Impact of Population Growth on Environmental Degradation: Case of India

Sarbapriya Ray, Ishita Aditya Ray


Rapid population growth in a country like India is threatening the environment through expansion and intensification of agriculture, uncontrolled growth of urbanization and industrialization, and destruction of natural habitats. The present paper is an attempt to study the population change and its impacts on land, forest and water and energy resources. Rapid population growth plays an important role in declining per capita agricultural land, forest and water resources. The analysis reveals that outcomes of high population growth rates are increasing population density and number of people below poverty line. Population pressure contributes to land degradation and soil erosion, thus affecting productive resource base of the economy. The increasing population numbers and growing affluence have resulted in rapid growth of energy production and consumption in India. The environmental effects like ground water and surface water contamination; air pollution and global warming are of growing concern owing to increasing consumption levels. The paper concludes with some policy reflections and emphasizes the potential importance of natural resources.

Key words: Population, India, Growth, environment, degradation.

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