
(2) For Society:
Population studies have much importance for the society. When population is increasing rapidly, the society is faced with innumerable problems. Shortages of basic services like water, electricity, transport and communications, public health, education, etc. arise.
Along with these, problems of migration and urbanisation are associated with the growing population which further lead to the law and order problem. Faced with such problems which are the concomitant result of population growth, the state and non-government social organisations can adopt appropriate measures to solve them.
(3) For Economic Planning:
Data relating to the present trend in population growth help the planners in formulating policies for the economic plan of the country. They are kept in view while fixing targets of agricultural and industrial products, of social and basic services like schools and other educational institutions, hospitals, houses, electricity, transport, etc.
Population data are also used by the planners to project future trends in fertility and to formulate policy measures to control the birth rate.
Based on population data, projections are made about the increase in labour force, and the number of people in the age-groups 1-15 years, 15-50 years and above in order to estimate the labour force available for productive employment. This, in turn, helps in making estimates regarding employment to be generated during the plan period.
(4) For Administrators:
Population studies are also useful for administrators who run the government. In under-developed countries, almost all social and economic problems are associated with the growth of population. The administrator has to tackle and find solutions to the problems arising from the growth of population. They are migration and urbanisation which lead to the coming up of shanty towns, pollution, drainage, water, electricity, transport, etc. in cities.
These require improvement of environmental sanitation, removal of stagnant and polluted water, slum clearance, better housing, efficient transport system, clean water supply, better sewerage facilities, control of communicable diseases, provision of medical and health services, especially in maternal and child welfare by opening health centres, opening of schools, etc.
(5) For Political System:
The knowledge of demography is of immense importance for a democratic political system. It is on the basis of the census figures pertaining to different areas that the demarcation of constituencies is done by the election commission of a country. The addition to the number of voters after each election helps to find out how many have migrated from other places and regions of the country.
Political parties are able to find out from the census data the number of male and female voters, their level of education, their age structure, their level of earning, etc. On these basis, political parties can raise issues and promise solutions in their election manifestos at the time of elections.
Further, it is on the basis of male and female voters in an area that the election commission establishes election booths for voters and appoints the election staff.
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