World Population Day - The myth and the reality

July 11 of every year is celebrated as world population day. The population of world has already crossed 7 billion and growing at a phenomenal rate compared to past. UNFPA is campaigning for a long time, by every means possible, to create 'awareness' among the people to contain something termed as “Population Explosion”. The question here is why should we control the growth of population? And immediately comes the answer: To remove unemployment, poverty and hunger from the face of the earth.

According to what we call as 'common sense', the above answer is rational. Everyday more than 20,000 people die out of hunger and malnutrition, with 5,000 from India alone. As per the official statistics, 77% or around 900 million Indians are poor. That is, more than half of the world's poor people live in India!

No wonder, India is second highly populated country, next to China, in the world with 1.27 billion citizens. Despite of their tremendous economic growth, both China and India are facing severe unemployment, poverty and other problems that may remain unsolved for decades to come. So it may seem logical that these problems are direct consequences of their heavy population. After all, it would be impossible to provide food, education and jobs to so many mouths, minds and hands respectively, right?! So the respective governments of every third world and developing countries are campaigning to their full strength to create awareness among the people to support birth control. But still population is growing unabated.
The matter at hand – unemployment, poverty, crimes - may distress all the good-hearted people of the world. And good number of common people believe that population explosion is the root cause for these evils. But just worrying would not solve the problem. It is necessary to critically analyse the problem in question and find whether population explosion is actually causing these problems.

Is population the root cause for unemployment?

If we look at the present scenario of world economy, countries with very less population are also facing the problem of severe unemployment, much higher than highly populated countries! The crisis was, and still is, so harsh that production had almost come to grinding halt. It is imperative to note that higher the population, higher will be the demand for basic needs. That means much work has to be done! So it is possible to provide jobs to everyone. But then why still prevails the unemployment? Because under the present system, demand means the purchasing power of people, not the demand for basic needs of whole people! Production will be carried out if the purchasing power of people is high, else, despite of the demand for basic needs, production will be halted resulting in retrenchment of workers. The very purchasing power of the people is dependent on the availability of a decent job and income for the workers! Hence Population 'explosion' is not the root cause for unemployment.

Is population the root cause for poverty?

If we take the population density, many countries with higher population density are developed, where as many less densely populated countries are still underdeveloped! Hence at first glance itself we can see that population has nothing to do with poverty. Here we must note that poverty is directly linked with unemployment. The population of children (aged 0-16) and old (aged 65 and above) cannot directly participate in the production and they have to be taken care of by youth and middle aged population who directly participate in production. To look after children and old in a family, the youth must have a job providing decent income. Because of unemployment, it is quite impossible for one to look after his family leading to poverty. Availability of natural resources locally in a country also play an important role in carrying out production smoothly, providing jobs to many. But it is quite surprising that countries that are rich in natural resources are very poor!

Is population the root cause for hunger?

It is said that because of high population there is food shortage; everyone couldn't be fed. But if you look at the food production around the world, it is enough to feed three times the entire world. For example, US alone is wasting more than 96 billion pounds of food every year!!! This figure may shock us but it is the truth. Hence population explosion is not the root cause for hunger!

All the above analysis show that population is not the root cause for any of these problems. But UNFPA is trumpeting that controlling population will end all the problems! It is quite difficult to understand why an organisation like UNFPA, which claims to be the flag bearer of world prosperity, cannot understand this!

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