The Size and Growth rate of a country’s population depend on the following factors:
- Birth Rate
- Death Rate
- BIRTH RATE: This may be defined as the number of births per thousand of the population in a year
Factors Affecting Birth Rate
- Improved Standard of Living: This may encourage people to marry more wives, which will eventually result in increase in the birth rate.
- Desire for Big Families: In some West Africa, the number of children a man has determines his social status in the society, thus many men cherish marrying many wives to have more children
- Superstition and Religion: This is one of the major determinants of birth rate. In some societies, girls are given out in marriage at very tender ages. The direct effect of this on population growth is early start in child bearing which in most cases such women born more than would have been expected of them.
- Early Marriage: In some societies, people like to marry early thus increasing birth rate
- Availability and Access to Family Planning Techniques: This brings about more successful health care delivery with attendant increase in birth rate
- Improved Medical Services: This brings about more successful births and reduces infant mortality
- Increased Government Aids: In some cases, Government will render assistance to families in the form of reliefs and subsidiaries and this encourages increase in birth rate
- DEATH RATE: This may be defined as the number of deaths per thousand people in a geographical location per year. It natural that increase in death decreases the population whereas decrease in death automatically increases population
Factors Determining Death Rate
- High Rate of Infant Mortality: When a lot of children die at the infant stage, it decreases population whereas their survival to adulthood increase population
- Standard of Living: High Standard of Living can reduce death rate while poor standard of living may increase it
- Epidemic Disease: The frequency and intensity of epidemics diseases outbreak increase death rate
- Availability of Good medical Facilities: This helps to protect and preserve the lives of people when they are sick but where this is lacking people die at random
- MIGRATION: Migration may be defined as the movement of people of civil division to another. Migration may occur in two different ways:
Emigration: This can be defined as outward movement of people from one country to another
Immigration: This is inward movement of people from one country to another.
When people move within the country, it can be referred to as internal migration or internal mobility. Net migration is the difference between the number of immigrants and emigrants. If immigration is greater than emigration, this automatically increases population whereas if emigration is greater than immigration, the effect would be decrease in population.
Factors Determining Migration
- The quest for better welfare, which can be achieved in a place with economic prosperity
- The search for better jobs
- The search for suitable climatic conditions
- Political instability in home country
- Problem of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and so on
- The quest for knowledge and skills
- Response to government assignment as in diplomatic mission, representation, posting and so on
- Membership of political or economic grouping such as Economic Community of West African States in which citizens of member countries are permitted to move freely.
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