Increasing Population: Boon or Burden – Vaishnavi Musunuri

Reflectionist Vaishnavi Musunuri (MBA ITBM 2022-24)

For many, an increase in population means a decrease in resources, land, and employment. But a few argue that population increase can be a boon for a country to develop its economy. This is where the concept of demographic dividend comes in. The United Nations Population fund defines Demographic Dividend as “the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working-age population (15 to 64) is larger than the non-working-age share of the population (14 and younger, and 65 and older)”.

According to United Nations, India is set to overtake China in population by next year, we will have the youngest working population in the world, but the demographic dividend will be an asset only when a country has a skilled working population. India has an acute shortage of skilled workforce so much so that UNICEF has reported that by 2030, nearly half of India’s population will not have the skills to be employable, so there is an urgent need to upskill our population for us to truly capture our potential. An overhaul of our education system is the need of the hour, we need to ensure gender parity to not leave half of our working population behind. Improving Education infrastructure and equipping institutions with the latest technologies will make the students more industry ready.

To conclude whether a rising population is a burden, or a boon depends on how we harness our human resources, the next twenty years of our country are crucial as demographic dividend is time-bound and we must ensure that it will be a boon to us.


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