The Impact of Population Growth on Society

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Studies point out that the world population will touch 8 billion in 2023. And here is the thing. It took us about 200,000 years from the evolution of Homo sapiens to touch the 1 billion people mark. After that, in about 200 years, we have crossed 7 billion, teetering on the verge of 8 billion.

The explosion of the human population has been exponential but fairly unsurprising. Advancements in healthcare technology have significantly increased life expectancy and reduction in infant mortality. But how much can the world sustain, catering to the needs of an ever-expanding population?

But let us keep this massive environmental debate away for a minute. Population explosion is exerting immense pressure on industries and services, immigration, and jobs.

So let’s take a look at the sociological impacts of population growth.

Here’s a snapshot of what we’re looking at today

  • In the large scale of things…
  • Impact of population growth on healthcare
  • On jobs and immigration
  • Making yourself stand out…

In the large scale of things…

What are the consequences of such drastic population growth?

  • Reduction of per capita income
  • Increased cost, consumption, and scarcity of consumer goods
  • Overuse of resources
  • Rapid urbanisation
  • The increasing gap between expenditure and investment
  • Excess supply of labour force
  • Increased pressure on social infrastructure

More specifically, let us take a look at its impacts of population growth in some key areas.

Impact of population growth on healthcare

If the pandemic has taught us anything it is how easily our healthcare systems can be flooded, putting pressure on hospitals, pharma industries, and practitioners. The number of primary health care providers for ten thousand people is rapidly reducing, especially in the developing parts of the world.

Increasing pollution and food shortages also mean malnutrition and the rise of communicable diseases. While the use of technology, AI, and automation in healthcare is aimed towards equitable access, at the moment, privileges and wage gaps are too big a chasm to be crossed over.

And here is the thing. The rate of growth is not proportional across all age groups. At the moment, the rate of growth of fertility rates is lesser than the rate of growth of life expectancy. Soon, we will be left with a declining proportion of children and an increasing proportion of elders, thanks to the advancements in health care tech. But, this will also mean more pressure on the already fragile healthcare workforce.

On jobs and immigration

The math is simple. If the rate of employment opportunities is not equal to or above the rate of population growth, we are in trouble. This is particularly true of counties where the birth rates continue to be high.

However, in some parts of the first world, as mentioned earlier, it is higher life expectancy that keeps population rates high. This means that the number of people in the ‘employable age bracket’ is actually facing a downward trend. This, combined with the pandemic fatigue and the great resignation has left organisations floundering to fill positions with suitably skilled personnel. Every country is facing its own sets of skill gaps that need to be filled in order to keep the cogs of the machine turning.

Moreover, what should also be taken into account is that borders are becoming increasingly less consequential in a hyper-globalized world. You are not only competing with the people of your own state or country but with skills from across the globe. It means that there’s always someone willing to trade their skills for cheaper.

The relationship between population and immigration goes both ways. Massive exodus into land can cause a sharp rise in its numbers and its consequent sociological impacts. On the other hand, high rates of  population can also trigger immigration, especially among the educated and upper classes who leave in search of better opportunities.

Making yourself stand out…

The world is essentially full and unfair. We get it. The pressure to succeed on each individual is enormous. Ho does one stand out when competing with the whole world. Up-skill yourself. Do not limit yourself to the constraints of your domain. Never lose the will to learn. Your set of skills will make you unique.

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