ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF OVER-POPULATION
We learn from the Malthusian theory of population about some adverse effects of excessive population growth. But there are some beneficial effects too. We shall spell out these effects briefly as under.
(i) Food shortage. Excessive population results in food shortage, because food supply does not increase in the same proportion as the increase in the mouths to be fed. This is so because production of food is subject to the law of diminishing returns
whereas population grows at a galloping speed.
(ii) Disease and Death. Over-population spells misery in the form of a high incidence of diseases and high mortality rates. This is so because it is difficult to arrange for wholesome food and adequate public health measures and medical aid for a large population. It is said that “it fills our roads with cars:’ It pollutes air and water and spoils the countryside.
(iii) Over straining Resources. Excessive population over strains the available resources of all types. We have said above that the medical facilities prove inadequate. We may also add that the transport and the educational systems are subjected to severe strain as is evident from the over-crowded schools and colleges, overcrowding in trains, long queues at the bus stops, at water taps, at the fair price shops and at the cinema houses with all attendant inconveniences of life.
(iv) Increase in Dependents. A rapidly increasing population means an ever growing number of children and the aged who constitute the non-working population. This lowers the per capital income and the level of living.
(v) Stimulating Development. A good thing about excessive numbers is an expanding market for goods and services. This stimulates economic development.
(vi) Military Advantages. A huge manpower is a great advantage from the military point of view.