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Population Trap: Definition & Why countries want to deal with it

Population Trap: Definition & Why countries want to deal with it

What is the population trap? Why have so many countries tried to limit the birth rate?

Population trap is a situation in which the speed of population growth is higher than that of economic growth, hence making the average income per person gradually decrease and giving rise to many social issues (such as poverty, social evils, disease and retardation, and so on)

To have a better understanding of population trap


Once the income of workers exceeds a certain minimum level to adequately cover living expenses, they will have a greater desire to get married and have children. After this, the speed of population growth will turn to rely on human’s instincts (no longer limited by income), and the number of population starts to increase significantly while the speed of economic growth is still slow as it takes time to accumulate resources. This leads to a lack of job opportunities, a fall in worker’s salary and return of poverty. Thus, coupled with the increase in the number of population, governments need to vigorously reform the economy, including increasing debt from external sources to escape the population trap.


The consequence of population trap


In African countries, rapid population growth rate puts pressure on the economy and the social security systems.. Public health areas and school systems consequently cannot expand enough to meet the demand. Simultaneously , the population structure with too many children will cause under-aged labour and the existence of social issues.

In Vietnam, the government has tried to regulate the population by implementing the family planning policy across the country. After years of implementation, with the slogan “ each family should only have 1-2 children'', the fertility proportion has decreased considerably, from 2,33 (1999) down to 2,03 (2009) to 2,01 until recently.


Although many opinions oppose the impact of the population growth, the population trap is still appropriate until now. History points out that developing countries need an industrial revolution fast enough, keep the population growth at a reasonable level and limit the overexploitation of resources. According to World Bank statistics, the population growth rate all over the world has witnessed a downward trend and by 2020, this figure only stays around 1%. These figures offer many prospects for escaping the population trap in under-developed countries and fostering development on a global scale.