Population Growth and Environmental Degradation in India

Topics: Agriculture, Population growth, Water Pages: 15 (5162 words) Published: August 24, 2013


This paper basically deals with the relationship between the growing population, poverty and urbanization and the degradation of the Environment. The study reveals that the country's population growth is imposing an increasing burden on the country's limited and continually degrading natural resource base. The natural resources are under increasing strain, even though the majority of people survive at subsistence level. Population pressure on arable land contributes to the land degradation. The increasing population numbers and growing affluence have already resulted in rapid growth of energy production and consumption in India. The environmental effects like ground water and surface water contamination; air pollution and global warming are of growing concern owing to increasing consumption levels.


There has been a major increase in the population and a rise in economic development in the country which have resulted in degrading the environment through an uncontrolled manner of urbanization and industrialization, expansion and intensification of agriculture, and the destruction of natural habitats. One of the major causes of environmental degradation has been due to the rapid growth of population, which is adversely affecting the natural resources since its consumption has increased. The growing population and the environmental deterioration face the challenge of sustained development without environmental damage. The existence or the absence of favorable natural resources can facilitate or retard the process of economic development. The three fundamental demographic factors of births, deaths and migration produce changes in population size; composition, distribution and these changes raise a number of important questions of cause and effect. Population Reference Bureau estimated the 6.14 billion world's population in mid-2001. Contribution of India alone to this population was estimated to be 1033 million. It is estimated that the country’s population will increase to 1.26 billion by the year 2016. The projected population indicates that India will be a first most populous country in the world and China will be second in 2050 (Population Reference Bureau, 2001). The increase of population has been tending towards an alarming situation. India is having 18 percent of the world's population on 2.4 percent of its land area and has a great deal of pressure on all its natural resources. Water shortages, soil exhaustion, deforestation, air and water pollution afflicts many areas. If the world population continues to multiply, the impact on environment could be devastating.

As the 21st century begins, growing number of people and rising levels of consumption per capita are depleting natural resources and degrading the environment. The poverty-environmental damage nexus in India must be seen in the context of population growth as well. The pressures on the environment intensify every day as the population grows. The rapid increase of human numbers combines with desperate poverty and rising levels of consumption are depleting natural resources on which the livelihood of present and future generations depends. Poverty, is amongst the consequences of population growth and its life style play major role in depleting the environment either its fuel demands for cooking or for earning livelihood for their survival. The unequal distribution of resources and limited opportunities cause push and pull factor for people living below poverty line that in turn overburdened the population density in urban areas and the environment gets manipulated by manifolds, consequently, urban slums are developed in urban areas.

The growing trends of population and consequent demand for food, energy,...

Bibliography: • http://paa2007.princeton.edu/papers/7192
• http://www.learner.org/courses/envsci/unit/text.php?unit=5&secNum=5
• http://www.ciesin.columbia.edu/repository/pern/papers/urban_pde_intro.pdf
• http://www.uow.edu.au/~sharonb/STS300/limits/studies/articles/enviroarticle1.html
• www.igidr.ac.in/conf/ysp/ARC1.ppt
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