Beijing & population

When we consider the ever increasing global population in today’s world there are many factors which influence the dynamics of population growth. In the past population dynamics was only a matter of live births, deaths and migrations. Life expectancies among the populace were low due to famine; war and disease being common factors keeping most populations from growing.

However with the advent of modern technology these issues are no longer the threat they once were. Developing countries have now realized that the continued population growth in a country can be a hindrance to their economic development.

However an effort to categorize the population growth in the form of population dynamics is far more difficult today due to various extraneous factors that exist. This topic will take Beijing as an example to illustrate the complications in this subject. It is important to note first that China is the first country in the world with a billion people as its constituents. The population growth of China was in the first phase of democratic transition during the late 19th century meaning they had a high birth rate and a high death rate due to widespread famine at the time.

However, the Chinese government realized that their country was in the second phase of democratic transition during the 20th century. Meaning they would had a high birth rate and a low death rate with a high rate of fertility which the government surmised would be a huge blow to their economy. In order to counteract this government began enforcing the single child-policy offering incentives for those parents who had one child and taxing those who had more than one. They also encourage sterilization, abortions and kept a strict record of the parents who had children while discriminating against those who had two or more.

They started family planning programs which were geared towards voluntary fertility reduction. Migration was also encouraged for youths who wished to leave the country for seek new economic opportunities. While all these factors lend themselves to being calculated by the formulae set by population dynamics. In the case of Beijing these dynamics cannot be calculated due to the immense population which resides there. It should also be noted that most of the population which participates in these voluntary fertility reduction programs are those from the middle class.

While those individuals from the lower class not only have more children than the middle class they are also harder to document due to the fact that most of the lower class population is involved primarily in the field of agriculture. Their lower social economic scale lends them to being uneducated and undocumented thus creating a problem in ascertaining the factors of population growth. Additionally the increasing technological progress has also increased the life expectancy in China creating an environment where higher populations of the Chinese people are close to sixty years of age.

Documenting the growth activities of such a massive population is not only time consuming and costly. It also creates new complications for the population dynamic that may be unforeseen in a controlled simulation. Economics may increase causing greater emigrations or vice versa, new diseases such as swine flu may strike the elderly portion of the population causing a fundamental decrease, the government may successfully implement greater controls to ensure population decrease, etc.

Thus, it is inevitable that the population dynamics of a billion people would reveal certain problems in categorizing the growth potential of a country. However, we must realize that more than anything else this is simply due to the inherent unpredictability’s of the biological and environmental factors at play. References Sociology Online. (2005). Population Patterns And Trends. Retrieved May 20, 2009, from Sociology Online: http://www. sociologyonline. net/text/intro/main/c4b543n. htm

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