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Population Explosion

Population Explosion Definition and Meaning


  • A sudden, rapid increase in individuals of a particular species is said to be a population explosion.

Topics covered-

  • Causes of population explosion
  • Population trend in India
  • Population trend in the world
  • Factors affecting population growth
  • Methods of population growth

Detailed Explanation:

Causes of population explosion:

  • A rapid decline in death rate, the maternal mortality rate (MMR) and infant mortality rate (IMR) as well as an increase in the number of people of reproductive age are probable reasons for this are-
    a. The decline in the death rate is due to the control of human diseases.
    b. Better health facilities and control of the disease have resulted in an increase in IMR and MMR, which leads to an increase in        population.
    c. Better health facilities and improved lifestyles increased the lifespan of people.
    d. More people are of reproductive age, leading to more births per year and hence increasing the population.
    e. Another reason is the massive increase in agriculture production. As a result food resources increased, which led to drastic growth of the human population.

Detrimental effects of population explosion:

  • Some of the ill effects of population explosion are-

i. Shortage of space:

  • Due to overpopulation, individuals require more space for accommodation.
  • Many forests are cut down for the housing requirement of individuals. This leads to deforestation and brings an imbalance in nature.

ii. Shortage of food supply:

  • Due to rapid population growth but a slower increase in food resources.

iii. Eco-degradation:

  • Overpopulation leads to damage to the environment by increasing air, water and soil pollution; deforestation leads to several natural calamities like floods, drought, etc.

Population trend in India

  • India is the second-most populous country in the world, after China.
  • India shares about 17.2% of the world population.
  • Population which was around 350 million at the time of independence reached close to a million mark in year 2000
  • As per the 2001 census report, the growth rate of Indian population was less than 2% i.e., 20/1000/year.
  • The Indian population was 1027 million while according to the 2011 census, the Indian population was about 12020.2 million.
  • The Indian population is currently growing at the rate of 1.2 million per month and there is a net annual increase of 16 million.
  • The graph given below shows the population trend in India-

Population trend in the world:

  • About 25000 years ago modern man is said to have evolved.
  • The human population is estimated to be about 10 million in 12000 B.C. and it rose to about 545 million by 1650 A.D.
  • As per these records, it was estimated that the human population doubled six times during a total period of 13650 years.
  • Therefore the average time required for each doubling was 2000 years,
  • During this long period, the human population remained in a lag phase.
  • By 1850 A.D. it grew to 1171 million, so doubling occurred in 200 years only.
  • This rapid increase in population was because the human population entered into the exponential phase.
  • World population was 2 billion in 1900 which rocketed to 6 billion in 2000 and 7.2 billion in 2011.
  • World’s population is presently increasing by 2 persons per second.

Factors affecting population growth

  • Human population growth is affected by several factors like birth rate, death rate, immigration, emigration, etc.
  • Out of which birth rate and death rate are major factors.
    a. Birth rate is the ratio of births to the total population size over a time period.
        A rapid decline in birth rate would result in a tremendous decrease in population size.
    b. Mortality or death rate is the ratio of deaths to the total population size over a time period. A rapid increase in the death rate would result in the loss of more individuals and therefore decline in population size.
    c. Immigration is an act of an individual inhabiting a new area and joining a new population group.
    d. Emigration is an act of an individual leaving a particular area or moving out of a population group.

Methods of population Control

  • To control the drastic population growth following measures should be adopted-
    a. Family planning methods should be implemented in order to have a minimum number of children. These methods when adopted by the people contribute to reducing the population as the individuals are aware of having advantages of small families and also it will bring the birth rate down.
    b. Awareness regarding the use of contraceptive methods like condoms, IUDs, etc. should be done to prevent unwanted pregnancies.Contraception helps in preventing unwanted pregnancies and maintaining population stabilization.
    c. The literacy rate should be increased because areas with low literacy rates have a higher population growth rate.
    d. The age of marriage should be raised. If the age of marriage is being raised then it will bring a decline in the birth rate.
    e. Incentives should be provided to the people for sterilization.
    f. Government should impose strict actions on various illegal activities like child marriage.
    g. The population of the country should be aware of the consequences of having too many children and also how fewer children and their better care with proper education, food will provide them a better lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What position does India occupy in the world in terms of population?
- India is the second-most populous country in the world, after China.
- India’s population is about 1.38 billion people.

Q2. What percent does India share in the world population?
India shares about 17.2% of the world population.

Q3. What are IMR and MMR?

- IMR stands for Infant Mortality Rate.
- Infant Mortality Rate refers to the number of deaths per 1000 live births of children under one year of age.

- MMR stands for Maternal Mortality Rate.
- Maternal mortality rate refers to the ratio of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births during a given time period.

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