Constraints in Economic Development: the Problem of Population Growth in South Asia
Demographically and also economically South Asia is one of the critical major areas of the world. By world standards, it is characterised by high rate of population growth, high density and high dependency. Countries in this area in general, in spite of their great endeavours for economic and social development on the one hand and efforts to slow their birth rates on the other, are faced with serious problems of illiteracy, unemployment, underemployment, undernutrition, malnutrition, substandard housing, lack of medical facilities and persistent poverty. The gap between the living standard of this area and that of the developed countries is widening. It is now well recognised that among all the factors responsible for such problems, demographic variables are important determinants of economic growth and change. As the population of countries in this area, in spite of the family-planning efforts, is likely to increase in the next two or three decades at a rate substantially higher than their replacement levels, the requirements for the future are bound to increase. In this paper an attempt is made first to outline the general demographic situation in South Asia and in some of its selected countries (Afghanistan, Burma, Ceylon, India, Nepal and Pakistan), and then to present some of the implications of this population growth and its trends for economic and social development in these countries.
KeywordsArable Land Dependency Ratio Develop Area Crude Birth Rate Cultivable Land
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