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Honduras Population Analyzation

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The Demographic Data and Future of Honduras
Honduras is a Central American country, located North of Nicaragua, south of Guatemala, and East of El Salvador. The country of Honduras spans an area of 112,492 square kilometers (Encyclopedia of the Nations). The country has a population of 8.4 million people, as of 2012 (Population Reference Bureau). Ethnically speaking the country is dominated by the Mestizo ethnicity, with it making up 90% of the total population (Ethnicity and Race By Country). According different indicators, the country of Honduras is seeing a tremendous growth in young population.
Honduras has a relatively large population base for the geographic size of the country. According to the 2012 World Reference Bureau population data sheet, the youth dependency ratio (YDR) in Honduras is 65.52% (Population Reference Bureau). In this study, a youthful person was defined as someone from ages 0-15. This ratio means that for every 100 working adults, ages (15-64), there are 65.52 dependent youth, needing to be provided for. The youth dependency ratio is calculated by dividing the percent of the population under 15, by the percent of the population between ages 15-64, giving a ratio. Compared to the world average of 39.39%, the YDR of Honduras is very high (Population Reference Bureau). This indicates that Honduras has a very youthful population. This is also evident through the elderly dependency ratio (EDR). The EDR is calculated by dividing the percent of elders (those of 65 years or older) by the percent of population between 15 and 64 years. The EDR for Honduras is 6.90% and the world average is around 12.12% (World Population Bureau). This tells us that Honduras does not have many dependent elders. From this information, it can be concluded that Honduras has a very large and youthful population base and a relatively small elder population base. This means the country has experienced tremendous and significant growth within the last few decades. This is the sign of a stage 2 country. Stage 2 countries have probably had many impactful medical advancements in the past few decades, which accounts for the high population growth. This youthful population base can be seen through the demographic transition models from the years 1950 and 2012. The bars are the most significant at the bottom, representing the youth of the population, which also represent the youthful country.
In addition, it is evident by the Honduras demographic table (at the bottom) that the total fertility rate (TFR) is higher than that of the world average, with Honduras at 3.2 children and the world average at 2.4 children (World Population Bureau). This value is the average number of kids a mother will bear within the span of her fertile lifetime in the country. This number also relates to the Rate of Natural Increase (RNI). The trend of being above the world average stays true for this factor as well, with Honduras at 2.2% and the world average at 1.2% (World Population Bureau). A large population base that consists mainly of youth dependents can explain some reasons behind the way of life in Honduras. The fact that there are so many youth dependents probably contributes to the fact that Honduras is the second poorest country in Central America (CIA Factbook). In addition, according to the CIA World Fact-book, Honduras “suffers from extraordinary unequal distribution of income, as well as high underemployment” (CIA Factbook). This resource also notes that about one third of Honduras’ working population is unemployed (CIA Factbook). The high unemployment within the workforce, coupled with a high youth dependency ratio is a major problem within Honduras.
This population issue in Honduras could be due to a variety of things. For example, population could be so high due to lack of education. Based on global trends, generally, the less education a person has, the more likely they are to have more children (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). In Honduras, education is relatively un-efficient. For example, only 34% of students complete primary school (Global Exchange: Honduras Education). According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in a 1994 study, found that there is “a direct relationship between years of education and birth rates, with the highest birth rates among women with the lowest educational attainment” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Another explanation for the high population and birth rates in Honduras can lead back to availability of resources. For example, many Honduran cities have inadequate healthcare. This means that many women are not able to access sexual education or contraceptives such as birth control pills, condoms, or abortions. Naturally, this would lead to a high birth rate. All of this, however, can be traced back to the economic standing of Honduras. As mentioned before, Honduras is the second poorest country in Central America. If Honduras can get control over the population and birth rate, the economy would see positive changes. For example, the less children people have, the more money can go to investments and back into the economy. As a result, an increased economy can lead to gains in education and health care, which are probably the two main causes of the population problem in Honduras. These changes could help Honduras transition into a stable stage 3 country. A stage 3 country consists of low birth rates fall and level out due to technological and medicinal advantages such as birth control.
With this information, it would be helpful for Honduras to implement a plan of action in order to fix this situation. This would be wise because increased population growth will only do more damage to the overall wealth and economy of Honduras. A suggested plan of action would be to invest in some sort of educational program through decent hospitals and clinics. These hospitals and clinics could teach young people about safe sex and maybe even come up with the resources to provide more condoms and birth control to young women. It seems that this would be more possible through a stronger economy, however. Looking at just these two aspects, it could take Honduras a few decades to make some progress with this issue.
Taking all of this information into consideration, it would be wise for Honduras to take serious steps to address the population increase crisis. Being the second poorest country in the world is most likely a direct result of this. If the population continues to rise, who knows what will happen to the already deteriorated economy. Only when the country begins fighting this issue will the status of the country begin to improve.

Honduras Demographic vs. World Average Table

Indicator
Honduras
World Average
Population (mid-2012)
8.4 million
7,058 million
Projected Population (mid-2050)
13.7 million
9,624 million
2050 Population as a Multiple of 2012
1.6 million
1.4 million
Rate of Natural Increase: RNI
2.2%
1.2%
Crude Birth Rate: CBR (Births per 1,000 Population)
27
20
Total Fertility Rate: TFR
3.2
2.4
Crude Death Rate: CDR (Deaths per 1,000 Population)
5
8
Percent of Population (15-49) with HIV/AIDS
1.0% male, 1.0% female
0.7% male, 0.9% female
Infant Mortality Rate: IMR (deaths for persons

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