Describe and comment on the social, economic and political implications of population change?

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An increasing population results in the social problems of over-crowding, with the availability of less homes, increasing the demand for houses of multiple occupancy, and raising house prices. The latter impact makes it increasingly difficult for those with a lower income to support their (economic) finances, such as taxes and living costs, forcing them to live in smaller residences. The large concentration of people in a small space increases the rate of infectious disease, meaning national health costs may rise (political, economic). A decreasing population will have a negative effect on the economy, with fewer workers available to produce goods to make profit in domestic and international trade. This may cause the government to encourage an influx of migrant workers (political, social), as can be seen currently in Russia. If a population is growing rapidly, the government will be stricter with migration policies, making the country more closed to migrant workers who would take the jobs needed for current residents (political, social). An example can be seen with the USA’s migration policy, particularly regarding Mexico.

Having an increasingly older (‘ageing’) population would cause there to be political and economic changes in healthcare provision, with more emphasis being put on the training of heart specialists and less being put on pre natal care. An increase in retirees would make more jobs available (social, economic), encouraging the government to put less restraint of migration policies, as migrant workers are welcomed to fill the jobs previously done by those now retired (poltical), as can be seen in Germany. The economy would also adapt to provide more social resources for the elderly – for example providing services that the ‘grey pound’ would want, such as holidays for the retired. Politically, an ageing population may also cause retirement ages to be raised.

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