Population Pyramid

India is a host to more than 142 crore people and has outperformed China to be the most populous country in the world, as per United Nations Population Fund. India is also the host to one of the youngest populations in the whole globe and hence has the potential to reap benefits accrued by its demographic situation. 

The population pyramid serves as a remarkable resource to access the structure and composition of a population. Population pyramid is the graphical expression of the age and sex composition of a population. It substantiates the proportion of males and females in proportion to their ages. The age structure reveals the dominance of particular age in the composition of a population. For eg. A tilt towards the younger population or say, the working-age population(15-59 years of age) presents a want of employment opportunities and similarly, an increase in the dependent population indicates the necessity of having policies aimed at social security provision. Hence, it is clear that the population pyramid is beneficial to take note of the design of the population and affect the strategies that suit the style. 

Benefits of Population Pyramid – 

  1. Helps in taking note of the design of the population 
  2. Adopting the strategies that suit the composition of the population. 
  3. Gives an idea of the extent of development. 
  4. Shows evolution from high to low birth rates. 
  5. The base of the pyramid reveals the structure of the population. For example, if the base is broad, it showcases more youngsters in the population. Otherwise, it reflects the more number of dependents in the population. 
  6. Assists in predicting the future stages in a country as to when the population rate will double in the country. 

Thus, in a nutshell, the population pyramid is an age-sex arrangement of a population. It is the shape of the population pyramid that reveals the true character of the population. The population pyramid is constructed in a graphical form. Usually, the left side depicts the proportion of males and the right portion of the graph exhibits the ratio of females. It looks like a horizontal bar diagram. Usually, the X- axis(horizontal axis) represents the population extent and the y-axis (vertical) depicts the age group of the population. 

Types of Population Pyramid 

There are effectively three types of population pyramids. They are characterized by the different shapes drawn graphically. The three types of population pyramids are as follows 1. Increasing Population- The population pyramid in this case has a wider base and looks like a triangle in shape. It corresponds to a general pyramid in shape. The expanding population pyramid is usual in less developed countries. 

The birth rate is high and hence, more population is there at the base. The younger age people dominate the population structure.

Sourced from Class 12th Geography NCERT The above diagram represents the population pyramid with the increasing population in Nigeria. The base is much wider and joins to a near pin-pointed edge at the top. 

Constant or steady Population- The population pyramid in this case reflects that the birth rate and death rate are almost identical. It is due to this reason, the population size is constant. 

Graphically, the shape of the population pyramid is in the shape of a bell and is slightly pointed towards the top. 

Sourced from Geography NCERT class 12th The above example is of Australia (data of the year 2009-10). It clearly shows a relatively constant population and the graph is more or less equally skewed in both the direction of males and females. 

Falling population – The last of the pyramid structure is the declining population. The base in this case of the population pyramid is narrow and a bit tapered at the top. It is due to both the birth and death rate being low. It is witnessed mostly in developed countries and population growth is negligible or zero or even negative.

Sourced from class 12th Geography NCERT Japan is a typical example of declining population growth. The base is thin due to low birth rates and the top is tapered as the death rates are low as well, mostly due to well-developed healthcare services. Thence, the graph is fat in between the two extremes. 

As discussed, India is presently in a situation where it has a great number of youngsters in the country. The base is obviously wider corresponding to the higher working-age group in the country. It represents a window of opportunity for India as India can realize the merits of a demographic dividend. 

But, a younger population is no guarantee for the organization of a demographic dividend. India needs to invest in skills enhancement, improving education standards, enhancing the reach of education opportunities to all, abundant employment opportunities, and promotion of a culture where innovation can thrive. India can take several steps in this path like taking leverage of online courses fir education (eg. SWAYAM portal), getting ahead with more emphasis on the One Health approach, and investing more in research and development of emerging technologies like AI, Big Data, Internet of Things etc. and assuring citizens about the employment threats due to onset of these techniques. India should look ahead to take this opportunity and take yield maximum advantages from it. 

The government of the day has worked with the same zeal to achieve the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat and actualize the goal of a 5 trillion economy. Of late, India’s startup culture has picked up and has exhibited exemplary progress. These are steps in the right direction and will enable India to achieve its growth targets in Amrit Kaal

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