Population policy refers to the objectives and the principles that are adopted by the state regarding issues concerning the population to be in a position to influence the status of that specific population. This includes the population growth variables and the main elements which include deaths, births, geographical distribution of the people, their immigration and the composition of that population such as rising rate of the old people and the population youthfulness. It also refers to general issues affecting a population such as health and education. Population policy creates a cover for all programs and the activities in a direct or indirect way. It also focuses on constants and premises which are based on the society’s value and its culture.
Background and Sides of the Issue
Currently, there are two types of population policy. One is the Pro-Natalist, and the other is the Anti-Natalist. Most countries are faced with the uncertainty of imbalance in the future demographic structure of their population. As a result, the governments are facing a growing concern regarding the age structure, the growing birth rates, and the decline. Natalism, also known as pro-birth is in countries that promote human production. An example of such countries is Germany whereby the government offers an incentive of paying the first year of a Childs’ life to the parents. The government is also trying to reduce the number of abortions and is creating a friendlier environment which will support the aspects of working and having a child at the same time. It is also trying to contrast the societal belief that women cannot work and have children at the same time. The country uses this policy because the aging ratio is off balance.
On the other hand, the Anti-natal policy is the opposite of natalism. This policy is meant to limit the country’s population; it is currently being used in China whereby each family is allowed to have only one child (McElroy, 2008). If this policy is broken, major consequences are faced. This anti-natalism is quite forceful compared to some other policies. The couple is forced to have an abortion carried out and after that; they are sterilized to prevent them from having a child ever again.
The population policy helps in monitoring of global government views and policies and key issues about the population such as its size and growth, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, fertility, family planning and population aging. The Policies also help in looking at issues such as population distribution, international migration, and urbanization. It is important to monitor the government’s views and policies to keep track of their implementation. This will help achieve the millennium development goals and some other internationally agreed development goals set by the International Conference on Population and Development (Harte, 2007).
According to Harte (2007), it is important for countries to set policies which will help in regulating their populations. Since the world’s population has increased in the last few decades, the earth’s natural resources are becoming depleted, and the life-supporting ecosystems are being impaired. This has been due to the increasing demands for food, clean water, fuel and timber. The world’s population has increased from 2.6 million to 6.8 billion by the year 2009 (Harte, 2007). This has majorly contributed to the environmental damage. Family planning services need to be strengthened as it is very crucial in slowing down the rate at which the population is growing. Notably, there are over eight hundred thousand pregnancies in the world annually, and 38% of them are unintended.
A great number of women in developing countries fail to use any form contraceptives due to lack of resources or lack of access. This results in them using the traditional methods that could fail, or they just decide to delay pregnancies. Family planning has been a successful way to slowing down the rate of population growth. In the developing countries, $15 billion is required for the family planning programs, and it is expected that donors contribute $5 billion dollars. However, donor assistance is currently less than the set target. Most foreign aid donors are concerned mainly with the reproduction health and family planning and want to ensure that these programs meet the men and women’s needs on an individual level. However, even as family planning methods are introduced, people need to be educated on how they should be used to prevent abuse of birth control pills.
An increase in population leads to overpopulation in some areas. This is where environmental pollution comes in. In town and cities with very high populations, there are all sorts of pollutions; air pollution, noise pollution and water pollution in the nearby natural water bodies (Harte, 2007). In the developing countries, the quality of education is poor since there are a lot of children being enrolled in primary schools, and there are no enough teachers to handle them. The medical services are also very poor, and the rates of infant and maternal mortality are high. Due to the strained economic status in developing countries, the poor are not able to afford education or medicine. It is right to say that governments in the developing countries need to provide quality education and medical services for its citizens. This will not only help in controlling the population growth rate, but it will also help to achieve the millennium development goals.
Harte J., (2007). Human Population as a Dynamic Factor in Environmental Degradation. Popul. Environ. 28, 223–236.
McElroy, W. (2008). China’s One-Child Disaster. Retrieved from, https://fee.org/articles/chinas-one-child-disaster/