EFFECTS OF RAPID POPULATION INCREASE ON ECONOMIC GROWTH [A CASE STUDY OF ENUGU NORTH L.G.A IN ENUGU STATE]
The topic of this research is Effects of rapid population increase on economic growth of Enugu State in Enugu North L.G.A. The purpose of the study was to find out the effects of rapid population increase on economic growth of Enugu State in Enugu North L.G.A The study was a descriptive research. The population of the study was all the inhabitants of Enugu North 35,000 people. Sample size of 395, were selected from the total population through simple random sampling. The instrument used for data collection is questionnaire, which was distributed to 395 respondents comprising of males and females. The data collected were analyzed using chi-square. Based on the data collected, the researchers found the following: That the factors responsible for the rapid population increase in Enugu North L.G.A of Enugu state include high birth rates with accompanying low death rates, rural-urban migration as well as immigrants from other states and local government area. The positive effects of rapid population increase include increase in demand for goods and services, increase in labour force and changes in the production pattern. The negative effects of rapid population increase include unemployment problems, increase in dependency ratio, and low standard of living increase in government expenditure, social problems like armed robbery and other destitute. Rapid population increase can be controlled through adoption of family planning methods, improving the quality of life in rural area through provision of infrastructural facilities and establishment of industries to reduce rural-urban migration, avoidance of early marriages. Based on the above findings, the researchers recommended that:
i. Parents should adopt the family planning method to control birth rate.
ii. Early marriage should be discouraged by the society.
iii. Diversification of industries both in urban and rural areas to check migration.
Background of the Study
Population increase is not a new topic, because Rev. Thomas Malthus was the first person to express concern over rapid population increase, which was left unchecked over the years. When He wrote His book-An essay on population in 1778, He observed that the British population was growing in a Geometrical progression (GP), while the food production is growing in an Arithmetic progression (AP). Many Economists believed that Rev. Malthus theory can be applied in the developing countries like Nigeria, where population explosion is a major source of concern to government. It was observed that at the pre-industrialization stage, mortality rate and fertility rate were high. When industrialization started developing the mortality rate started falling as a result of improvement in medical services, food security and high income. This means that population is dynamic. Therefore, population of people living in a country has a major role to play in the economy. It determines the availability of labour and the structure population increase. It also determines how government spends her scarce resources on social infrastructure and shows the number of people that depend on the available resources. It is recognized that population increases has contributed to wide range of problems and prospects.
Population of Enugu North L.G.A, has been drastically increased as a result of abundant natural resources and improved infrastructure facilities that have the effect of giving people longitivity of life. As a result of modern means of communication, transportation, education, water supply and improved medical facilities that were introduced in the area, there has been rapid population increase with accompanying low death rate. Njoku (1971), observed that:
The rapid rate of the increase of population may be attributed to the improvement in the medical facilities and other social infrastructure that makes lives enjoyable with improvement in these facilities, many diseases and sickness which were incurable in the past are now under control, people can now live long (p.140).
Increase in population in Enugu North Local Government Area causes a lot of problems like over crowding, poor housing, social-unrest, transportation difficulties, unemployment problem, environmental pollution and child abuse. Enugu as a whole could be over populated because, it is one of the characteristics of developing states and based on the fact that one cannot match human resources with material resources. Over population has devastating effects on the economy like, pronounced poverty resulting to poor standard of living of the people.
Thus, if indiscriminate births and immigration is not controlled, it will automatically have great effects on the economy. It is therefore the need to control increase in population so that optimum population should be achieved and maintained that prompted this study with objective of determining the effects of “Rapid population increase on economic growth of Enugu State, with reference to Enugu North Local Government Area.
Statement of the Problem
Rapid population increase is one of the hindrances on economic growth of developing nations. The numbers of people in the world have continued to increase. There are various problems associated with this increase in population as it concerns economic activities. They are unemployment problem, starvation, in equality of income, famine, over crowding, poor standard of living and poor provision of social amenities. It also kept many researchers, philosophers, economic practitioners, census experts, government and host of other individual’s restless all day long. Public lectures, radio, and television on family planning and child spacing is every time government concern to curb the excesses associated with indiscriminate births which breeds rapid population increase. It is the view of the researchers that if the indiscriminate birth is controlled the standard of living of people will be improved, problems of unemployment will be controlled as well as per capital income of people will be increased, thereby enhancing economic development of the economy.
Objectives of the Study
The essence of this study is to explore the effects of rapid population increase on economic growth of Enugu State of Nigeria. Actually, it is expected that this research work will make an ideal attempt at analyzing the following:
i. Population as it affects the future improvement of society.
ii. The rapid population increase, its effects on economic growth of Enugu State.
iii. Lastly, to investigate the preventive measure to apply in order to help reduce the rapid population increase.
i. Is there rapid population increase in Enugu North?
ii. Does rapid population increase affect economic growth of Enugu North L.G.A?
iii. Is rapid population increase a problem to Enugu North?
v. Can rapid population increase be controlled?
1. H1: There is rapid population increase in Enugu North L.G.A.
H0: There is no rapid population increase in Enugu North L.G.A.
2. H2: Rapid population increase affects economic growth of Enugu North L.G.A.
H0: Rapid population increase does not affect economic growth of Enugu North L.G.A.
3. H3: Rapid population increase is a problem to Enugu North L.G.A.
H0: Rapid population increase is not a problem to Enugu North L.G.A
4. H4: Rapid population increase can be controlled.
H0: Rapid population increase cannot be controlled.
Significance of the Study
The significance of this study underscores the impact this work will have on the body of knowledge. It will be of immense benefit to the people of Enugu Government in that they will be in the position to know the effects of rapid population increase on economic growth of the state and in her efforts to control it. It will be of immense benefit to the students of various disciplines such as political science, economics, sociology, geography and others. It will help them to fight against high birth rate so as to place the population at optimum level in order to match it with the available resources.
It will serve as reference material to those who might share similar opinions and thoughts on Nigeria’s growing population as it affects economic growth of the country. This study will also be of immense benefit to the general public who wants to curb in discriminated birth through family planning. Finally, this will mostly be of great help to Enugu State in particular where this study was carried out.
Scope of the Study
It is the researchers’ intention to cover studies and research in all the government establishment in Enugu State, but due to some variable constraints, such as: time, finance, materials, and logistics. It becomes impossible, though few other government parastatals were visited and research investigations carried out there, the office of the Enugu North local Government Area was chosen for an in-depth study of the effects of rapid population increase on economic growth of Enugu State, having discovered that the study involves all the communities in Enugu North L.G.A.
Definition of Terms
Population: Refers to the total number of people living within a geographical area or country at a particular time.
Population Increase: Is the change in population over-time and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals in a population using “per unit time” for measurement.
Fertility: The number of birth occurring in a population unit during a specified time.
Mortality: The number of death occurring in population units during a specified time period.
Rapid Population Increase: Is the rate at which a given population multiplies itself.
Economic Growth: Means a noticeable increase in the output of goods and income per head of the population.
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