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MHT-CET : Biology Entrance Exam

MHT - CET : Biology - Human Population Page 1

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Points to Remember:


1. Population is an assemblage of individuals of the same species occupying a particular locality at a given time.
2. Population keeps changing constantly in its composition, numbers, distribution, etc. The population dynamics refers to the forces that work on the population to bring about the specific changes.
3. Three main factors responsible for human population dynamics are:

The birth rate or natality

The death rate or mortality


4. Other factors responsible for population dynamics are:

Age distribution

Sex ratio


5. Natality or the birth rate refers to the rate of birth of new individuals in a population per unit time. It is expressed as the number of new additions per thousand individuals of the population in a year. Natality of a population can be expressed as
B = n/N * 1000
where B is natality or birth rate,
n is the total number of new individuals born in a year,
N is the population of that year.

6. Mortality or death rate refers to the loss of individuals from a population per unit time. It is expressed as the loss in the number of individuals per year per thousand individuals of a population.
Mortality of a population can be expressed as

D = n/N * 1000
where D is mortality or death rate,
n is the total number of deaths in the year,
N is the population of that year.

7. The population has grown dramatically after the year 1950.
8. Tremendous increase in the number of individuals of a population is called population explosion or overpopulation.
9. Increase in birth rate coupled with decrease in death rate is responsible for population explosion.
10. Problems of Increasing Population
The problems of increasing population can be classified as:



11. Some Specific Problems Caused by Population Explosion are:

Food Supply
The food production is increasing in an arithmetical order, but at the same time the population is increasing in a geometrical order.
Shortage of food supplies causes undernourishment, malnutrition and price hike. Also, shortage of food disturbs the economy of the nation and loss of foreign exchange due to food imports.

Increase in population poses a problem of housing. It disturbs the land-man ratio.
To accommodate the increasing population, many forests have been cleared and many hectares of agricultural land have been converted into non-agricultural land.
Urbanisation and industrialisation of major cities has attracted many people from the villages to migrate towards the already crowded cities. The breakup of joint families into unit families also further intensifies the problem.

Population explosion leads to growth of unhygienic slums, which are known to be the breeding ground for epidemics.
The efforts of the government to provide healthcare to all does not have the desired impact due to increasing population.

Standard of Living:

  • Standard of living is the way of life of a person, a family, or people with reference to the materials and services they use for their comfort, happiness and well being.
  • Population explosion is one of the causes of low standard of living.
  • Population explosion decreases the per capita income.
  • Increase in population affects the standard of living, as it increases the demand for more houses, adequate supply of food, more jobs, etc.
  • Increase in demand brings shortage, which in turn results in price hike.
  • Owing to price hike, the cost of living increases.
  • Overpopulation affects the standard of living by increasing in the number of dependents, a subsequent reduction in savings and unemployment.
  • Low income leads to poverty, illiteracy and unemployment.

12. Measures to Control Overpopulation:
The control of a family where each family has fewer number of children say, one or two and proper spacing between children is called family planning.
The problem is tackled from two directions.

Direct Measures to Control Overpopulation:
These measures seek to interfere with the actual process of reproduction in some way or the other.

Clinical Direct Approach
In this approach, couples are helped in adoption of birth control techniques.
These include:

  • The use of various types of mechanical and chemical devices, called contraceptives, to avoid pregnancy.
  • The use of oral contraceptive pills for suppressing ovulation.
  • The fitting of intrauterine device inside the uterus which prevents the implantation and development of the fertilised egg.
  • After the couple has the desired number of children (1 or 2), the husband may undergo vasectomy or the wife may undergo tubectomy.
  • The Government of India has set up many family planning centres in various parts of the country. These centres arrange sterilisation of both male and females. Necessary birth control advice is also given to the people.

Non-clinical Direct Approach

  • Birth control devices are mass produced by the government agencies and sold at low prices.
  • Birth control devices are distributed free to those who cannot buy them.
  • Monetary and other benefits are given to people to encourage them to undertake birth control operations.
  • The minimum age for marriage is raised from 15 to 18 years for girls and from 18 to 21 years for boys thus reducing the childbearing period of married people. Also, mature people couples can be better attracted easily towards family planning measures.
  • The law has been amended to permit abortion in cases of unwanted pregnancies.


Indirect or Educational Approach
In the indirect approach motivating to family planning, following measures are involved:

  • Propaganda through the media about the advantages of a small family.
    Educational programmes through various mass media such as radio, TV, newspaper, etc. motivate couples to adopt a small family norm.
  • Getting the opinion makers of the society to support the idea of birth control.
  • Promotion of women's education. Education motivates a woman to know more about the importance of family planning. Education provides information about the use of various contraceptives to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
  • Inclusion of population education in the syllabi in schools and colleges.
  • Freezing the number of members of Parliament from each state at the 1971 level, so that there will now be no reward for increase of population in the form of more M.P.s.




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