Causes of Population Change

Subject: Enviroment Population and Health

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Factors affecting the population change are birth, ignorance, status of family, polygamy, unemployment, poverty, death, illiteracy and natural calamity. This notes provides us the information about causes of population change, different aspect affecting population change with description.
Causes of Population Change

The size of population keeps on changing. It increases or decreases according to time and space. The major factors affecting population are birth, death and migration.

Birth increases the population while death decreases the population. Migration also causes population change. Internal migration does not make any changes but international migration makes the differences in the size of population. But as a whole, migration does not affect in the size of population change.

Birth and death are considered as the natural factors of population but migration is considered to be an artificial effecting factor of population change.

Factors affecting the population change


The birth is a chief natural factor affecting the population change. It results into the increase of population. Higher birth rate, quicker the population growth.

The following are the prominent factors which plays an important role in increasing population, they are:

  • Ignorance: Education plays a very important role in the population growth control. It helps to change the though, opinion and thinking of man. It brings important change in the life of people. It helps to make life happy. Uneducated people cannot decide what is wrong and what is right wrong and what is right. Because of illiteracy females produce more number of children and don't know about the adaption method for family planning. They cannot provide nutritious food to their children. They have less opportunity for employment. Therefore, most of the uneducated families are poor.
  • Status of family: Fertility also depends upon the status of women. Women from the higher social status love to have small family. It is naturally interior social status likes to bear the burden of motherhood of a large family. Educated and employed woman also avoid having big families.
  • Polygamy:The tradition of polygamy at certain places in our society even today. Thus, a man having more than one wife produces more children which naturally increase the population of the country.
  • Lack of health education:Every people know that health is very necessary. Health education teaches man about nutritious food, measure for maintaining health, methods of protection from diseases, etc. people do not take nutritious food which causes malnutrition due to the lack of health education. It increases infant mortality rate.
  • Unemployment:The people of developing countries are surrounded by the problem of unemployment. It plays vital role in growing the population. The majority of people have to sit without work. Thus, the male and female have to pass their lives without the source of entertainment, so they involved in sex. In such condition there is more possibility of more children. Therefore, problem of unemployment helps increase in population.
  • Poverty:Poverty is one of the major factors of population growth. There are thirty eight percent of people of the total population who are below the poverty line. These people are facing a lot of problems and its hard for them to maintain day to day life. They think that their children are the only source of income for them. Therefore, they bear the children.


Death is an important natural cause to bring change in population. It decreases the population of a country. Reduction in death rate automatically brings down the birth rate. The main reason for the decrease in death rate in Nepal is the decrease in the infant and child rate.

The following are the factors responsible for the death they are:

  • Illiteracy:Due to lack of proper knowledge of child care, infant and child rate are increasing in Nepal. It is because of illiteracy, people go to seek the treatment from witch doctor instead of visiting doctors for medical treatment. They believe in superstition. They also die due to simple diseases because of their superstitious believe.
  • Disease:The diseases are also one of the reason of high death. The people die most often due to chronic disease, and fatal diseases.
  • Climate:The climate of a place or region or country plays a vital role in the determination of death rate. The people living in hot place die quickly more in number than the people living in cold climate. The people living in hot place becomes old very soon. Due to hot climate, disease is immersed and transmits. But people living in cold climate do not suffer from it and there is less chance of transformation of diseases.
  • Lack of nutritious food:Easily available local cereals like pulses, food grains, green vegetables and fruits, etc. and animal products like fish, meat, eggs and milk products are the sources of nutrition. Nutritious food helps in growth and development of the body and protects the body from different diseases. There must be a good combination of protein, vitamin, carbohydrates, minerals, fat, etc. in our food helps for our healthy development and increases our immune power. But lack of nutritious is most common problem in our country and it is one of the causes of death in our country.
  • Natural calamities:The unwise and unethical activities of human beings such as deforestation, establishing industries in urban areas and other irresponsible activities are responsible for the degradation of environment.


Movement of people from one place to another is called migration. Migration causes change of population. As we migrate from one place to another the population of one place decreases while of other place increases. It is considered as unnatural element of population change. The number of immigrants is gradually increasing like Nepalese emigrants. People come for business and employment and starts to live permanently. People also migrate towards the place where their relatives are residing. Migration plays vital role to change the population of particular area.

The following are the determining factors to population change:

  • Marriage: Marriage is social factor that cause change in population of a particular area. For example, if a woman is married to foreigner, the population of origin decreases whereas the population of her husband's country increases.
  • Availability of services and facilities: The facilities like education, transport, communication etc also inspire people to migrate from one place to another. People from village area migrate towards urban areas to get more facilities which cause change in population.
  • Employment: People are compelled to migrate from their origin place due to lack of employment opportunities.People migrate to place where they can get job and earn money so that they can fulfill their basic needs.
  • Natural calamities: Natural calamities is considered as environment factors that cause change in population. Natural calamities like flood, landslides, volcano etc are compelling people to migrate people from one place to another.
Things to remember
  • Factors affecting the population change are birth, ignorance, status of family, polygamy, unemployment, poverty, death, illiteracy and natural calamity.
  • The  prominent factors which plays an important role in increasing population, they are Ignorance,  Status of family, Polygamy, Lack of health education, Unemployment, Poverty.
  • Death is an important natural cause to bring change in population. It decreases the population of a country.
  • It includes every relationship which established among the people.
  • There can be more than one community in a society. Community smaller than society.
  • It is a network of social relationships which cannot see or touched.
  • common interests and common objectives are not necessary for society.
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Questions and Answers
Three components of population change are birth, death and migration.
Migration is the un-natural component of population change.
Birth and death are the natural components of population change.
Birth and immigration increase the population.
Death and emigration decrease the population.
Illiteracy and polygamy affect birth.
The two economic factors that affect birth are poverty and unemployment.
The rate of infant mortality as according to 2006 was 48 per 1000 live birth.

There is thinking of "More the people more will be the working hand and wealth." Due to this reason poverty increases population.

Due to illiteracy people think "Children are god gift". So, people intend to give birth to the children.

In our country man marries a number of women till the birth of son which is called polygamy.
Parents give additional birth to compensate the possible death of children. As a result, birth takes place and thus, increases the population.
If early marriage is done, couples give birth to a large number of children before 30.
In Nepal, people marriage earlier to prevail superstition.
Illiteracy is the main reason that causes early marriage.
Below 25 years for male and 20 years for female is categorized as early marriage.
An artificial factor of population change is migration.
As population is a dynamic process, so the increases or a decrease in the population due to birth, death and migration is population change.
Disease is the social factor of mortality.
Lack of nutritional diet is the economic factor of mortality.
Climate and natural calamities are the environmental factors for mortality.
The age group of 15 - 59 years is termed as economically active population.
Developing and under developed countries are badly affected by population pressure.
8.7% is the crude death rate according to 2006.
Diarrhea causes high child mortality in Nepal.
There is no change in population of a country due to internal migration.
International migration increases or decreases of a population of a country.
Marriage and infrastructure of development are the social factors of migration.
Employment and fertile and cultivation are two economic factors for migration.
Deforestation is the main cause of water supply problem in urban areas.
The seven factors of birth are given below:
  • Illiteracy
  • Early marriage
  • Polygamy
  • Importance of son
  • The structure of the family
  • The universities of  marriage
  • High infant mortality rate
The joint family system is very common in Nepal. People from different generation live in our society. People think that the bigger family increases the efficiency of work. Joint family consists of grandparents, uncle, aunts, father, mother, daughter, cousins, grand children etc. Early marriage is a common practice in joint family. Grandparents compel their grandsons to marry again if there is any delay in producing children. Couples do not use contraceptives to prevent pregnancy because they like to justify their ability to produce children. Couple do not face economic burden because of their family support. Therefore the concept of early marriage and the practice of joined family system cause increase in population.
Illiteracy plays vital role to increase population. Illiteracy helps to increase population in the following ways:
  • Illiteracy people think that children are the gift of god. So, people continue giving birth.
  • Illiteracy people do not have good opportunities of employment which provides more birth.
  • Illiteracy people have no knowledge of contraceptive methods.
  • Due to illiteracy, more preferences are given to son, so more birth takes place.
In our society, there is still prevalence of polygamy. Nepal is male dominated country. So, women are being suppressed by men. Women cannot protest even if their husbands bring other wives. Uneducated people keep continue to bear the babies till the birth of son. Such kinds of polygamy system have been in practice since long in our society. In this way, the number of wives and children increases the family size.  So, the polygamy is also a factor of population change.
Social aspiration and desire for son than for daughter is in fact, the inspiration by religious faith and culture. Sons are regarded as wealth of future. People believe that they can be looked after only by sons during their old ages. Sons are also regarded to continue the generations and to get parental property with religious rites. Uneducated people think that they will get a chance to go to heaven after death if they have a son. Only sons are allowed for a funeral ceremony and also for annual pinda pani. Due to these religious factors, people keep on producing the children till the birth of son. In this son preferring society, the parents desire to bear 4/5 sons for old age security. There are many couple who have given birth to 5/6 daughters expecting sons in their next birth. Due to these above mentioned reasons importance of son increases the population.
Infant mortality rate means death of too small baby. Illiteracy, superstition, unhealthy social environment, lack of public health services, and facilities are the causes of infant mortality rate. Many child die before the age of five due to ignorance. When a child dies, a couple produces another child to substitute the child. The birth rate increases due to lack of faith on the survival of infants. The infant mortality rate becomes high due to the death of many infants. The birth rate increases due to lack of faith on the survival of infants. The death of more infants compels the parents to bear more children due to lack of confidence of their survival. It causes the population growth in the family. Consequently, the whole population increases. In this way high infant mortality rate increases the population.
The four economic factors that cause population increase are given below:
  • Poor economic level.
  • Unemployment
  • Occupation
  • Poverty
Unemployment: Developing countries are suffering from the problem of unemployment. Unemployment also plays important role to increase the population, less developed countries have majority of labor force who have to shrink to work because of lack of employment. Men and women for sexual intercourse as an act of entertainment. As a result, there is a possibility of high fertility.
Climate and natural phenomenon are considered as the main environmental factors to determine the fertility rate. The particular climate and hot temperature play an important role in the process of ovulation. The ovulation process becomes faster in warm climate. Female an only conceives a baby after starling the ovulation process. The fertility rate is found higher especially in the countries having warm climate. Researchers have found that the woman living in the hot climate becomes matured at early age. Their menstruation also starts the earlier age compared to women living in cold climate.
The status of women is very poor in our country. Many people think that women are the domestic workers. Women spend most of their time by doing household works like cooking, cleaning pots, cutting grass, bringing firewood, washing clothes, etc. uneducated women spend most of their time at home. This is one of the factors that uneducated women produce more children. The knowledge and ideas of women are not shared during the time of decision making process of family problem. They also do not have the knowledge of birth spacing. Family planning and so on and go on giving birth. Most of Nepalese women are unknown of parental and postnatal cases. Due to the complicacies of pregnancy/ delivery infant mortality takes place. Due to the above reasons, condition of women is the prime factor of the increase of population in our country.
Marriage is taken compulsory custom to be performed by each individual in our society. People have the concept and thinking that they cannot go heaven without marriage. If a woman is not married with any reasons, she is hated in our society. Therefore marriage bond is considered as social liability rather than biological need.
Without marriage, it is considered impossible to continue the race, to make the life meaningful, to achieve the social prestige and standard. In this way, marriage increases the population.

Agro-based occupation needs more labor force to earn living. Farmers need large family for division of labor to complete the work on time. It also supports the increase the income. Moreover the family engaged in agriculture treats the children as unpaid labor. Such a concept is preventing in agriculture society. By giving more importance to children, the population of a family increases. By giving more importance to children, the population of a family increases. Couples have no burden of caring of their children due to practice of extended family. But for the couples engaged in non-agricultural activities, there is limitation of time and economic burden to bear and rear the children.

There are three social factors of mortality. They are given below:
  • Illiteracy
  • Diseases
  • Lack of health service and facilities
Diseases: Diseases plays a crucial role in mortality. People are generally dying of many communicable diseases like cholera, pneumonia, encephalitis, meningitis etc. fatal diseases like AIDS, hepatitis B and C and many other hereditary diseases (like diabetes, heart diseases, etc). Due to these kinds of diseases people face drat which decreases population.
Illiteracy means lack of knowledge uneducated people do not provide nutritious food to their children. They don't have knowledge about the nutritious food. They are just concerned with the fulfillment of stomach. They are not conscious about caring children properly. They prefer unscientific methods of treatment visit to 'Jhankri' instead of visiting modern doctors. Uneducated people believe and blame everything for god. They have a serious addition in superstitious belief. Many infants die because of the traditional methods of treatment and lack of nutritious food. Because of illiteracy, people are dying of mirror sickness owing to lack of timely and proper treatment.
Good health is directly proportion to the number of health services and facilities. Good health is obtained only through proper health service. Doctors, vaidayas, nurses, and other health workers provide various types of services. Mostly in rural areas, people are unable to get proper health services due to less numbers of health workers. Proper medical treatment, nutritious food, pure drinking water and proper arrangement of medicines are necessary to improve the health of the people. For the improvement of health status of people, it is necessary to provide them enough medical treatment, fresh water, nutrition diet etc. Thus, lack of health services and facilities cause high mortality rate.
The two economic factors that cause mortality are given below:
  • Poverty and weak economic condition
  • Lack of nutritious food.
Poverty and weak economic condition: Poverty is the cause of premature death. People who are below poverty line are unable to fulfill their minimum basic needs. They cannot provide food and clothes to their family members. The children are deprived of education in our society. Uneducated children cannot develop their consciousness. They also become unable to solve the problems which they face in their life. Uneducated people get affected by unemployment problems. Thus, they have low income. The poor economic status causes various types of difficulties like hunger, diseases and premature death which cause the population decrement.
Our health depends on nutritious food like pulses, cereals, fruits and vegetables, meat, milk etc. They provide proper amount of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins. We should take balanced diet for physical and mental fitness. Proteins and minerals help in growth of the body. Carbohydrate and fat help to produce energy. Vitamin and minerals help to maintain the immunity power. Deficiency of these nutritious foods invites the problem of malnutrition. People become weak in the absence of nutritious food. Thus people suffer from various kinds of diseases due to deficiency of these nutritious elements. Such diseases result death of the people.
Environmental factor consists of climate and natural calamities.
Climate: Climate plays important role to determine the death rate of a country. People living in hot climate zone die quickly than the people living in cold climate zone. Various harmful diseases easily can spread in the hot climate zone. People of hot climatic region gets matured quickly and become old very soon. The people brought up in colder region live long and they are not easily affected by various diseases. Therefore mortality is high at warm region than on cold region.
Natural calamities: Flood, landslide, storm, volcanoes, earthquake etc. are the natural calamities. They damage the environmental balance. The eruption of volcanoes affects forest, lake, river, animals etc. the earthquake damages the house, land, forest, settlement, area etc. Every year many people die due to natural calamities. Nowadays human beings are suffering from various natural disasters like food, landslide, famine, drought, desertification, excessive rain etc. which are the result of globally emerging environmental degradation.
Migration is considered as unnatural element of population change. Internal migration does not affect the total population of a country though it changes population of a particular place within the country. Example of internal migration is movement of people from hills area to Terai. International migration is also affecting the population of our country. Immigration from different countries increases the population of our country. Both internal and international migrations are affected by pull and push factors. The push factors force the migrants to leave the places where they are born. Lack of job opportunities, good agricultural land, facilities of education, insecurity etc. push the people and availability of such facilities pull the people. The determinants of population change through migration are given below:
  • Social factors
  • Marriage
  • Availability of various services and facilities.
  • Economic factors
  • Employment
  • Fertile and cultivable land
  • Environment factors
  • Climate
  • Natural calamities

Social factors affect the population from social aspiration like norms and values. The social factors of migration include marriage and infrastructure. Girls after marriage go to another place or one country to another country. It affects the size of population. If a lady gets married with foreigners, she has to go abroad. In this situation, the population of her native place decreases and the population of her husband's country increases. Similarly, migration is greatly influenced by the availability of infrastructure. People live the village for education and settle in the city itself. Once who is addicted towards the life of city doesn't want to turn back and move to village. So, in this situation the city area's and village area's population is affected.

    Economic factor plays an important role in the migration. The population of any particular region or a country gets affected by the pull and push factors of migration. The shortage of agricultural land, health facilities, food grains, and employment opportunities etc. force people to migrate from origin i.e. shortage of facilities are push factors. On other hands, availability of these resources is pull factors of migration. In Nepal, people migrate from hilly area to city and Terai in search of land, opportunity; education etc. industrialization and urbanization also cause the attraction of rural people to urban areas. Where there is establishment of industries and factories, there is more opportunity of employment. Moreover, people migrate to urban areas with hope of getting better economic opportunities and better quality of life.
    Environmental factors plays very crucial role to determine the size of a population in any particular area or a country. Extreme climate either it is hot or cold is not favorable for human beings. The survival of human beings becomes difficult in unhealthy climate. If the living place is polluted, more people will die and others try to migrate to another place. Moreover, over exploitation of natural resources causes environmental degradation. The environmental degradation affects the man, vegetation and other living organisms. Environmental degradation causes the problems of flood, landslide, soil erosion, desertification etc. These problems are found common in the hilly region in Nepal. So, people migrate from hills to Terai. Environmental degradation invites natural calamities like flood, landslide, soil erosion, volcanic corruption and earthquake which compel people to migrate another place. Thus environmental factor causes migration which consequently affects population.

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