Question 1 : Explain the basic argument of the theory of the demographic transition. Why is the transition period associated with a ‘population explosion’?
Answer : Theory of demographic transition proposes that population growth is linked to overall levels of economic development and that every society follows a typical pattern of development related population growth.
There are three basic stages of population growth:
(i) Primitive Stage : This stage shows low and slow population growth in a society. In this stage, a society is underprivileged and technologically backward. The per capita earning capacity of the unskilled society remains meagre and minimum as people are involved in meagre work. People suffer from malnutrition and ailments resulting in higher death rate.
(ii) Second Stage : This is the phase of transition from underdeveloped to developing countries. Birth rate is high due to the presence of the patriarchal society and death rate is low due to the availability of medical facilities.
(iii) Third Stage : This is the stage of low population growth rate in developed countries, where both birth rate and death rate have been reduced. Birth rate is low due to awareness and high literacy. Death rate is low due to availability of medical facilities.
The transitional stage (second stage) is characterised by the movement from a backward to an advanced stage. In this stage, population growth rate is very high and death rates are brought down relatively quickly through advanced methods of disease control, public health and better nutrition. That’s why this stage is associated with population explosion.
Question 2 : Why did Malthus believe that catastrophic events like famines and epidemics that cause mass death were inevitable?
Answer : English political economist Thomas Robert Malthus suggested that catastrophic events like famine and diseases were inevitable because they were nature’s way of dealing with the imbalance between food supply and increasing population.
Malthus argued that human population tends to grow at a much faster rate than the rate at which the means of human subsistence (food, clothes, etc) can grow.
According to him, population rises in geometric progression, whereas agricultural production can only grow in arithmetic progression. He believed that humans are unable to observe any preventive checks. In such cases, catastrophic events like famines are positive checks or natural process of population control that maintains balance by removing any imbalances.
Question 3 : What is meant by ‘birth rate’ and ‘death rate’? Explain why the birth rate is relatively slow to fall while the death rate declines much faster?
Answer : Birth Rate means the total number of births in a given area. It is calculated as the total number of live births in a particular area during a specified year divided by the total population of that area. This gets affected by climatic conditions, education, infertility, marriage, social condition, religious beliefs and education.
Death Rate is the number of deaths in a given area during a given time per 1000 population.
Causes of Slow Birth Rate
Birth rate is relatively slow while the death rate can be brought down at much faster rate because of the public health measures and medical advancement that can control the death rate immediately.
The main reasons for declining death rates are :
- Public Health Measures : These are non-medical interventions used to reduce the spread of disease, providing health education and to improve health and quality of life.
- Medical Advances : The most revolutionary change through medical advances has been marked by drop in death rates. Lowered mortality rate became possible through use of modern drugs to cure diseases.
Question 4 : Which states in India have reached or are very near the ‘replacement level’ of population growth? Which ones still have very high rates of population growth? In your opinion, what could be some of the reasons for these regional differences?
Answer : The rate of growth required for new generations to replace the older one that are dying out is known as ‘replacement level’.
Some states in India like Kerala and Tamil Nadu have managed to being down their Total Fertility Rates (TFR) meaning that they are at the replacement level. Many other states like Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka and Maharashtra are near to replacement levels of population growth.
But there are some states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh which have very high total fertility rate, means high rate of population growth.
Main reasons for these regional differences are:
In India, the literacy rate is variable. The high literate state follows family planning schemes and on the other hand low literacy rate in some states leads to uncontrolled population growth.
Social conditions such as prejudices, stereotypes and the belief that more family members mean more income is responsible for regional differences in population growth.
Lack of understanding national interest and giving preference to individual interests over national interests.
Variations in land forms. For example, Assam has lower population growth as it is a hilly region.
Question 5 : What is meant by ‘the age structure’ of the population? Why is it relevant for economic development and growth?
Answer : The age structure of the population refers to the proportion of persons in different age groups relative to the total population. The age structure changes with development, improved quality of life and improved life expectancy.
There are three age groups:
- The first, 0-14 years known as dependent group.
- The second, 15-59 years known as working group.
- The third, 60+ years known as elderly.
The age structure is relevant for economic development and growth in the following ways:
Dependency ratio is a good indication for Indian economy.
Progress in medical sciences, public health measures and nutrition resulted into high life expectancy.
The younger age groups in the age structure in believed to be an advantage, as India is supposed to be benefitted from a demographic dividend or demographic advantage.
The increasing percentage of 60+ age groups reveals that life expectancy is at a rise. This indicates advancement in medical sciences, public health measure and nutrition which further indicates prosperity and development.
With the help of the age structure, a government can review and renew its development plans.
Age structure of the population reveals socio-cultural changes, economic and political percussions and thus, helps in review and reform planning for the welfare of the nation as a whole.
Question 6 : What is meant by the ‘sex ratio’? What are some of the implications of a declining sex ratio? Do you feel that parents still prefer to have sons rather than daughters? What, in your opinion could be some of the reasons for this preference?
Answer : The sex ratio refers to the number of females per 1000 males in a given area at a specified time period. This ratio holds an important aspect in gender balance in population. Some of the implications of a declining sex ratio are as follows:
- The phenomenon of prevailing social norms which tend to value males much more than females and leads to son preference and the relative neglect of girl babies.
- Sex specific abortions that check girl babies from being born.
Yes, Indian parents prefer to have sons rather than a daughter as it is evident in the day to day media reports of foeticides, infanticides and abortions.
Some of the common reasons for the preference of male child over female are:
- Socio-cultural Belief : Preference of male child due to social security for family as people believe that only male child can lead and continue the family line.
- Unawareness : The lack of general awareness about maternal mortality and differential treatment towards girl child is also the major reason for low child sex ratio.
- Fear of Social Enigma and Other Problems : Many parents fear of social enigma including cases of defiling and the burden of maintenance are some of the reasons of such a preference.
Objective Type Questions
Multiple Choice Questions and Answers
Question 1 : Which among the following is not the use of demographic data?
(a) Economic development
(b) Planning of policies
(c) Implementation of policies
(d) Private welfare
Answer : (d) Private welfare
Question 2 : The theory of population growth was written in
(a) The Sociological Analysis of Population
(b) Essay on Population
(c) Sociology and Population
(d) Indian Civil Service
Answer : (b) Essay on Population
Question 3 : The second stage of demographic transition is called
(a) Population explosion
(b) Life expectancy
(c) Transitional stage
(d) Replacement level
Answer : (c) Transitional stage
Question 4 : The growth rate is the difference between
(a) immigration and emigration rates
(b) births and deaths
(c) fertility and fecundity
(d) None of the above
Answer : (d) None of the above
Question 5 : Which states in India are near the ‘replacement levels’ of population growth?
Answer : (b) Kerala
Question 6 : Dependents comprise of
(a) young people below 15
(b) old people above 65
(c) infants and 70 plus old people
(d) Both (a) and (c)
Answer : (d) Both (a) and (c)
Question 7 : Whenever there is a bulge in the age group pyramid amongst the non dependent age group, the ……. is beneficial.
(a) economic stability
(b) demographic dividend
(c) population planning
Answer : (b) demographic dividend
Question 8 : The first National Family Planning Policy was announced in
Answer : (b) 1952
Question 9 : According to Thomas Robert Malthus, Humanity is condemned to live in poverty forever because the growth of ……. will always be overtaken by population growth. While population arises in geometric progression agricultural production can only grow in arithmetic progression.
(a) agricultural production
(b) financial investment
(c) industrial production
(d) social movements
Answer : (a) agricultural production
Question 10 : In the theory of demographic transition, there are three basic phases of population growth. The first stage is that of ………. in a society that is underdeveloped and technologically backward. Growth rates are low because both the death rate and birth rate are very high, so that the difference between the two is low.
(a) high population growth
(b) low population growth
(c) medium population growth
(d) population loss
Answer : (b) low population growth
Fill in the Blanks
Question 11 : ……………. is a term for science dealing with the sex, distribution, composition and changes in population.
Answer : Demography
Question 12 : The term demography is of Greek origin and is composed of two words demos and graphein implying …………
Answer : description of people
Question 13 : According to Robert Malthus, population rises in ………….. progression whereas agricultural production grows in …….. progression.
Answer : geometric, arithmetic.
Question 14 : The total number of live births in a particular area (an entire country, a state, a district or other territorial unit) during a specified period (usually a year) divided by the total population of that area in thousands.
The phenomenon is referred to as …………………
Answer : Birth Rate.
Question 15 : In demographic transition theory, birth and death rate are high in ……….. stage.
Answer : first
Question 16 : ………….. has very high rate of population growth.
Answer : Uttar Pradesh
Question 17 : ……… refers to the estimated number of years that an average person is expected to survive.
Answer : Life expectancy
Question 18 : ……….. is usually periodic enumeration of a population.
Answer : Census
Correct the Statements
Question 19 : Marxist scholars applauded Malthus for calling poverty the cause of population growth.
Answer : Marxist scholars applauded Malthus for calling poverty the cause of population growth.
Question 20 : Historically, it has been found that sex ratio favours males over females.
Answer : Historically, it has been found that sex ratio favours females over males.
Question 21 : The deaths taking place due to epidemics and famines are on the rise.
Answer : The deaths taking place due to epidemics and famines are relatively low.
Question 22 : The National Family Planning Programme was renamed as the National Population Programme.
Answer : The National Family Planning Programme was renamed as the National Family Welfare Programme.
True and False
Question 23 : Demographic dividend is not beneficial for India due to the lack of effective policies.
Answer : False
Question 24 : Population pyramid requires complex statistical calculation to understand the interrelationship between age and sex in a given polution.
Answer : True
Question 25 : Literacy rate does not depend on any external factors such as social groups, gender, etc.
Answer : False
Question 26 : The first National Family Planning Policy was formed in India.
Answer : True
Complete the Sentence
Question 27 : This ‘population explosion’ happens because death rates are brought down relatively quickly through………….
Answer : advanced methods of disease control, public health, and better nutrition.
Question 28 : The benefit is flowing from the changing age structure is temporary because………
Answer : the larger pool of working age people will eventually turn into non-working old people.
Question 29 : Literacy as a prerequisite to education is ………….
Answer : an instrument of empowerment.
Question 30 : Mass media and communication channels are now bringing……..
Answer : images of urban life styles and patterns of consumption into the rural areas.
Very Short Answer Type Questions
Question 1 : What do you mean by demography?
Answer : Demography is the systematic study of population. It is composed of the Greek word demos which means people and graphein meaning, describing implying the description of people.
Question 2 : In what way formal demography is different from social demography?
Answer : Formal demography is primarily concerned with the measurement and analysis of the components of population change. Social demography, on the other hand, enquires into the wider causes and consequences of population structures and change.
Question 3 : State the importance of demographic data.
Answer : Demographic data are important for a country because it aids.
(i) in economic development.
(ii) in planning and implementation of state policies.
(iii) in general public welfare schemes and programmes.
(iv) in identifying the demographic transition stage of a country.
Question 4 : Why did Malthus believe mass death caused by famines and epidemic were inevitable?
Answer : For Malthus, there are ‘positive checks’ to population growth in the form of famines and diseases. They are the nature’s way for dealing with the imbalance between food supply and increasing population which humans can’t control.
Question 5 : What do you mean by zero population growth?
Answer : When the size of population remains unchanged or stablises, it is called the stage of zero population growth.
Question 6 : What is the ‘replacement level’ of population growth?
Answer : The replacement level is the rate of growth required for new generation to replace the older ones that are dying out.
Question 7 : What is meant by fertility rate?
Answer : Fertility rate refers to the total number of live births per 1000 women in the child bearing age group, usually taken to 15 to 49 years.
Question 8 : What do you understand by population structure?
Answer : By population structure theory we mean the distribution of population of country in different parts, density of population, birth and death rate, immigration, education, sex ratio, etc. In population structure, different aspects of population and features of population are studied.
Question 9 : What does high infant mortality and maternal mortality rate indicate?
Answer : High rates of infant and maternal mortality are an unambiguous indicator of backwardness and poverty.
Question 10 : What is dependency ratio?
Answer : The dependency ratio is a measure for comparing the portion of a population which is composed of dependents, with the population that is in the working age group (15-64) years.
Question 11 : Mention the factors responsible for the decline in the child sex ratio in India.
Answer : There are two most important factors responsible for the decline in the child sex ratio.
(i) Sex specific abortions that prevent girl babies from being born.
(ii) Female infanticide.
Question 12 : What is sterilisation?
Answer : Sterilisation refers to medical procedures like vasectomy (for man) and tubectomy (for woman) which prevents conception and child birth.
Question 13 : Why is dependency ratio a source of economic growth and prosperity?
Answer : A falling dependency ration can be a source of economic growth and prosperity due to the larger proportion of workers in comparison to non-workers.
Question 14 : What is meant by the age structure of the population?
Answer : The age structure of the population refers to the proportion of persons in different age groups in relation to the total population. The age structure varies in response to changes in the level of development and the average life expectancy.
Question 15 : How does India benefit from a demographic dividend?
Answer : There is a great influence of demographic dividend on the economic growth of India because the demographic dividend is the economic benefit that can arise when a population has a relatively large proportion of working age people, and effectively invests in their empowerment, education and employment.
Short Answer Type Questions
Question 1 : Why is the study of demography essential to sociological analysis?
Answer : The social statistics or demographic data are important to sociological analysis as they help in the planning and implementation of state policies. But apart from it, social statistics also provided a strong justification for sociology. The concept of aggregate statistics or characteristics that refer to a large population offers a concrete argument for the presence of social phenomenon. For example, the data of death rate points that is a social phenomenon that must be explained socially.
Question 2 : Despite the decline in birth rate, the growth rate of India’s population is increasing. Explain the reason.
Answer : The major reasons for India’s population rising despite the decline in birth rate are:
- Wide variations in the fertility rate across the states of India.
- States like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh still have very high Total Fertility Rate (TFRs).
- Birth rate is a socio-cultural phenomenon. It gets significantly affected by the age of marriage, infertility, social and climatic conditions.
- Awareness , education and the concept of small family is yet to reach the masses.
Question 3 : Why Malthus was proved wrong in the productivity of agriculture? What were the factors that made agriculture more productive?
Answer : According to Malthus, human population growth tendency is higher in comparison to food supply and agricultural output. As a result, the positive checks of higher mortality caused by famine, disease and war were necessary to bring the number of people back in line with the capacity to feed them.
He was criticised by the historical experience of European countries. The pattern of population growth began to change in the latter half of 19th century. Birth rates had declined and outbreaks of epidemic diseases were being controlled.
Malthus was proved wrong because both food production and standards of living continued to rise despite the rapid growth of population. He failed to forecast improved technology.
The availability of natural resources such as land, soil, etc. and other inventions like the use of fertilisers, mechanisms of irrigation and land, etc. allowed farmers and other more efficient ways of growing crops.
Question 4 : What reasons are responsible for maternal deaths in India than any other country in the world? What are the efforts of Ministry?
Answer : The major reasons for the maternal deaths are
- Poverty, illiteracy and backwardness.
- Lack of medical facilities and awareness.
- Ongoing superstitions in society.
The efforts of ministry in controlling maternal deaths are:
- Strengthening efforts in 264 districts that account nearly 70% of infants and maternal deaths.
- Implementation of ‘mother -child tracking system’ which keeps a track of pregnant women.
- Ministry also ran a program for the postnatal care and immunisation for the new born.
- Provision of enough fund per year ($3.5 billion) for improvement in health services and taking care of women’s and children’s health.
Question 5 : Highlight the main features of demographic dividend in India.
Answer : Main features of demographic dividend in India includes:
Working age of people (15 years-64 years) is relatively large with comparison to non-working in the total population.
There are relatively smaller groups of dependents which needs support. The working groups, thus, can easily take care of such people.
There are also small group of young children who cannot work and are supported/dependent.
India is facing a window of opportunity generated by the demographic dividend. It is a source of economic growth and prosperity.
Question 6 : Explain the regional variations of low child sex-ration in India.
Answer : Regional variations of low sex-ration exist in the most prosperous regions of India. As many as six States and Union Territories of India have lowest child sex ratio. Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh are among the richest states in India in terms of per capita income but, they have the lowest child sex ratio.
The problem of selective abortions is not due to poverty, dowry or lack of resources. Economically prosperous families decide to have fewer children and they may choose the sex of their child.
Question 7 : According to demographers and sociologists, what are the reasons for the decline in child sex-ratio in India?
Answer : According demographers and sociologists, the reasons for the decline in child sex ration in India are:
- General preference against girls and preference for boys because of socio-cultural reasons.
- Severe neglect of girl babies in infancy (maternal mortality).
- Gender based abortions (female foeticide).
- Female infanticide in many parts of India.
- Highly advanced medical facilities such as sonography.
Question 8 : The Family Planning Programme suffered during the period of National Emergency. Give reasons.
Answer : The Family Planning Programme suffered a setback during the years of the National Emergency (1975-76). During this time, the government tried to intensify the effort to bring down the growth rate. In order to achieve its aim, the government took the following steps:
- The government introduced a coercive (forced) programme of mass sterilisation.
- Sterilisation refers to medical procedures like vasectomy for men and tubectomy for women to prevent conception and child birth. Vast numbers of mostly poor and powerless people were forcibly sterilised.
- There was massive pressure on lower level government officials (school teachers or office workers) to bring people for sterilisation in the camps.
- Due to this programme widespread popular opposition took place in the country.