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Demographic Issues Of Asian Societies In The 20th Century

2355 words - 9 pages

During the 20th century, countries in Asia have been increasingly concerned with issues related to demography as these issues directly affect the country's socio-economic stability. This essay will elaborate on two issues, overpopulation and the aging crisis using China and Japan as case studies. It will then examine some of the policies implemented by the government in attempt to resolve these problems.The population growth rate peaked during the mid 20th century bringing the total world population as of year 2000 to 6,092,409,072 persons. With Asia accounting for about 67% of the world population, overpopulation was, and still is, one of the biggest demographic issues in Asia. It is a very complex and delicate issue that can have very detrimental effects on a country facing this problem.Overpopulation is a situation where the resources available in a certain country or area are insufficient to sustain its vast population. There are many resources essential to preserve the quality of life in a community such as food, fresh water, shelter etc. In addition, other aspects that need to be considered include waste disposal and proper sewage treatment. The shortage of resources, if not remedied, will eventually cause the degradation of living standards.Overpopulation is not solely determined by the size of the population but also the density of the population in a particular area. Therefore the problem of overpopulation is more severe in major cities where the density of the population is significantly higher than that of rural areas due to immigration and urbanization. This in turn has a major impact on the environment as densely populated areas have higher levels of pollution and carbon emissions because of the increase in the use of automobiles and industrialization. The increase in the demand for land and space leads to deforestation and the building of infrastructure. These factors attribute to global warming and, in worst cases, the extinction of flora and fauna due to habitat destruction.The population is an important resource in the economy as it is the source of labour for a country. Population growth allows for cheaper labour and more specialization which aids economic growth. However, in an overpopulated country such as China, the population has an opposite effect on economic growth. Although China is abundant in resources, a significant portion of production had to be consumed domestically to sustain the growing population. In order to meet the increasing demands of the huge population, the government was put under a considerable amount of strain. Many demographers in had speculated that the demographic development was disproportionate to that of economic development which crippled the economy and threatened the environment. This, they believed barred China from reaching its rightful place in the world -first world status.In 1979, the government of China implemented the 'One-child-policy'. This policy limited the numbers of children to one...

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