Population Change

Human Resource of Class 8

Population Changes in the World

  1. The population change refers to a change in the number of people during a specific time. The world population has not been stable. It has increased manifold due to changes in the number of births and deaths. Till 1880s, the world's population grew steadily but slowly. Large numbers of babies were born, but they died early too. This was as there were no proper health facilities. Sufficient food was not available for all the people. As a result the total increase in population was very low.
  2. In 1820, the world's population was one billion. A hundred and fifty years later, in the early 1970s the world's population reached 3 billion. This is often called population explosion. In 1999, less than 30 years later, the population doubled to 6 billion. The main reason for this growth was that with better food supplies and medicines, deaths were reducing, while the number of births still remained fairly high.

population change

Factor Effecting Population Changes

  1. There are three factors, which determine the population change - the birth rate, the death rate and migration.
  2. The birth rate is the number of live births per thousand persons in a year. Birth rate is different from actual number of births. The birth rate was 49.2 (per thousand) in the beginning of the 20th century. This came down to 26.1 (per thousand) during the same period.
  3. The death rate is the number of deaths per thousand persons in a year. The death rate declined from 42.6 (per thousand) to 8.7 (per thousand). The death rate has fallen because of the success in controlling epidemics like plague, small pox, etc. This was possible because of increasing public health measures and advancement in medical technology during the last three decades.
  4. The main cause of the high rate of growth of the Indian population is the widening gap between the birth rate and the death rate. After independence, both the birth rate and the death rate has declined but death rate has declined at a much faster rate.
  5. Migration is another way by which population size changes. Migration means movement of people across regions and territories. People may move within a country or between countries. Emigrants are people who leave a country; Immigrants are those who arrive in a country. Countries like the United States of America and Australia have gained in-numbers by in-migration or immigration. Sudan is an example of a country that has experienced a loss in population numbers due to out-migration or emigration. The general trend of international migrations is from the less developed nations to the more developed nations in search of better employment opportunities. Within countries large number of people may move from the rural to urban areas in search of employment, education and health facilities.

Patterns of Population Change

Rates of population greatly vary across the world. Some countries like Kenya have high population growth rates. They had both high birth rates and high death rates. Now, with improving health care, death rates have fallen, but birth rates still remain high leading to high growth rates. In other countries like United Kingdom, population growth is slowing because of both low death and !ow birth rates.

Population Composition

Population composition refers to the structure of the population. The composition of population helps us to know how - many are males or females, which age group they belong to, how educated they are and what type of occupations they are employed in, what their income levels and health conditions are.

Sex Ratio

Sex ratio is defined as the number of females per thousand males in the population. In our country, sex ratio has remained favourable to the males. The sex ratio in India was 933 (2001).

Age Compostion

Age composition of population is usually expressed in terms of three broad age-groups: children below the working age (below 15 years), persons in the working age (15 to 59 years) and old person above the working age (above 59 years).

Occupational Structure

The occupational structure of a country refers to the distribution of its people according to different occupations. These are primary, secondary and tertiary activities. Agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, fishery etc. are collectively known as primary activities, They are primary because, here production is carried on with the help of nature, Manufacturing industries are known as secondary activities. Transport, Cornmunication, Banking Services, etc. are called tertiary activities. There is a close relationship between development of economy and occupational structure. The higher the proportion of population in secondary and tertiary activities, the higher is level of income. Higher dependence of population on agriculture or primary activities results in lower levels of income.


A person, who is able to read and write with certain understanding and is of sever, years of age and above, is called literate. The term literacy is generally related to schooling formal and non-formal. The literacy level in India was around 65.35 percent (2001). Around 75 per cent of males and 54 per cent of females are literate in our Country today.

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