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Project 1 Team 5

Page history last edited by Rachel Griffith 14 years, 8 months ago


        Population Growth: India vs. China        


     Population in India and China is increasing at a rate that is causing human welfare to suffer, economic mayhem and degredation of the environment. The population growth is so dramatic that the government has stepped in and made efforts to try to control the population's size. This site shares references that give an in depth look at information about population growth in these two countries.  




  • Alex Dennis
  • Rachel Griffith
  • Lia Snow 



India Population Growth



                                                       Map of India                                 Progress in Farming Is Leveling Off



Hari Kumar; In Fertile India Growth Outstrips Agriculture [Internet]. [Published 2008 Jun 8]. New York City (NY): The New York Times; [Cited 2008 Sept 4]. Available from: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/22/business/22indiafood.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1


This article is from the New York Times which tends to be a fairly good media outlet.  This article is written primarily as an economists paper explaining how India’s outdated agricultural system is failing to keep up with its own population.  Water levels are dropping and India is having to import grain for the first time in years.  This is largely critical of the Governments role within the last decade in allowing the agricultural community in India to stagnate.  At the same time this article points out the shortcomings of the green revolution and the shortsightedness of some of the governments earlier policies.


Pros:  Easy to read, written for the public, takes an economists point of view on the issue of overpopulation and underproduction.


Cons:  While taking a more economic perspective does not take as much of an environmental perspective. 


Haub C.  Decline in India’s Birth Rate Slows [Internet]. [updated March 2002] Population Reference Bureau;  [Cited 2008 Sept 4] Available from:




This is a well written and concise article.  India has had a population policy since 1950 that while succeeding in slowing down birth rates nationally and particularly in the southern states, has had more limited success in northern and middle states such as Ultar Pradesh which have markedly lower rates of literacy still have birth rates well above the sustainable 2.1.  This article is written for the general public and seems to be a good authority on the topic.


Pros:  Clearly demonstrates how India's population growth in unevenly distributed with highest levels in the northern provinces.


Cons:  Does not offer suggestions for policy changes in these northern states that could counteract this problem.


Overcrowding, Poor Sanitation Barriers to India's Anti-Polio Drive [Internet]. [updated Nov 2006]. Emax Health; [Cited 2008 Sept 4] Available from: http://www.emaxhealth.com/39/8316.html



This article has been released by Emax Health and I have very little idea of its neutrality or its authority on its subject, however both seem sufficient. This article explains how extreme poverty as well as overcrowding (an effect of overpopulation) have made battling polio in the northern regions of India increasingly difficult.  It has been written for a broad audience in a manner that is fairly easy to read.  I would not consider this article up to par with some of the other articles I have found, and is not nearly as comprehensive as the ehp article on respiratory diseases.


Pros:  Links overcrowding to disease, as overcrowding is in part a symptom of overpopulation, this makes a good connection between overpopulation and disease.


Cons:  Authority of article up for debate.  Not very extensive or


Sharma S, Sethi G R, Rohtagi A, Chaudhary A, Shankar R, Bapna J S, Joshi V, Sapir D G. 1998. Indoor Air Quality and Acute Lower Respiratory Infection in Indian.  Environmental Health Perspectives [Internet]. [Cited 2008 Sept 4]. Vol 106, # 5, May 1998 Available from:




Highly comprehensive scientific study examines the cases of respiratory diseases in children residing in the slums of New Dehli.  This is tied into overpopulation as India’s population grows so does the rate of urbanization increasing overcrowding in many slums such as these in tandem with poor living conditions create perfect settings for disease.  This article is very well written and is a good authority in this topic coming from highly educated members of the medical profession in India.  The writing is more complex than some of the other article with a greater regard for statistics and is intended for a scientific audience.


Pros:  Highly extensive, scientific article, good authority on topic.  Links overcrowding to environmental disease, indirectly linking overpopulation to diminished health.


Cons:  More difficult to read for the generalized public as it is written as report on a scientific study and as such is more intended for audiences within it's own field.  Makes it less accessible to children.



World Factbook [Internet]. [Updated 2008 Sept 4].  USA: Central Intelligence Agency; [Cited 2008 Sept 4].  Available from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in.html



The US. Central Intelligence Agencies public database on the country of India.  Includes statistical and descriptive information on the geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military and “transnational issues.”  More importantly contains important statistical data on the population such as.  Age structure, median age, population growth rates, birth rates, death rates, etc.


Pros:  Excellent Statistical information related to India's population growth.  Since information is coming directly from the CIA it should be about as accurate as possible.


Cons:  Although an excellent source of raw data on India's population, the significance of the % growth rate and Fertility rates are lost on the average person without proper explanation.   Raw unanalyzed data only has limited use promoting public awareness.



      China Population Growth     


Buckley, C. 2007. China launches new push to slow population growth. Reuters [Internet]. [cited 2008 September 21] Available from: http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSPEK20333420071120?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0


This article focuses on the difficulties the government faces when trying to control population growth especially in rural areas. Mobil families from rural areas are able to avoid official checks and those with money can pay fines or bribes in order to have more children. The National Planning Committee in China claims that rural family planning is “the number one tough task under heaven”. The article is efficient at dealing with the consequences of Chinese population control policies especially in rural areas. It provides information about the difficulties surrounding these tasks.


The Good: The article is focused on providing information regarding consequences of population control policies. The author was specific and did not deviate from the main topic of the article.

The Bad: The article was very brief and did not discuss many ways in which the Chinese government could reduce the problems that are occurring in rural areas. 


Cook J. 1999. Population control and consequences in china. Univerisity of Omaha [Internet]. [cited 2008 September 8]. Available from: http://maps.unomaha.edu/ peterson/funda/Sidebar/ChinaPop.html 




The author specifically outlined five main points for his article as if it was intended for a discussion or to be used in a classroom. First he discussed problems associated with overpopulation in China. These problems include social, economical, degradation of land and resources, pollution, detrimental living conditions. Next China’s population policies are evaluated with the focus being on the one child per family policy. Then problems with these population control policies are discussed. The social and political consequences of Chinese policies were mentioned. For example some citizens retaliate against policies with acts of violence. Social benefits include a higher standard of living, higher life expectancy, lower infant mortality rate and higher medical coverage. Lastly the author discusses the future outcomes for China. The article was very organized and easy to follow, it was brief and to the point.


The Good: The article was very well organized and easy to follow. It is good information to read if just beginning research.

The Bad: The information presented is not very specific, it would not be helpful if you needed a more in depth look at the subject.


Dolan, R., Savada, A., & Worden, R. 1987. Population Control Programs.  China: A Country Study Library of Congress [Internet]. [cited 2008 September 8] Available from: http://countrystudies.us/china/34.htm



The U.S. Library of Congress presents an overview of the population control policies used in China. A history of the progression of the policies is presented beginning with mass birth control efforts started by the Ministry of Public Health in 1956. A nationwide birth control campaign was begun in 1972. Then the programs progressed to the one-child policies. The success and failure of these programs were evaluated. This source presented a sufficient overview of the progression of population reducing policies in China. The information was beneficial in getting quick background information about different policies and their effects in China.


 The Good: The article presents a quick overview of the history of programs implemented by the Chinese government in order to control population growth. It is brief and easy to understand.

The Bad: There is not much explanation about the sucesses of these programs. The author basically just explains the policies.


Martig N. 2008. Damage from china’s push for economic growth decried by environmentalists. Voice of America [Internet]. [cited 2008 September 8]. Available from: http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2008-02/2008-02-29-voa22.cfm?CFID=35860428&CFTOKEN=11736474 


 The author claims that both economic and population growth in China are having negative effects on the environment. In the late 1970s economic reforms in China pushed the country into becoming a major industrial power which causes much strain on the environment. Pollution caused acid rain and contaminated rivers. In Northern China two million people lack sufficient amount of drinking water. Even though China has the world’s largest water reserves, the overuse and pollution causes a scarcity of water for citizens. The World Bank claims that 17-20 of the world’s most polluted cities are in China. Most efforts to control pollution fail because of the corruption and desire for profit that exists. Many activist claim that if China wants to improve living conditions and continue economic growth they are going to have to tighten regulations and employ cleaner technology. Economic growth was the main focus of this article with population growth only mentioned slightly. It provided an adequate examination of how pollution is a huge problem in China. 


The Good: The author presented significant information on how pollution was effected by the economic growth in China. It emphasized the problems that are associated with this growth especially pollution.

The Bad: The focus of the article was on problems associated with economic growth and didn't have much about how population growth also has an impact.


Vast, J. 2008. One last thing: China’s impending catastrophe: its shrinking aging population. Philly.com [Internet]. [cited 2008 September 21] Available from: http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20080815_One_Last_Thing__China_s_impending_catastrophe__Its_shrinking__aging_population.html


The author discusses problems in the future for China as their population decreases and ages. He uses data from the United Nations Population Division to claim that Chinese population will peak at 1.458 billion in 2030 and then decrease. At the same time the average age will increase. In 2005 the average age of a Chinese person was 32 by 2050 it will be 45. This will cause a problem because due to the One Child Policy their will be no extended family to support the elderly. Also a pension program in China is non existent. The author claims that China will either have to cut spending to other areas such as defense and public works or impose higher taxes on younger workers in order to pay for the elderly. Both of these options will cause problems in the future. The author’s opinion on China’s future provides a more focused and specific look at the impacts of population growth than other sources did.


The Good: The article was focused on the specific problems associated with an aging population in China. It was brief and to the point.

The Bad: This article was based on an opinion therefore there could be some bias. 




 Air Pollution in China


Population Control Policies and Awareness Efforts



 [Stamps suggesting Family Planning]




[Single child policy poster] 





Attane I. 2002 China's Family Planning Policy: An Overview of Its Past and Future. Studies in Family Planning [Internet]. [Cited 8 September 2008]. Available from:http://www.jstor.org/stable/2696336?&Search=yes&term=Its&term=Future.&term=Policy&term=China%27s&term=2002&term=Attane&term=Planning&term=I.&term=Family&term=Overview&term=Past&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3DAttane%2BI.%2B2002%2BChina%2527s%2BFamily%2BPlanning%2BPolicy%253A%2BAn%2BOverview%2Bof%2BIts%2BPast%2Band%2BFuture.%2B%26x%3D13%26y%3D16%26wc%3Don&item=1&ttl=2&returnArticleService=showArticle



This article highlights China’s family planning policy during the last 30 years, and it outlines key trends and the hopeful outcome of putting certain policies in place. It delves into different elements that have prevented a positive impact on the population problem elements such as cultural and economic factors. 


Good: This article outlines the family planning policy in great detail, and how the policies have effected the population growth. It also gives minimal information about how this effects the population emotionally.

Bad: This article became more of a reaction to the policy than a direct analysis of the policies efforts. It was interjected with personal thoughts which made me doubt the validity of some of the stronger statements made.



Greenhalgh S. [1994] Controlling Births and Bodies in Village China. American Ethnologist [Internet]. [cited 8 September 2008]. Available from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/646519?&Search=yes&term=Bodies&term=Village&term=Controlling&term=China.&term=Births&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3DControlling%2BBirths%2Band%2BBodies%2Bin%2BVillage%2BChina.%26wc%3Don%26dc%3DAll%2BDisciplines&item=1&ttl=163&returnArticleService=showArticle



This article highlights the inhumane treatment of women in China and the hostility that is often shown towards them in the movement to have a more controlled population size.  This article speaks on the forced abortions, and contraceptives and the choices women have to make when it comes time to think about having a family of their own.


Good: This article exploited the inhumane treatment that arrises due to the policies in effect in China. It talks about the thought process of a family that must choose to keep or neglect a child, and gives statistics and numbers to prove its points.

Bad: The article is outdated but, it is noted that these practices are likely to continue as long as the government has a hand in family planning.



 Johnson K, Banghan H, Liyao W. Infant Abandonment and Adoption in China. 1998. Population and Development Review [Internet]. [cited 8 September 2008]. Available from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2808152?&Search=yes&term=Infant&term=Abandonment&term=Adoption&term=China&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3DInfant%2BAbandonment%2Band%2BAdoption%2Bin%2BChina%26gw%3Djtx%26prq%3DControlling%2BBirths%2BAND%2BBodies%2Bin%2BVillage%2BChina.%26Search%3DSearch%26hp%3D25%26wc%3Don&item=2&ttl=268&returnArticleService=showArticle



This article focuses on the amount of children who are abandoned and given up for adoption by their parents. It focuses on the statistics and the growth of orphanages over the four growth phases in China. It also speaks about the awful conditions of the different orphanage situations and the rate of deaths in orphanage care.


Good: This article focuses on how children are treated as a result of the policies put in place. It gives a description of which policies effect which social outcome.

Bad: This article is extremely pessimistic; it doesn't leave room for positive growth. The tone of the article though it fights for the lost children it also makes them seem as though they are a lost cause.




Population in India's First-Year Plan (1951-56). 1997.

Population and Development Review [Internet]. [cited 8 September 2008]. Available from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2137551?&Search=yes&term=First-Year&term=India%27s&term=Population&term=Plan&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3DPopulation%2Bin%2BIndia%2527s%2BFirst-Year%2BPlan%26gw%3Djtx%26prq%3DInfant%2BAbandonment%2BAND%2BAdoption%2Bin%2BChina%26Search%3DSearch%26hp%3D25%26wc%3Don&item=1&ttl=386&returnArticleService=showArticle



This article is about the five-year birth control plan in India that was initiated as a start for population control. It gives statistics and possible outcomes if an intervention is not enacted immediately. It also talks about the advantage that those who are educated have over those who are unable to get proper schooling.


Good: This article goes in depth about the plan India implemented to help get a better handle on family planning. It focuses on how schooling and education is the best way for people to become more aware of the population crisis.

Bad: This article focuses heavily on the schooling issue and does not give that much attention to the advertising efforts made in the family planning movement.



Davidson R. Gwatkin. Political Will and Family Planning: The Implications of India's Emergency Experience. 1979. Population and Development Review [Internet]. [cited 8 September 2008]. Available from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1972317?&Search=yes&term=Experience&term=Emergency&term=Political&term=India%27s&term=Implications&term=Planning&term=Family&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3DPolitical%2BWill%2Band%2BFamily%2BPlanning%253A%2BThe%2BImplications%2Bof%2BIndia%2527s%2BEmergency%2BExperience%26gw%3Djtx%26prq%3DPolitical%2BWill%2BAND%2BFamily%2BPlanning%2B%2BThe%2BImplications%2Bof%2BIndia%2527s%2BEmergency%2BExperienc%26Search%3DSearch%26hp%3D25%26wc%3Don&item=1&ttl=308&returnArticleService=showArticle



This article talks about how though the government is willing to put effort in spreading knowledge about proper family planning it is not willing to focus on what the majority of the population is concerned with: social security.  And until the government provides proper care for the elderly these people will be relying on their children and thus it is necessary to have multiple.


Good: This article goes in depth about what the government feels is the appropriate action to get a handle on the population crisis.

Bad: This article is outdated and new efforts have been attempted. Though it is outdated this article is a great reference to what has not worked in the past. 





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