Population Growth and Economic Development in Nigeria

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1.0 Background Of The Study
Over the years, it has become established that the Existence of an efficient and effective human capital is the key to economic growth and development in any nation. This stems from the fact that every other facility and resource required for economic development is driven by the availability of human capital. More so, in the absence of effective human capital development, an increasing population can have adverse negative effect on the economic growth of a nation. This is because a lot more resources is taken out to manage and cater for the teeming population that the same can generate. It is therefore correct to state that the Economic growth of a nation is significantly dependent on the growth of its population. This effect or impact can be either negative or positive depending on the existence of certain factors and conditions, when studied and understood can be managed or controlled to ensure continuous and sustainable economic growth and development. Nigeria is one of the fastest growing countries in the world. With an estimated population of 140 million and an annual population growth rate of 2.9% (NPC, 2006), Nigeria is the most populous nation in sub Saharan Africa and the tenth most populous in the world. However, the composition of this population is mainly in the youthful category with 49% being youths below the age of 21 and a dependency ratio estimated at 89%. A large proportion of this population favours and is living in the rapidly expanding urban area, presently estimated at over 45.2% and will likely hit 55.4% mark by the year 2015 (UNDP, 2007).

With this statistics however, the population dynamics shows profound inequities and disproportions when analyzed with the development indicators, such as: 21 doctors per 100,000 people, infant mortality rate of 112 per 1000 live births, maternal mortality of over 980 per 100,000 live births, life expectancy at birth projected at 50.1 years, People...
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