Population and Migration

405 words | 2 page(s)

In the twentieth century, birth and death rates in Europe and North America decreased, so population growth again became minimal. Today, almost all developed countries are experiencing a long decline in fertility. The birth rates in most of them are below the level of reproduction of the population, which is 2.1 children per married couple (Sakir, 2015). This which leads to a natural decrease in population. At the same time, the share of economically and socially inactive older people continues to grow in the population structure, while the number of working-age population concerning the entire population is decreasing. This problem is called population aging.

The process of population aging generates many economic, social, and moral consequences. Firstly, the share of retirees by age is increasing. Pension funds bear an excessive burden of expenditures on the payment of pensions, as the proportion of the working-age population contributing to these funds is reduced (Sakir, 2015). Secondly, it is the medical care of the elderly, the need for which naturally increases with aging (Sakir, 2015). Medical care requires additional funds, and expanding the network of medical institutions. Besides, there is the problem of loneliness, alienation from younger generations.

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On the contrary, in the poorest countries of the world high population growth rates are observed. This leads to overpopulation, so-called baby boom when a sharp increase in the population occurs as a result of a steady and significant excess of the birth rate over the death rate. Consequently, a demographic crisis arises, which means the territory’s inability to provide its inhabitants with vital resources. It also leads to socio-economic contradictions and conflicts, such as the decline in the standard of living of the majority of the population, high unemployment, hunger, environmental pollution (Cumming, 2016). Many children die of starvation. Besides economic problems, there are several social implications, such as conflict and even war.

Considering the above, it can be concluded that both high and low population growth rates are dangerous, especially since they have a tendency to take place in poor and rich countries respectively. Overall, the ideal situation would be to have a birth rate equal the level of reproduction, 2.1 children per married couple.

  • Cumming, V. (2016, March 14). “How many people can our planet really support?” BBC. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160311-how-many-people-can-our-planet-really-support.
  • Sakir, S. (2015, November 8). “How low population growth is posing challenges to advanced countries.” The Huffington Post. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/salman-sakir/oecd-population-growth_b_7958124.html.

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