Discuss The Causes Of High Rates Of Population Growth

1504 words - 6 pages

After growing very slowly for most of human history, the world's population more than doubled in the last half century, crossing the six billion mark in late 1999. Furthermore, world population is still increasing by about 78 million people a year, despite the trend worldwide towards smaller families. Total population size is likely to continue to grow for at least the next 40 years and by at least another 1.5 billion people. Almost all of this growth is occurring in the developing regions, while most industrialised countries are growing very slowly or not at all, and in some countries the population size is even declining. However, these developed countries make up just one fifth of the world's population and consequently have little impact on demographic trends. This results in the need for investigation into the causes of high rates of population growth.Religion plays a large part in the rate of population increase as it affects birth rates with its views on contraception and abortion. Islam and Roman Catholicism are absolutely opposed to the use of contraception, as followers believe that sex is purely for procreation. In nations that are strongly influenced by religions with views such as these, the lack of use of contraception means that birth rates are high and therefore the rate of population increase follows suit. In more developed areas and especially western areas there has been a decline in religion and how closely people adhere to the religious teachings, and therefore contraception is used more widely. This is also because there is a wider availability and variety of contraception in more economically developed countries, and people are educated in how to use it. Many people in developing countries are either unaware of contraception or are given no guidance in using it. In Africa there have been examples of men taking the female birth control pill, so it proved totally ineffective and had no bearing on birth rates. Worldwide, the percentage of married women currently using contraception was estimated to be 58 per cent in 1993, with average levels of use in the more developed regions at 70% and in the less developed regions at 55%. Use of contraception among married women in less developed regions is as low as 8% in Western Africa whereas in the more developed areas the lowest prevalence is 69% in Eastern and Southern Europe. This demonstrates the need for better education and provision of contraception, as Eastern and Southern Europe contains developed countries, such as Greece, Spain and Italy, which have declining populations, whereas many of the countries with high rates of population increase, such as Niger and the Congo Democratic Republic can be found in Africa, showing that contraception plays a large role in rates of population increase. This is also demonstrated in Thailand, where the government introduced a vigorous family planning programme and made contraceptives freely available in 1960. As a result, the rate of...

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