This research was conducted to determine the consequences of population growth on the Nigerian economy. In order to conduct this study, the researcher traveled to Esan Central Local Government Area, employed questionnaires to collect information from the general public, and examined the data in the form of tables. Observations indicate that polygamy, illiteracy, poverty, and early marriage contribute to the rapid increase in population. Concerns have been made that the planned economy may not be able to support the current population or a huge population. Consequently, having fewer children, practicing monogamy, and raising the level of living are the solutions to the effects of Nigeria’s population expansion. The subsequent suggestions were made. The government should improve the deplorable state of health care in this country; harmful practices such as sexual trafficking and violence against women must be eradicated. Women should be informed and empowered, and the government should strive to implement programs that emphasize the continued use of family planning services. The exponential expansion of the population can be halted if the government provides incentives for smaller families.
THE BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Population is the total number of organisms of the same species in a given habitat at a given period in biology. Regarding human population, population is the total number of inhabitants in a specific country (Obueh, 2006).
Numerous factors, including higher incomes, improved nutrition, safe and sufficient water and sanitation, widespread availability of immunization, highly effective drugs against infectious diseases, increased education, and technological advancement, have completely altered the size and structure of the human population. Therefore, it is accurate to argue that a nation’s economic growth is highly dependent on its population increase.
With an estimated population of one hundred and forty million (140,000,000) and an annual growth rate of 2.9%, Nigeria is one of the world’s nations with the fastest population increase (Npc, 2006).
Nigeria is the most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa and the tenth most populous country in the entire world. However, the majority of this population is comprised of young people, with 49% being under the age of twenty-one (21) and an estimated 89% dependency ratio. A considerable majority of this population prefers and resides in the fast increasing urban region, currently estimated to be above 45.2% and projected to reach 55.4% by 2015. (UNDP, 2007)
With these statistics, however, the population dynamics reveals profound inequities and disproportions when compared to the development indicators, such as 21 doctors per 100,000 people, an infant mortality rate of 122 per 1,000 live births, a maternal mortality rate of over 980 per 100,000 live births, and a projected life expectancy at birth of 50.1 years (population growth and economic development in Nigeria, 2008)
Umeh (1996) proposed that a region’s population must be such that the available food can maintain it for an extremely long time. Population and population growth, as well as food and food population increase, are of grave importance to nations and their leaders. This is because population expansion has a direct impact on food consumption in the majority of emerging nations; the population growth rate is close to a crisis point.
The world’s population numbers provide a compelling tale of how people and nations are evolving. The world’s population is expanding significantly each year, but the rate of increase differs greatly from region to region. Some countries have an elderly population and, as a result, may experience a population fall in the future, while others have young and fast growing populations. Each circumstance presents its own set of social, economic, environmental, and political obstacles (Obueh, 2008).
According to the Burea 2010 world population statistics sheet, the global population reached 6.892 billion by the middle of 2010. The majority of future population growth will occur in countries with a substantial proportion of young people and where big families are still the norm. Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Asia are the world’s two fastest-growing areas. In contrast, the industrialized world as a whole is witnessing far slower growth or even population reduction. The United States stands apart from the rest of the industrialized world due primarily to immigration and somewhat higher birth rates.