Overpopulation in India and Essay on Increasing Population in India is a Problem

Increasing Population in India is a Problem - The problem of the increasing population in India has become a matter of deep concern. India is one of the most populous countries in the world, in which over 17 % of the total population of the world resides.

The present population of India is over 1.22 billion. Though the population of India is the second largest in the world, it is still increasing at a rapid speed. Studies suggest that will become the country with the largest population within a few decades. The constant surge in population can be seen by analyzing the data of the past 3-4 decades.

India's population in 1971 was 550 million which increased to 684 million, in 1981. In the 1991 census, the figure had jumped to 845 million. Preparations are now on for the new census. In land area, India occupies only 2.5% of the total world area. In so far as the density of the population is concerned, the average density, according to the 1981 census was 221 per sq. km, which varies from state to state, the highest being in Chandigarh (3,948), next is Kerala (654). In contrast to in Sikkim, it is 44, and in Arunachal Pradesh only 7.

We add to our population more than 13 million people every year. Although it took thousands of years until 2011 for our population to reach 1200 million, at the present rate of growth our population will double itself within the next 20 years.

The importance that the Union Government has attached to birth control is evident from the fact that crores of rupees are set apart for family planning each year.

The most important reason for the contemporary population explosions around the world is tremendous technological changes and spectacular control of disease by science and medicine. In developing countries, there is a decrease in the death rate while there is no decrease in the birth rate leading to a population explosion. In the advanced nations of the world, there is a rapid rise in the standard of living. When there is a rise in the standard of living, a large number of children ceases to become an economic liability, instead, they become an economic asset. In the agricultural societies of advanced countries, a large number of children and wives also constitute an added economic asset.

According to the 1971 census, the total population went up from 439 million in 1961 to 547.3 million, while the total number of workers decreased from 188.5 million in 1961 to 183.6 million in 1971 resulting in a steep increase in the unproductive consumers to an enormous figure of 363.7 million in contrast to 250 million in 1961. According to 2011 census, the total population of India went up over 1200 million. Over 18 million people have increased since 2001.

One of the major needs of developing countries like India is additional investment in highways, railroads, communication systems, and so forth. Control over the population is essential so that there are fewer dependents per wage earner, who may then be motivated to save a large proportion of their total income. This is the usual method adopted in the Soviet Union and other socialist nations.

Coale and Hoover have shown, how even a 50% decline rate at which the population increases, might favorably affect the total amount of capital investment, the proportion of total capital which could be used for improving productivity rather than for providing for population increase. Only then could there be an increase in income per equivalent adult consumer? If there is no reduction in the size of the family, it is difficult, if not impossible for it, to save to increase capital formation. Coale points out high fertility can depress private savings in two ways:

By reducing the volume of savings by individual families when such savings are an important component of the national total

By increasing the proportion of national income that must occur to non-savers if standards of consumption play any part in determining the earnings of low-income families.

The present pattern of population growth in India is uneconomic and inimical to the economic health of the nation. Further, the size, density, rate of growth, and age structure of the population are all unfavorable to economic progress. Our land is limited, capital is scarce and organization inefficient. Vast industrial and human resources in themselves cannot bring about economic progress. They can only sustain a primitive economy. And this is what actually is happening in India.

In the urban area again there is a surplus population, due to two reasons:
  • Excessive increase in population and
  • A steady migration from the rural areas of illiterate and unskilled people.

Further, there is a problem of unemployment among the educated people with the increase in educational facilities, there is a tremendous increase among the matriculates and the liberal arts graduates every year who want only the white-collar jobs; they are not trained to produce goods or any service.

In certain segments of India, especially rural areas, bearing and rearing children is looked upon as an investment. They offer a measure of security. During the illness and old age of the parents, it is expected that the children will begin to lighten their parents' work in early childhood.

It is a fact that many women with smaller children work less often outside the home. Moreover, with the relative prevalence of the joint or extended family system, the responsibility for bringing up children and the direct burden of looking after them should be assumed not to rest so exclusively on the individual parents. This should weaken the motivation for limiting the births, both because of the awareness that other members of the extended family can be relied on to share the burden and because any couples that exclusively limit their offspring may as a direct result be called on to make a larger contribution to the support of the children of other family members.

While parents and teachers play the most important role in molding the attitudes and values of the children under their care, society, in general, plays no small part in fashioning their mores and codes of behavior.

In large metropolitan cities like Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), Delhi, Chennai (formerly Madras), Chandigarh, etc. the strong influence of Western ways of behavior, greater freedom between the sexes, and more frequent marriages between persons of different castes, creeds and countries have, to a great extent, broken clown the old barriers, traditions and customs, and have resulted in the exposure of young people to a wider range of behavior than their parents and certainly their grandparents ever experienced. In such a setting, young people have to make choices at a much younger age not only about their profession, their friends, their clothes, and hairstyles but also about their sexual behavior.

Thus, the prime objective of any program for family life education would be to enable young people to make personal and socially responsible choices about their sexual behavior and to help them achieve satisfying and responsible interpersonal relationships through the development of ethical standards.

Every young person needs to recognize that the sexuality with which he or she is endowed is a power that is to be used with a sense of responsibility not merely to serve as an instrument to achieve temporary pleasure, but as a means of achieving deeper happiness which comes through the establishment of lasting relationships based on mutual lo e and understandings.

India, often referred to as the land of diverse cultures, rich traditions, and a burgeoning population, faces a significant challenge in the form of overpopulation. With over 1.3 billion people, India is the second-most populous country in the world, and this rapid increase in population has raised concerns about its impact on various aspects of the nation. This essay aims to shed light on the issue of overpopulation in India, its causes, consequences, and potential solutions.

The Causes of Overpopulation in India:

High Birth Rate:
One of the primary causes of overpopulation in India is its high birth rate. Despite efforts to promote family planning and birth control, a substantial portion of the population continues to have larger families due to cultural, social, and economic factors. Many families view children as assets and a source of support in their later years, leading to larger families.

Poverty and Lack of Education:
Poverty and lack of education are closely linked to high birth rates. In many parts of India, especially rural areas, poverty and limited access to quality education result in a lack of awareness about family planning methods. This ignorance contributes to unplanned pregnancies and a higher number of children in families with limited resources.

Religious and Cultural Beliefs:
India is a diverse nation with various religious and cultural beliefs. Some religious and cultural groups promote larger families as a sign of prosperity and a way to ensure the survival of their traditions. These beliefs can discourage family planning efforts and contribute to overpopulation.

Inadequate Healthcare:
Access to healthcare services, particularly in rural areas, remains a significant challenge in India. Limited access to healthcare facilities and information about contraceptives can hinder family planning efforts and result in a higher birth rate.

Gender Inequality:
Gender inequality continues to persist in many parts of India, which can indirectly contribute to overpopulation. In some regions, the preference for male children is still prevalent, leading to multiple pregnancies until a male child is born.

Consequences of Overpopulation in India:

Strain on Resources:
Overpopulation puts immense pressure on essential resources such as food, water, and energy. This can lead to scarcity and increased competition for these resources, especially among the economically disadvantaged.

Environmental Degradation:
The overexploitation of natural resources, coupled with increased pollution, contributes to environmental degradation. Deforestation, air and water pollution, and habitat destruction are all consequences of overpopulation.

With a growing population, the job market has become increasingly competitive. Many individuals, especially the youth, struggle to find employment, leading to high unemployment rates.

Poverty and Inequality:
Overpopulation exacerbates poverty and income inequality. As resources become scarcer, the gap between the rich and poor widens, further marginalizing vulnerable populations.

Strain on Infrastructure:
The demand for infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, transportation, and housing, outpaces the government's ability to provide these services adequately. This leads to overcrowded and inadequate facilities.

Healthcare Challenges:
An overpopulated country often faces challenges in providing adequate healthcare to its citizens. Access to healthcare services becomes difficult, leading to poor health outcomes.

Social Issues:
Overpopulation can also contribute to various social issues, including crime, substance abuse, and increased competition for limited opportunities, which can negatively impact the overall quality of life.

Solutions to Address Overpopulation in India:

Promote Family Planning:
Government and non-governmental organizations should intensify efforts to promote family planning and reproductive health awareness. Access to contraceptives and family planning services should be made readily available in both urban and rural areas.

Education and Awareness:
Investing in education, especially for women, can have a significant impact on reducing birth rates. Educated women tend to make more informed choices about family planning and are more likely to have smaller families.

Economic Development:
Focusing on economic development and poverty alleviation programs can help reduce the pressure on large families as individuals become more financially stable and secure.

Gender Equality:
Promoting gender equality and women's empowerment is crucial. Empowered women are more likely to make decisions about family planning and the number of children they want.

Healthcare Access:
Expanding healthcare infrastructure in rural and underserved areas can improve access to healthcare services, including reproductive health services.

Incentives for Small Families:
The government can introduce incentives for small families, such as tax benefits or subsidies, to encourage couples to have fewer children.

Community Engagement:
Engaging with local communities and religious leaders to promote the benefits of smaller families can help change cultural and religious perceptions about family size.

Environmental Conservation:
Promoting sustainable practices and environmental conservation can help mitigate the impact of overpopulation on the environment.


Overpopulation in India is a multifaceted issue with far-reaching consequences for the country's development, environment, and overall well-being of its citizens. While addressing this problem requires concerted efforts at multiple levels, including government policies, education, and cultural shifts, it is essential to recognize that sustainable population growth is crucial for India's future. By promoting family planning, gender equality, and economic development, India can work towards achieving a balance between its population and available resources, ensuring a better quality of life for all its citizens.

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