On 31st October the world’s population reached the figure 700 crores. In October 1999 it was 600 crores. The world’s population doubled in the last 50 years. In the year 1500 the world’s population was 50 crores. In the year 1800, it was 98 crores and in 1900 it was 165 crores. In 1950 it was 253 crores. It was 530 crores in 1990 and 612 crores in 2000.While it is 700 crore at present, it will become 1000 crore by 2050.
I was born on 14th July 1952 and as per the statistics given in the calculator provided in the web page www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-15391515 I was the 2,627,574,328th person when I was born and I am the 75,885,439,952nd person to have lived since history began.
With a population of 121 crores India stands in second position after China (134 crores). By 2025 India will overtake China and will be number one in population. This will result in opportunities and challenges for India. India is now having a “youth bulge” with 50% of its population below 25 years. It means more working hands, especially as women join in great number in the workforce. India needs to keep its young population employed. If it is done, it will result in spectacular development. At the same time by 2025, the number of aged population who are dependents will rise. In 2001 there were 8 crore elderly people in India and it will be 17 crores by 2026. This highlights the need for support systems for the aged. Another problem in India is the cultural preference for a boy child resulting in female foeticide, although it is criminal as per the law. The ratio between boys and girls was 1000:927 in 2001 and it fell down to 1000:914 in 2011.
Among the entire population of the world, 80 crores are living in slums. With the increasing population how to provide food, shelter, old age security, education etc to all has become a problem. The evidence supports the humane answer, which is, to have more development along with the sharing of the fruits of the development with the less privileged. The curtailment or stabilisation in the growth of the population is a function of the development of production and its equitable distribution. Poverty will result in more growth in the population. As per the World Bank’s estimates, the richest fifth of the world has more than three quarters of the income whereas the poorest fifth has just 1.5 percent. The Nobel Laureate and World famous economist Amartya Sen observed in a 1994 essay entitled “Population: Delusion and Reality” : “One additional American typically has a larger negative impact on the ozone layer, global warmth, and other elements of the earth’s environment than dozens of Indians and Zimbabweans put together”.
Therefore to solve the problems arising due to population growth there should be growth with equitable distribution and the developed countries like America, England, France etc should contribute more for reducing pollution and for protecting the environment. (Source: BBC News and The Hindu dated 1-11-2011)