Poverty and Population

Many studies that have been done in social development have established a direct linkage between poverty and population. Most of the countries that are experiencing exponential population growth are third world countries whose poverty indices are higher as compared to the developed countries. Much of the population increase is witnessed in urban areas of these countries and in the processing curtailing efforts for sustainable development (Ravallion, 437). This paper presents some of the critical issues that involve the address of poverty through population control.

The Problem of Population Increase

Increasing population hurts the sustainability of social amenities as resources such as land and water become scarce. The issue of food security becomes a major concern to policy makers as the number of people outgrows the rate at which food is produced. Because of poor living conditions, people are unable to control their reproductive lives and therefore end up giving birth to more children than they would have done thus compounding the already worse living conditions (Angus, 119).

Further, increased population has adverse effect on the environment as people cut down trees in provide room for settlement and the land is subdivided to levels that are unproductive to the society. In the process, land degradation follows because people start cultivating in areas that encourage soil erosion. All these boil down to climate change (Harte, 1).

Several international summits have reaffirmed their commitment to reducing the number of people living in poverty by half by year 2015. The reaffirmation reached the climax in 2005 World summit that developed a series of quantified targets in the name of Millennium Development Goals to try and attack the roots of poverty that were identified as the root cause of increasing population (UNFP, 1). With global population expected to hit the 9 billion mark by 2050, concerted inventions had to be identified with the view of curbing exponential population growth in some of the least developed countries in the world. Most of these countries are located in Sub Saharan Africa and elsewhere in Asia and Latin America. 

The search for the solution to the problem of population growth resulted in the concept of global reproductive health that aims at educating people in poor countries about reproductive health and how they can control their reproductive levels. This is done mostly through invention mechanisms such as education to the women and girl child on issues that concern their reproductive health.

Views on Poverty and Population

The issue of population and poverty is held with two different views. On one hand, there are those who believe thathigh fertility rate among people is the main contributing factors to high levels of poverty. This approach asserts that the only tenable panacea for reducing poverty levels is to lower the fertility rate among the people; thus advocating for global reproductive health that aims at educating the society on the need to have sizable families as a way of addressing the problem of poverty.  This view was supported by Thomas Malthus who argued that there was a strong correlation between high fertility and poverty (Rosset, 117). Malthus himself, focusing on the diminishing effects of inadequate land and rising food prices, advised married people to restrain from child bearing unless they were in a position to support those children.

On the other hand, there are those who argue that the problem of poverty is because of poor economic policies in government. The proponents of this view believe that appropriate economic policies can reduce poverty in a country and therefore the issue of reproductive health should be left in the hands of the couples to decide on the number of children that they intent to have.  Therefore, not everyone agree that more aggressive reproductive health education is going to reduce poverty levels; more so in less developed countries where children define the amount of wealth that a family has.  Economists’ views indicate that even if there existed a correlation between high fertility and high proportions of the population living in poverty, such correlation would not contribute to increasing poverty as witnessed in most of the poor countries in the world (Prata, Gessessew, Cartwright and Fraser, 560).  They further argued that the only logical implication of such a situation is to have more supply of labor so that larger populations are able to produce excess of surplus leading to accumulation of wealth in the society.

Relationship between Investments in Reproductive Health, Education and Gender Equality and Poverty Reduction

Reproductive health mainly targets women because they contribute at higher levels the rate at which the population increases in a society (Angus, 120). Poverty and population can thus be linked for poor reproductive health among women coupled with a lack of relevant knowledge and inequality between men and women in the same society. Having well instituted structures to address the problem of poverty among people can be exciting to the policy makers. However, there is need to quantify the advantages that will come with such inventions. This can only become clear by understanding the relationships among these factors with a view of bringing the people to engage in the invention program.

For instance, investment in reproductive health enables people to have upward mobility that will stimulate development together with an increased decision-making role among women on matters that deal with their reproductive health (UNFP, 1). Similarly, proper reproductive health among a population will mean that the per-capita income is higher since family resources are shared among fewer members of the family.

In conclusion, the relationship between poverty and population growth is thus a culmination of different factors including poor reproductive health. In addressing the poverty of population growth in poor countries, there is need to tackle the contributing factors that lead to rapid increase of population. Such measures as having proper reproductive health education and services among women will help in reducing poverty.  

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