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Population is the total number of people living in a country at a particular time. It shows how people are spread within a geographical area. The size of the population will be determined by the amount of labour that has been put in place.  Population includes men, women, children, the old, and the disabled.

In any productive economy the distribution of resources, availability of labour supply, and planning are very important.  

Population Size and Growth: This is the total amount of people large or small living in a particular place. The determination of population size and growth are birth rate, death rate, and migration.

Population growth is the percentage increase in a population at a given period of time.  It is the difference between birth rate and death rate plus immigration minus emigration.  

Population growth (PGR) = Birth rate – Death rate + Immigration – Emigration 

To calculate Percentage increase in population 

% Increase in population

= \( \frac{New \; population \; – \; Old \; population}{Old \; population} \; \times \; \frac{1000}{1} \)      

Natural growth rate: This the different between Birth rate and Death rate 

Natural growth rate (NGR) = Birth rate – Death rate.

Factors Affecting Population Growth

  1. Increase in birth rate: If the rate of women giving birth to children increases, the tendency is that, everything being equal, the population of that country will increase as well
  2. Decrease in death rate: This is one of the factors that affect the increase in population. If the death rate decreases, there is the possibility of an increase in population.
  3. Medical improvement: This is a strong factor that contributes immensely to population growth. This is because it contributes to an increase in the birth rate and a decrease in the death rate.
  4. Immigration: This is the system whereby people move from one country to another to settle as residents, these people are called immigrants. Immigrants contribute immensely to an increase in the population of the country they settle in.
  5. People’s attitude to family size: This Contributes immensely to an increase in population.
  6. Early marriage: The earlier people marry the more they give birth to children which will lead to an increase in population.

Advantages of Large or Increased Population

  1. Increase in the working population: These are the potential contributors to the economic development of the country. The more they are, the better the country.
  2. Expansion of the local market: The expansion of the local market, will lead to an increase in demand for goods and services in the country. Such an increase will lead to an increase in production, leading to economic development.
  3. Attraction of investors: Both local and foreign investors are attracted to countries with a large population. 
  4. Diversity of skills and talents: As the population of a country continues to increase so will the number of skilled and talented people which will benefit the country.
  5. Attraction of foreign aid: The population of a country determines the extent of foreign aid it will receive.


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