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1.1 THE BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The consequences of population growth on the economic development of less developed countries are not the same because the condition prevailing in these countries are quite different from those of developed economy. Therefore the body of literature on population growth in Nigeria has always emphasized either the negative or the positive effect.
Therefore in every discussion, it is conventional to start with a
definition of terms used in such discussion. However, population
growth can be seen by a demographer as a change in the size of the
population. But when this change occurs in such a way that it reduces
the size of population, the demographer refers it as a negative growth
but when it adds to the size of the population he regards it as a positive
one. What we get from this concept is that population growth can be
positive or negative depending on whether there is an increase or
1 decrease in the size of a given population. Population whether positive or negative is derived from three demographic variables such as birth, death and migration rates
Udabah (1999) Threw more light on this by adding that birth and
death rates in underdeveloped countries are quite different from that of
developed countries. Births rate in underdeveloped are generally high,
why those of developed countries are low. On the other hand, death
rates are higher in underdeveloped nations. The higher rate of
population growth is therefore a major characteristic of underdeveloped
nations and is partly responsible for the low rates of economic
Moreover, the population of any country constitutes the most vital
component of its resource base. This aspect is based mostly on its size,
growth rate, spatial distribution, demographic structure and quality in
terms of level of education, fitness and social welfare. Population
statistics are indispensable impute into the planning process in any area.
To government issuing programmes for instance in the efforts of
government in the developing countries to feed the people and also
2 provide quality services for them are being frustrated by rapid
population growth. This growth is attributable on the one hand to
improvement in human survival associated with the application of
modern medical science to health matters, better sanitation and
immunization of children which have caused the death rate to decrease.
On the other hand, so many socio-cultural issues have complimented the growth of population in Nigeria positively (Lee and Miler 1990, Rennne 1995, Ainsword et al 1996).
Consequently, the world population has been increasing and the last
two decades have been demographically unprecedented as it rose from
4.2 billion people in 1985 to 6.4 billion in 2010. Much of this occurred
in the developing nations as their population grew from 3.7 billion to
5.1 billion as against that of developed nation which grew from 1.1 billion to 1.2 billion over the same period (United Nation 2001 billion).
Nigerian‟s population is one of the fastest growing population in the
world and Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, ranked the tenths as obtained from two major sources, viz the 1991 census and the Population Reference Bureau World Population Data Sheet.
3 Obviously, the population of Nigeria is large which makes it a “giant”
relative to the other Africa countries. The large population of Nigeria
implies a large market for goods and services as well as large pool of
human resources for development. However, the impact of population
on development depends not only on the absolute size but also on its
quality. The major function responsible for the rapid increase in the
population of the country is the relatively high fertility level as
portrayed by a total fertility rate of about 6.0 life – birth per woman in
Having seen from theoretical and empirical view that the population
growth is an impediment to the economic growth and development
especially under developing countries. It is then important to answer
this question, how detrimental is population growth to the economic
growth? To answer these we look into the interactions between
population growth and any of the economic variable such as ,
population growth, unemployment, savings ,interest, and inflation etc.
So in this research work, our demonstration of the impact of population
on economic growth will be based on the study of the relationship
4 between population growth, interest, unemployment and inflation. Now
the question to answer becomes how those population growth
influences unemployment? Since we are working on the impact of
population growth on Nigeria, as whose population according the 2006
census was estimated to be at a growth rate of 3%, our limitation of this
study would be on the Nigeria GDP (Gross Domestic Product) or GNI
(GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT) versus the population growth rate of
Nevertheless, economic growth is the GDP OR GNI divided by the total population of the whole country. This measures the level of output in the economy. This equation implies that if population is rapidly growing, the economic growth will reduce marginally and people income will also decrease. So according to the finding, GDP can be improved that is GDP per capital by checking the population growth rate through birth control, death rate, migration and some other economic variables and demographic variables.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Fundamentally, growth is an indispensible requisite for the
development that is why Nigeria‟s economic growth had continue to
dominate the main thrust of government paramount objective more
importantly, growth is associated with policies of control population
growth because a high population lead to a vicious depletion of a
nation‟s financial and material resources. According to CBN (1997) the
population growth rate of Nigeria is at an average of 2.83% from 1993
to 1997 as compared to developed country like United States whose
population rate is 1.00% on the average. This rapid population growth
has efficiently induce wide spread poverty. According to Chege (1992),
Nigeria became worst than the early post-colonial period. In the 1980‟s
the agricultural sector declined in productivity by 1.3% while
population grew by 3.1% thus creating severe food shortage, a fall in
capital income, a fall in savings and living standard . Because of this
type of situation economic growth been severely retarded and dwarfed.
6 The above presentation points to the critical stance of the economy and therefore makes a clarion call for adequate measure to control the growth rate of Nigeria‟s population which is at 2.8%per annum. To check this, we require constructive demographic policy approaches that will seriously enlighten citizens of the eminent socio-economic danger of rapid population growth.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
1 To find out the relationship between population growth and
Charge of managing the economy on how to remedy the situation population growth.
1.4 STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESIS
The hypothesis to be used is stated thus:
H0:= The impact of population growth on Nigerian economy is not
H1:= The impact of population growth on Nigerian economy is
H0:= There is no casual relationship between population growth and
H1:= There is casual relationship between population growth and
1.5 SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
1 It provides information on population trends and their implication
To the policy makers, educators, the media and the concern public
2 To ascertain the truthfulness whether population growth impact
Negatively or positively to the economic development.
3 This study will also serve as a reference research work for the
society further studies
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research is macroeconomic in nature and over the trend of
population growth rate and economic growth rate in Nigeria from 1980
to 2010 a period of 30 years. The study also focuses on the effects of
population growth on economic growth in Nigeria in a bid to analyze
the options available to accelerate economic development, taking into
cognizance of the fact that other factors outside the sphere of population
are also important in the determination of the face of economic growth.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The utility of this research work is restricted to the exclusive focus on population size and growth.