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Impact of Population Trends on Development (Project Proposal)

[Student Number]

A Case Study of Nigeria

Impact of Population Trends on Development A Case Study of Nigeria

Introduction In general terms, economic development refers to those phases of transition in human society from an economy that is largely subsistent to one that is urban and industrialised resulting in higher income and productivity. The most obvious signs of economic development include transformations in the form and structure of production, consumption, investment and trade, establishment of financial and economic institutions, changes in occupational patterns, rise in the levels of education, improvements in health and general living conditions, transition from a predominantly rural to urban residence and a change in the way people see and relate to their social and natural environments and hence their ability to exercise control over them. A related concept is that of political development which overlaps with economic development but is more concerned with the establishment of institutions and values that are democratic. In general (and throughout this essay), development is used synonymously with economic development, i.e. a rise in the standard of living of a people and the transition to a modern and urban economy as against one that is low-income and rural based. The process whereby a given society achieves this and improves the economic, political and social w ell-being of its people is also encompassed in the definition of development. Inevitably, development as a process has important linkages with population and population change. In other words, demographic factors such as birth and death rates as well as demographic transition, are all structurally related to development. As a matter of fact, population and population change have direct effect on human well -being due to the social and economic implications they exert. An equally important factor in the development process is population growth which is usually the result of a decline in mortality and

Impact of Population Trends on Development A Case Study of Nigeria

migration. Depending on the circumstance and context, this has the potential either to aid or hinder development. Generally, the impact of population on develop ment and the various relational interactions identified above are principally studied at a country level. However, the effects are not restricted to countries as they are sometimes more felt at local levels. Conversely, population change has important impl ications on regional and global economic development. This can be through direct means as migration and disease transmission or indirectly by impacting on geopolitics and major environmental systems. To further understand the linkages between population and development, it is helpful to breakdown population growth by age group, source (specifically, natural increase versus migration), and other such characteristics. This dissertation will closely examine the interactions of these factors in order to understand the relationship between population and development, i.e. how populations impact on economic development and what the consequences of such an interaction are. In many developing countries in sub -Saharan Africa, population growth has serious implications on development. A situation compounded by the absence in many of these countries of a comprehensive policy on population and development. The result of rapid population growth often means increased dependency burdens which push the young population alternative sources of income to supplement the main family income. Similarly, in many cases, increasing population means increased social pressures which often mean that government has to spend more on welfare than other developmental projects. For instance, in some countries like Ghana, huge sums of money are spent by the government in education as a tool for socio-economic development due to sharp increases in the number

Impact of Population Trends on Development A Case Study of Nigeria

of children enrolment. However, it has been argued that lowering birth rates can more effectively provide a viable solution. Repeated pregnancies and births have, in many instances, resulted in serious health conditions. Country Background As mentioned above, the relationship between po pulation and development is a compelling one. In some instances, increasing population often leads to underdevelopment. Nigeria has high population growth which represents major development challenges for the following reasons: firstly, as a result of rapid and often explosive growth in population, undue stress is placed on the ecosystem and it has been said that many of the problems currently faced in Nigeria such as food insecurity, land tenure problems, environmental degradation and shortage of water supply all have a demographic background. Secondly and perhaps more directly relevant to this dissertation is the impact of rapid population growth on the economy necessitated by the need for government to invest heavily on welfare and social programs such as education and health. Increased population growth means that a crisis can result of the government cannot effectively match its welfare programmes with rise in population. In some instances, it has been observed that rapid population growth lowers per capita income due to the disparity between economic growth and population growth. Thirdly and equally important is the impact of population growth on health especially of women and children as reflected in complications in pregnancies and the absence of good health environment. Nigeria s population is estimated to be close to 140 million comprising approximately 50 per cent of the total population of West Africa which is estimated to be about 270 million. This makes Nigeria the world s 8th most populous country and Africa s most populous country.

Impact of Population Trends on Development A Case Study of Nigeria

Nigeria also has Africa s second largest economy and is the largest contributor to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) budget and peacekeeping efforts. Since the discovery of oil in the 1970s, Nige ria has experienced rapid urbanization. This has however not been accompanied with improved lifestyle for the people. Nigeria s estimated urban growth by 1986 was 6 per cent which more than doubled the figures for rural population and meant that the percen tage of Nigerians living in urban areas rose from 16 to 20 per cent. The estimated number of Nigerians living in urban areas in 2010 is more than 48%. Despite the sharp rise in population growth in Nigeria and most parts of sub -Saharan Africa, there is an absence of clear population policy and the subject matter has been unceasingly debated. The process of rapid population growth and the attendant complications that arise from such unplanned growth has largely remained neglected. Thus, the African continent currently has the highest rates of urban growth in the world which stands at 4.4% against the global 2.5%. The transition from rural to urban areas will inevitably put more stress on infrastructure and resources and hence lead to violence and environmental degradation. It has been pointed out that given current trends, it is estimated that about two-third of Africa s population will be living in urban areas by 2020. A major reason for this transition in African countries is the inability to improve one s well-being in the rural areas due to the concentration of wealth in urban areas as well as the uncertainty associated with subsistence agriculture the main source of livelihood as a result of climactic changes

such as drought, floods and related environmental and socio -economic factors. Nigeria is currently facing a problem of overpopulation as it is becoming increasingly questionable if the country has the capacity to sustain such growing population.

Impact of Population Trends on Development A Case Study of Nigeria

Overpopulation in this case is mainly a reflection of a population s ratio to available sustainable resources rather than just population size and density. In Nigeria,

overpopulation is the function of increased birth rates, more access to modern medicine, relative decline in mortality rates and the depletion of resources through such forces as desertification, flooding and erosion. A key factor in Nigeria s population growth is

urbanization for the reasons outline above resulting in competition and more pressure on the environment. Thus, in general, population growth represents major development challenges for Nigeria. Statement of the Problem As highlighted above, the issue of population poses significant development challenges in Nigeria. It is projected that Nigeria s population growth will increase over the next decades meaning that more competition for resources will arise as well as pressure on the environment. The government s capacity to invest in welfare programmes and projects is highly questionable. From the rising population growth rates (in comparison to those for developed countries), the following key problem issues can be identified:

 The high rates of population growth in Nigeria is likely to be maintained or even


increased mainly due to sustained high fertility and declining mortality rates and increased access to improved health care system

 As result of explosion in population growth, more pressure will be exerted on land


which will be accompanied by competition for land for economic and residenti al purposes

 Another direct result of population growth includes high age and economic
dependency as well as increased levels of unemployment.

Impact of Population Trends on Development A Case Study of Nigeria

Research Purpose and Objectives This research has the main purpose of overviewing the relationship between population change and development. To achieve this, the following key factors will be examined: the scale and pace of world development, the impact of population size and growth on economic development, changing patterns of demographic transition especially in developing countries, specifically Nigeria, and the finally the scope for policy measures aimed at hastening that transition. The general objective of this research is to bett er under the impact of population growth on economic development in developing countries. The specific objectives of this research are:

 Examine the impact of swift population growth on economic growth in Nigeria by


looking at the key sectors critical for socio-economic development such as the economy, health, education and environment

 Survey the connection between population and development in Nigeria  To sensitise government as well as community members/leaders on the importance
of population policy program mes for national development Research Questions The questions being asked in this research include the following:

 What is the relationship between population growth and development?  What impact do factors like human population density and migration have on
development and sustainability?

 How can individuals and groups/communities be made to suppor t population policy


programmes?

Impact of Population Trends on Development A Case Study of Nigeria

Justification of Study Development is largely affected by population growth and vice-versa. Thus, whereas at some times population growth hastens development, at other times it impedes development. It is this important interaction that this research project will focus on. In general, there have been significant changes in global demographic patterns resulting in world population growth. However, this growth is not necessarily evenly distributed across the globe. The main reasons for population growth in many instances include imp roved nutrition, access to improved health care and declining mortality rates among others. As a result of population growth, there is increased competition as well as severe environmental impacts. This research will therefore look at the often neglected i nteraction between population growth and development. Research Methodology/Data This research will use both quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse data. Primarily however, I will rely on descriptive analysis in order to demonstrate the pattern of population change in Nigeria over the decades as well as projected growth figures for the future. Thus, quantitative data (mainly from secondary sources) will be triangulated using qualitative analysis. The main sources of data in this research include materials and statistics obtained from Nigeria s Population Commission, Nigeria s Bureau of Statistics, journal and

magazine/newspaper articles, statistical databases and census reports of Nigeria among others.

Impact of Population Trends on Development A Case Study of Nigeria

Conceptual Framework/Literature Review In reviewing the relevant critical literature on population and development, the major lines of social science research as well as the prominent narrative threads will be closely examined. These different perspectives have all attempted to explain the relationship that exists between population growth and economic growth. To simplify the discussion in this research, the diverse avenues of inquiry will be aggregated into broad categories. Firstly therefore, the relevant literature on macroeconomic research will be summarized and critically evaluated. Secondly, macroeconomic thinking will be summarized and in the third and final section, special focus will be placed on sub-Saharan African countries, specifically Nigeria. Some of the key texts used in the literature review are included in the reference section below. Chapter Outline This dissertation is organized as follows. In chapter one, a general introduction is made and under its different sub-sections, the background to the study as well as the country background, statement of the research problem, the purpose and the objectives of the research and research methodology are explained. In chapter two, the conceptual framework will be provided and the relevant critical literature reviewed. In chapter three, the case study of Nigeria will be looked at in greater depth to show the characteristics of Nigeria s population and understand the relationship between population growth and development in that country. Also, the major challenges of rapid population growth on the Nigerian economy will be critically assessed. In the final chapter, the conclusions and recommendations are covered.

Impact of Population Trends on Development A Case Study of Nigeria

Time framework
This research fits into the general schedule of the University of Bradford. The target is to have the final draft ready for submission in September.
Schedule of Planned Activities and Milestones Activity Dissertation proposal submission Review of literature on subject Detailed draft of structure Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Introduction and Conclusion (reviewed) First draft Reviewing and editing Final draft complete Proofreading Submission Date due 30/05 on-going 09/06 20/06 30/06 10/07 14/07 21/07 24/08 25/08 26/08 30/08

Impact of Population Trends on Development A Case Study of Nigeria

References
BORRCE, W. D. (1973) Population, environment and society. University of Auckland, New Zealand. BOSERUP, E. (1981) Population and Technological Change: A Study of Long -Term Trends.Chicago, University of Chicago Press. CLARK, C. (1977) Population growth and land use.London, The Machmillan press LTD. CLELAND, J. & WILSON, C. (1987) Demand Theories of the Fertility Transition: an Iconoclastic View. Population Studies, 4(11), 5-30. COAL, A. J. & HOOVER, E. M. (1972) Population growth and economic development in low-income countries. Princeton University Press. HARDIN, G. (1968) The tragedy of the commons. Science, 162, 1243 1248. HIRSCH, F. (1976) Social Limits to Growth.Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. MADDISON, A. (1995) Monitoring the World Economy 1820 1992, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Developmen, Paris. MADDISON, A. (2001) The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris. THIRLWALL, A. P. (1993) Growth and Development with special reference to developing economies . University of Kent at Canterbury. UNEP (1974) The United Nations World Population conference, Bucharest.

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