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Absolute poverty refers to a situation where an individual has less than the income required for a daily diet recommended per person estimated to be 2150 calories. Extra attention has been paid between demography and poverty especially in developing countries in regard to salaries, pensions, health care and education. High population growth rates put more pressure on families and countries’ budgets due to the need for more food to feed the population, education, and job employments. This can slow national growth, likely income disparities and even poorer conditions (Torado, 2009).
As experiences in China and Indonesia show, poverty causes high fertility but high infant mortality rates, fewer wages and education for women and inadequate family planning methods. In Costa Rica and Cuba, high birth rates in people earning low wages, has been attributed to inadequate health care, lack of sufficient education, and lack of free or cheaper family planning methods. Rural urban migration has a positive effect on poverty, women wages, and population growth (Torado, 2009).
This is because, by 2005, 50% of all immigrants in the world were women of productive age, from developing countries. As Torado (2009) observed, these women end up in low-wage sectors of production with low statuses and are often gender isolated increasing chances of exploitation. This has been caused by poverty due to inequitable distribution of resources, employment opportunities and services. Migration has been a prime concern for development especially when included in poverty reduction plans since it is a cycle where most immigrants maintain contact with their home places. This is through financial support, technological transfer, social and human capital which contributes to economic growth through gains such as remittances especially to developing countries (Torado, 2009).
According to Torado (2009), poverty affects many aspects of a person’s life from health to education, investment becomes an uphill challenge. Lack of consistent and reliable employments makes even availability of pension schemes harder since there is less to save and more to spend. This leads to a crisis in old age where dependence ratio increases (Torado, 2009). Poverty and high population rates are the main sources of other problems such as migration, investments and capital accumulation, health status, and education.
India and China are key countries in the world since they are the second largest and largest population nations whose population policies have a great effect on world’s education, economy and agriculture. These two countries spend a considerable amount of efforts in population control and have realized some goals. China has adopted a contentious one-child policy (Hilali, 1997), while India improves its health care system and reduces its mortality rate. Despite these efforts there have been various challenges when implementing the policies such as use of coercive and violent measures, which poses a conflict and the likelihood of future problems in human capital resources and energies, and aging (Planning Commission).
China’s one-child policy, has been the main population control translates to a pregnant mother must get a birth certificate before her child is born (Qian,1999). Those who agreed on having a single kid are rewarded with gifts while those who get an extra kid would be fined by being taxed half of their income. Unplanned pregnancies have to be aborted, and there is a birth quota system which assesses populace, where each region has a set target. There are other population control methods which include birth control plans (such abortions, tubal ligations, and vasectomies, as well as, economic adjustments (Hilali, 1997).
On the other hand, India has a heavy centralization family planning plans which are government funded (Coale, 1998). This has lead to disparities between the nation’s population control programs and the local acceptance and views about birth control. This was shown at Maharashtra in the Jamkhed Project where it took fours years for a couple to accept the methods. Such a timeline is not compatible with the targets (Coale, 1998). Religious leaders (Muslim and Christians) are hindrance to the proposed two-child policy similar to China’s one-child policy being proposed by losing governments and being fined. The religious leaders have discouraged the use of contraceptives and family planning methods as they perceive the new law a threat to their religious values and families. Unless such cases are addressed adequately, population control will be a headache to India’s government (Planning Commission).Question 3
India’s population is likely to exceed that of China in the near future, a fact that can be attributed to varied approaches in population control policies and predisposing factors that face India. The population control methods in India are not effective (Planning Commission). This is shown by the 31 per a thousand people birth rate in India, compared to China’s 20 per a thousand people. Some places in India have no clean drinking water, and people move to cities where there is easy access to drinking water. This attributed to poor economic circumstances and lack of primary education (Planning Commission).
Coale (1998) noted that, India has a high maternal, infant mortality and childhood mortality and morbidity, high fertility and low life expectancy, which has been a concern for health professionals for some time now. Most programs are not efficient. For example, Rajasthan which is India’s largest state have introduced lottery in attracting sterilization targets of 21, 000 people per year. The authorities are offering prizes, such as a car, televisions, food processors and motor bikes. Although there is nothing wrong with such a campaign, it is more like coercion in disguise. It is unsustainable to give a car every six months to make people get sterilized (Coale, 1998).
Another ineffective method is doubling the government’s effort to take electricity to people with the assumption they can watch TV until late night and have no time to make babies (Planning Commission). This is as compared to China’s progress is dismal. China has improved its people living conditions and at the same time kept low growth rates (Qian,1999). It has increased its citizen’s access to tapped water to 94low growth rates. It has increased its citizen’s access to tapped water to 94% and natural gas coverage to 73% (Monroe, 2006). China has a birth insurance policy and working mothers are compensated. Other benefits include decrease in infant mortality from 200 per a thousand to 33 per a thousand (Qian,1999). India should emulate these tactics or modify them to suit its population control challenges.
The largest population of the people migrate to the urban areas are the youthful and single people aged 20 -35 years, mostly men especially developing countries such as Nigeria. This includes those who have just recently finished education and are literates, and form a good source of innovative ideas and new technology. Being energetic and with vigor they can be deployed in varied productive ways. They have no families, and so fewer responsibilities hence they can easily switch towns (Eastwood,2000).
The positive side is that they provide remittances to their home places and in some cases help ease high population density in those areas. The urban immigrants introduce new skills and technology borrowed from the urban areas. This helps improve those areas by slow starting modernization and urbanization (Eastwood,2000). The negative side is that the set a trend depicting the rural areas as unpleasant areas and people in the rural areas are regarded with less regard. One major disadvantage to those who are left behind (elderly and semi skilled) is that they are deprived of the active human labor force which is more productive hence the rural areas continue being under developed compared to the urban areas. This is because even the major investments the immigrants make tend to be in urban areas where they easily monitor their progress (Eastwood,2000).
Urban bias is a scenario where economic growth is hindered by some groups which are centrally located in metropolitan areas and urban centers, by compelling the government to shield their interests (Lipton, 2005). It results to complex and intense urban areas where the markets are so concentrated and cannot take more trade options having reached a maximum limit. Other consequences are overloaded public service systems, condensed chances in the remote areas and exorbitant urban development plans which lead to slow economic growth. These groups can be part of the government, manufacturers, unions especially labor ones and political organizations (Lipton, 2005).
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