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“The impacts of population growth on food consumption, economic growth, income per capita growth, and market growth”

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The Impact of Population Growth on Food Consumption, Economic Growth, Income per Capita Growth, and Market Growth

The world is currently grappling with the impact of population growth. While some countries have managed to somehow affect measures to control their populations so that they do not outstrip the available resources, others are yet to find meaningful measures to keep their populations growing at healthy rates that do not threaten the available resources. An exponential growth in population is highly associated with overconsumption of the little that is available to keep the population well catered for. More often than not, when the population grows, food consumption increases, the economic growth slows down because more people have to be taken care of, meaning more resources used to cover for everyone, which leads to a faster thinning out of the little that is available. The market growth will then be fairly affected since this may mean a higher demand for different goods and services, while it can still spell doom for the same market due to various issues.

Al-Dabbagh (2009) opines that a steady growth of population, if not checked, could well reduce the chances of effective use of sustainable development, since sustainable development is mainly possible through use of various measures that utilize minimal funds to realize maximal results. For instance, with a bigger population than is necessary, a country may be forced to build more social amenities like hospitals, schools and so on, just to ensure that each and every one is catered for. These are expensive ventures that usually may not have cheaper options, unless built on the premises that they will be used communally.

Schneider et al. (2011) point out the need to have a very controlled system of increasing food production once the population increase becomes an issue. This is because population grown has a great impact on the ecology. As a remedy, they hail technological advancement as a path through which food production has been increased without necessarily having to cut down more forests to increase the size of arable land. Earlier on, Easterlin (1967) had initially indicated that population growth may not exactly bear heavily on the economic growth, but may also be associated with many positive attributes such as the increase in availability of labour, since more young people are available and can provide the same. He also disabuses the notion that population growth may have an impact on per capita income. However, his comparison is much levelled towards the developing nations. The basis upon which the impact of population growth on economic growth and per capita income appears flawed, especially when many factors are not considered. For instance, the mere fact that averages are used to come up with per capita income for certain populations may well hide a lot.

Markets are very important for every economy. As is the tradition, most economies have to find external markets for their products. Naturally, population growth means a bigger market for consumption. But this may at times not translate to market growth for some economies. For instance, a growth of population in a country cannot really affect the markets for products that the country mainly exports. Barro (1996) only states that the population growth in a net importing country is what guarantees growing markets to a country that exports more than it imports.

Per capita income is a very tricky subject, and may even at times be viewed only as a general figure that does not exactly indicate the truth on the ground. However, it serves to give a hint on what to expect. Kukukaslan (2010) gives empirical evidence that show how population growth has different effects, depending on whether an economy is still developing or not. As such, this points out to the fact the developing economies may have a higher population growth, but this does not serve them well since it weighs heavily on the little financial resources that are available. On the other hand, developing nations could well do with a population growth that guarantees an increase in labourers. There is a lot of concern, though, when we look at per capita income in terms of figures. For one, an economy could be doing well, but a big population makes the official per capita income appear low. This is apparently true since more often than not, a very big population means that only few of these get to use the available resources due to the divide between the rich and the poor.

In conclusion, population growth is a good thing. However, there are ramifications to exponential population growth that is not planned in the manner of controlling it so that it does not become a burden. This is important so that resources and amenities are not strained. The growth of economies is highly pegged on the availability of labour, so we can sufficiently claim that population growth may mean well for all economies. However, and as pointed out initially, this should be done in a planned manner to keep everyone catered for. Bottoms up kind of population with more old people than young people is equally expensive for any economy since there is a likelihood that fewer people are available to keep the economy running as labourers, hence expensive costs of labour.


Al-Dabbagh, Z.A., 2009. Impacts of Population Growth on Economic Growth and Sustainable Development.

Barro, R.J., 1996. Democracy and growth. Journal of economic growth, 1(1), pp.1-27.

Easterlin, R.A., 1967. Effects of population growth on the economic development of developing countries. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 369(1), pp.98-108.

Küçükaslan, A. and Çelik, S., 2010. Population growth and per capita income: A panel cointegration analysis. China-USA Business Review, 9(2), p.31.

Schneider, U.A., Havlík, P., Schmid, E., Valin, H., Mosnier, A., Obersteiner, M., Böttcher, H., Skalský, R., Balkovič, J., Sauer, T. and Fritz, S., 2011. Impacts of population growth, economic development, and technical change on global food production and consumption. Agricultural Systems, 104(2), pp.204-215.