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  • Malkiat Singh Duhra

Population & Capitalism

The world population was 2525 million in 1950 AD and after that, it increased at a faster rate and became 6127 million in 2000 AD. After that, it increased more rapidly and reached up to 7795 million in 2020 only in twenty years. The population is directly correlated with capitalism. An almost identical trend was observed in the case of capitalism. It started increasing after 1950 AD and sped up after 2000. Capitalists had an interest in population growth because it meant larger markets, cheaper labour, and new construction. Growing populations need more schools, roads, bridges, hospitals, markets, and other infrastructures.

The population of India was 37 crores in 1950 AD and now in 2021, it is 139 crores. After 2000 AD, the Indian government started adopting capitalism to some extent but now capitalism is preferred. After 1990, the government did not take interest in family planning and let the population reach up to 139 crores, which is not easily manageable. Control of population will directly affect capitalism. For the last 30 years, the government was not serious about maintaining the population at a desirable level. Overpopulation resulted in unemployment, widespread poverty, shortage of food, and environmental pollution.

Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of producing and their operation for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, a price system, private property and the recognition of property rights, voluntary exchange, and wage labor. Capitalism has been criticized for establishing power in the hands of the minority capitalist class that exists through the exploitation of a working-class majority; for prioritizing profit over social good, natural resources, and environment. Capitalism may lead to inequality, economic instabilities, boom, and recession. Capitalism has some advantages like economic freedom, consumer choice, and fast economic growth.

After independence in 1947, our political leaders adopted a mixed economy and had reasonable results and after 2000, India started taking interest in the capitalist economy and did not care to control the population. The population is an important asset of capitalism. Capitalist countries encourage emigration to their countries from other countries to get a workforce at a reasonable rate. Overpopulation creates problems like pollution, unemployment, global warming, poverty, scarcity of food, and insufficient healthcare. It is the responsibility of people all over the world to maintain the population at an acceptable level (about two billion) to get rid of different problems as mentioned above.

Table 1 World-population

Year, Population (million)

10000 BC, 4

5000, 5

4000, 7

3000, 14

2000, 27

1000, 50

1 AD, 200

1000, 400

1500, 458

1600, 580

1700, 682

1800, 1000

1900, 1650

1950, 2525

2000, 6127

2005, 6520

2010, 6930

2015, 7349

2020, 7795

Table 2 India-population

Year, Population (million)

1950, 376

2000, 1056

2005, 1147

2010, 1234

2015, 1310

2016, 1324

2017, 1333

2018, 1352

2019, 1366

2020, 1380

2021, 1393

The population was 1 billion in 1800 and today it is 7.8 billion. No previous society was able to support so many people at such a level of amenity. Society depleted forests, freshwater, fisheries, and topsoil. We are exceeding Earth’s carrying capacity which may be suicidal.

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