May 23rd 2010
Is it created by politicians, administrators to hide their mismanagement, raise community sentiments?
in India, China
One often hears in India population as the main cause of all problems. How many times you have heard even such extreme statements "the root of all the problems of our country is population”?
Similar is the case with China. One does not know so clearly about China -- what people there talk but what we know is that politicians there have gone to the extent of forcing one child policy or even forced abortions.
Let us check the data
about population, to see how far such sentiments are right. By and large generally people are
even confused about what to count. They will say in India "Oh! billion people,
How can we survive?"
To measure crowd what
one should count is not total population but how many people live per
It does not take one much effort to understand that it is not the total population which matters. After all India has much bigger land area than most countries too, it is natural that its population will be large. So what one should count is population per square kilometer in the country - the density of population (that measures how crowded a country is ).
Now look at the tables
given below - all figures in this article are from those
given by UN agencies ( http://esa.un.org/unpp ) or data
given by CIA
about different countries (
) or from
Density of population
- number of people per kilometer in some countries
The above data
shows that crowd in Japan or Netherlands etc. is at least as much as
China it is even far less. Why then many Indians and Chinese are so
paranoid about crowd in their country? Very few of them perhaps have
gone through this data. They just hear some thing and become
sentimental about it. We will later on explore why this myth might have
been created. But before that another important aspect.
is not total land but how much of the land in a country can have
agriculture (Arable land)
It is not so much the total land which matters. What is important is how much of the land is arable and can have some agriculture. Here is the approximate data of arable land.
Only USA is better placed than India
you take these two figures and calculate how many people are there
per square kilometers of arable land in some of these countries -
rough figures are India
650, USA 180, China 900 Pakistan 800 UK 1000 Netherlands 2000
Japan 3000. All the talk of population being main problem in India or
China seems to be far fetched. Even if you look at expected figures in
2050 of population density per square kilometers of arable land in India it is less than those given above for UK,
Netherlands, Japan etc.
seems to be true for India- Mother nature has given a lot more to India
than most countries
Above figures show that India is much better placed in terms of available land for agriculture than almost all other countries except for USA ( which is far more richer than any other country in this respect). One should admire actually countries like UK, Netherlands or Japan. How well they have done despite such an adverse land conditions. This is not all. Most of other countries, I have mentioned including most parts of USA have much more severe weather. As we study in our schools (in India), Himalayas protect us from cold (India). There are very few countries in world like India where sun shines for almost 9-10 months continuously and still it rains enough in the remaining 2-3 months (some places even 500", though most of India gets just right amount to live comfortable life). Even in winter, it is pleasure to come out of your home and walk. In most of India you feel quite warm outside than inside home. Heating is not really needed. Most homes any way do not have heating. There is almost no snow, except in mountains. Except for summer two months in North India, most of India has pleasant weather for whole year. Even in Kashmir valley in Himalayas, weather is much more pleasant than most of the above mentioned countries in winter. In most of India one can grow 3 crops in a year. Our country is quite protected with Arab lands on one side and south East Asian countries, Thailand etc. on the other side. They protect us from cyclones (or hurricanes). We never had strong ones like the ones USA or Japan get.
one wants from god ? (I use word god -- as in India, nature and god
not considered too different)
If you add all these above gifts further to figures I gave above, there is only one conclusion one can draw. "Shame on us why we have not done well. With such resources, why should we have so large number of working people for whom, we can not provide basic minimal standard of life?" You will also wonder what our politicians, managers, intellectuals are doing?
I think many of these type of myths like population myth have been made popular during last 50 years by leaders of leftists and Congress parties, who were ruling the country. They established a feudal structure rather than a democratic structure of decision making, did not manage our economy and administration at all. They invented all such excuses to make our very enterprising, hardworking and liberal society's average guy, feel as if he is not working and managing while it was them, who were not working and managing.
sustain feudal rule and hide corruption, one needs slogans about
socialism, communism or myths about population
To hide their mismanagement they create such myths. "we have to have socialist economy", "remove poverty", "population is the biggest problem" (I think Chinese have been doing more or less the same, they have recently created one more similar myths, "China -to be world-power number 1" etc.) . In both these countries, in the name of socialist economy, it is the feudalism which ruled and still is powerful. False ideas about populations etc. are popularized. Hangover of this past era is quite visible in general thinking also. For example even in these hubpages, you will see many writing about population being the main or biggest problem in India (or China).
While we just talked about socialism, in countries like USA, Japan or those in West Europe etc., it was implemented.
Why did USA, Western European countries, Japan or even tiny countries like Singapore did much better than us. There seems to be only one reason. They did not just restrict to slogans but implemented the so called socialism. It became a part of basic culture, during last century, in all these countries to create an environment in which every working person earns enough to provide to himself and his family a minimal life of decency. Thus in these countries infra-structure of good schools, universities, roads, rail network, housing, telecom network and entertainment and information network via tv, newspapers movies, food security etc. was developed. We have woken up now after decades of messing up our country. China did wake up two decades earlier than us. But both India and China are still a little far from adopting the above goal of providing a minimal life style to family of every working person, with a full heart. Still a lot of things are lost in such useless slogans created by feudalism structure. Let us hope that we remain focused on this goal and make it as basic driving force for our economic, business and development growth.
We do not need to worry about these trivial
and get lost. We should start managing our affairs better, improve our
Make our cities better, which are among most polluted ones. Build up
structure better. We should worry about
roads, jobs, roti, kapada, makan (bread, clothing, home) etc. Make
our cities villages, roads etc. clean. Make our land green, all this will certainly lead to an environment in which every
working person in India
can provide to himself and his family a life with minimal standard of
living. My assessment is that if we remain focused on this goal we can
achieve in India this goal within a decade. China can perhaps do even
faster if it uses its own strength and richness rather than currency manipulations and it moves away from above mentioned slogans and a false
feudalistic generated pride like being most powerful country etc.
Population myths in USA, Europe, Japan etc.
It may be interesting to note that we are not the only ones lost in such useless myths. One of the big issues in all political games in USA, Western Europe etc. is immigration policy. Japanese are also very particular about their race etc. Many in these countries are worried about their race purity getting lost and number of immigrants already too much more etc. Now let us see some statistics which may throw light on what they will most likely be forced to do in next few decades.
people above 65 in 2010 and in 2050
year 2010 2050
India 4.9% 13.7%
China 8.2% 23.3%
USA 13% 21%
Europe 16% 27%
Japan 22% 38%
Pakistan 4.1% 10%
people between 25-65 in 2010 and 2050 and the year in which total population starts decreasing
year 2010 2050 population starts decreasing
China 55% 51% 2030
India 45% 45.2 % after 2050
USA 52% 50% after 2050
Europe 56% 46% 2015
Japan 54% 42% 2010
Pakistan 39% 51% after 2050
Aging process in these countries as well as China
I have given in figures above the percentages of people above the age of 65 and those between 25-65. Reason I have chosen these figures is that it is reasonable to assume that people between the age of 25-65 will form the main working force in a country. It is this age-group which will support the older population for keeping them better.
These figures tell you a lot. For example one of the trouble with Europe and Japan is that 40 years from now there won't be enough Europeans or Japanese to pay taxes etc. The number of people in the age group 25-65 and those above 65 will be almost equal in these countries. Even in China and USA percentage of people who have to be supported will be much higher. In all these countries average age will increase considerably.
East Europe also has similar problems. In countries like Russia it is a serious issue. Some months back I traveled in interior of Hungary. Every where in the country you see pressure due to deceasing population. Apart from natural aging process, emigration from there has also resulted in enhancing this problem quite a bit.
USA, Europe will have no option but to have immigrant younger population from other countries. China should rethink about its one child policy
How can such a large older percentage of population be supported by the younger lot. There will be indeed financial and sociological problems. Some experts feel this aging has played a crucial role in current crisis too and should be considered important factor while trying to solve these problems. (see references below). USA and Europe will have not much option but to have younger immigrant population to keep burden of older people in proper ratio. Some of their current problems are because they adopted wrong immigration policies.
Immigration and human rights issues in USA, UK, Europe and Canada are often used to satisfy feudal rulers in Muslim and other countries for international (dirty) politics.
As an example I remember one well known music director from India, a Muslim. He was alleged to be involved in the murder of some guy in music business, with the help of an international terrorist Dawood Ibrahim. He ran away and immigrated easily to UK with "human right issue (?)," that he may not get right treatment in India because he is a Muslim. Of course such human right organizations did not perhaps mention to judges that India is among the countries with largest Muslim population and that its President was a Muslim and its richest person at that time was also a Muslim. Actually India may be one country which protects normal human rights much more than practically any other country just out of culture in the country, apart from the laws. Muslims in India must be among most protected and supported ones. But Americans and people from European countries generally declare opposite, aim seems to be to please Pakistan and other Muslim countries for their oil issues or arms sales etc. They also use their power in international institutions etc. for this purpose and even use money power to create or support false human right organizations in countries like India.
Just two days back a Canadian official declared Boarder Security Force (BSF) of India to be a killer organization and refused even a visitor visa to an officer of BSF. Americans have declared one of the best chief ministers of India to be a human right violator against Muslims and denied him a visitor's visa. Even when he did not apply for a visa, Americans declare practically every year that they will not give him a visa. BSF must have saved 100's of thousands of lives and human rights of millions. BSF and Indian army are the organizations which must have saved 100's of thousands of Muslims in Kashmir from terrorist attacks unleashed by Pakistani forces. Many of its officers are Muslims. BSF has the same discipline as Indian army. India itself has many government and nongovernmental organization which consider very seriously any human right violation complain and punish person responsible if needed. We all know what type of human rights armies of some Muslim countries follow. Have you heard any time officials of these countries talking about human right violations there? Why then Americans, Britishers or Canadians are bent on playing such false dramas against Indian officials. Right now because of their trouble in af-pak sector Americans, Britishers, Canadians or Europeans are ready to declare any thing to please Pakistan or other such countries. It is these issues and such dirty posing or international politics which are used much more to decide type of immigrants who are given visa rather than what they need. Then the same ruling lobbies in these countries start raising sentiments and issues of immigrants etc. Records of many criminals, smugglers, terrorists from countries like India show that it is such people who emigrate to some of these countries easily compared to an average well educated guy.
One might feel that these may be among negligible cases. But over the years they pile up. Like now Americans are worried about drug trade or crime via immigrants. It may be interesting to study country and religion wise demography of immigrants and effects it had.
People in USA, India and China should ask themselves why they have not done as well as some of European countries
In the other direction Pakistan's younger population is going to increase. Pakistan and perhaps whole world should worry about what will happen if it does not create proper education set up for this population and they are forced to spend time in violence teaching Madrasas or terrorist networks.
The above population Statistics suggest that USA is almost 4-5 times richer than countries like UK, Netherlands or Germany. Americans should ask themselves why their lifestyle does not reflect this richness. In terms of style of life most European countries actually have over all perhaps better life than USA (medical facilities, pension schemes, unemployment benefits, scholarships for higher education, rail infra structure, electricity infra structure - are these not better in Europe than USA?). India and China are still far behind in using their resources properly.
A separate article may be needed to discuss some of these issues, I may write about it later.
I had discussed in an article talking about financial turmoil population issues in USA. Like their population above 55 may jump to 25% and how that can have consequences in social behavior.
2. I always knew
of course that demography figures are important. But I learnt from some
of articles of the well known American financial expert Spengler (David P. Goldman) that they say a lot more about even current financial or
sociological behavior. For example Spengler could find demographic
figures showing some thing about current Greece crisis or earlier
American troubles with Financial turmoil. Here are links to two of his
many interesting articles.
photos taken from the following
DEEPAK MAHESHWARI on September 27, 2020:
EXCELLENT ARTICLE .WOULD CERTAINLY LIKE TO READ MORE FROM YOU.
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on June 05, 2013:
I like yr over all motive and drive Katharella to do some thing about the problems children and specially girl children are facing. But what you mention and your tone, is making me write this cautioning note. I do not want to reduce yr enthusiasm, at the same time I feel what you do should also depend on creating a real picture.
Do not go just by reading some articles, motivated by some political or social ideology- often those articles are written to raise sentiments about some issues without a proper understanding of facts. Both sides left or right (politicians or mainstream journalists, opinion makers etc. ) have similar problems.
Just to give example sitting far away from countries like China or India and creating this big sentiment as if in whole of China or India people just kill girl child or leave them to their own fate etc. are sentiments generated a bit out racial or political prejudice in west. There may be even some organizations involved with motivations to collect money by raising such sentiments. It my be also created by international agencies with their own agendas and politics. National politics too affects. In India for example most of the so called left parties and people (not that all from left parties or opinion makers are like that, some are doing interesting work too) including the ruling one, who raise such issues in rather ugly manner - seem to be now among the most communal, dividing and corrupt forces in the country.
Otherwise just a simple observation that family and traditions govern life of people in countries like India - (people often quote some stray examples to claim that problem of not respecting women and rights of girls in India is due to traditions, while our whole history and family life traditions show opposite. Just to give an example we do not pray to a God while thinking about power, we have Goddess of Power (shakti) , we do not pray to some God of wisdom and education -we have Goddess of wisdom (sarswati), we do not have any God of wealth, we have Goddess of wealth (Laxmi). If you some time come to India you will see that how the country and culture has drive from such aspects, visible every where in life in India and people of all religions and communities have more or less similar style - same must be also in china - and how in a family generally, it is the oldest women whose advise is followed by all) will show enough to any body, seriously looking at these problems that picture drawn by mainstream political forces or opinion makes or NGO etc. represents very little of reality.
While Marx was more of an academician and he did interesting study but keep in mind also that it is not the only picture life provides. Economics and politics does have a big effects in country's life. But lifestyle in countries like India and China have much less of Govt. in their day to day life. Their life girl or boy or even old man or women is much more governed by traditions and drive to have better life for family members, children specially both girls and boys. While in west some of the life style of children is also governed by what govt provides for them, in India for example govt. provides almost nothing.
I see every day very poor women (all over India) who work at middle class people's homes as domestic helpers, have generally only one motivation to earn some money. Because their husbands are earning very less + they may have problems like alcoholism, which blows away money they earn - the women are forced to do such hard labor type jobs. Only motive they have is their children both girls and boys get some good education. They try to earn to pay school fees for their children.
It is such aspects which carry much more weight if some body wants to draw picture of life in these countries. They may not be even mentioned generally in any so called analytical articles in mainstream books or reports etc. about women or girls problems. Left leaning people any way rarely talk about such aspects. Remember that Marx did not have eastern society in mind when he wrote his thesis. Life style in east and west are very different in many aspects (they have similarities too).
Try to find out such aspects too and keep them in mind too, to make a proper picture you may want to create about life styles in these countries of women or girls or children.
Katharella from Lost in America on June 05, 2013:
Something I left unmentioned is the fact that with China's one child policy many children are never even documented of being born. The fear mothers have is if it is a female and they already have a child then the female child is put to death or if born at home are shuffled from relative to relative to keep her alive. These children are deprived of so much, and so much they could bring to their country. (And the world)
Learning is stifled, their human right to marry and have their own children without worry - stolen, etc. the list goes on.
So as said, these statistics could never come too close to how many people really are in a Kilometer in any given area where a newborn would be put to death.
I follow a writer who writes about beautiful women. I wrote him and specifically asked if he would do a hub on Chinese women and if he would be so kind to put the political slant in as well as their photos so the world who has access to the Internet could see the beauty and talent that could have surely been lost had these women not made it out of there alive.
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on June 03, 2013:
Welcome to hubpages, looking forward to many interesting hubs from you. Thanks a lot for visit and making interesting comment. Yes, all countries should be careful about implementing policies which may affect demography substantially.
tuteramanda from beijing china on June 02, 2013:
china's aging crisis and demographic imbanlance(extreme low brith rate )will kill the country the future decades
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on February 03, 2013:
Thanks a lot Pramod for the visit and this nice analyzing comment. I quite agree with you. Many of these problems are man made. Feudal family rule of political managers of parties (and media press etc.) in democratic country like India is also one of the reasons for what you mention "The political class in those countries is not groomed to development issues and mostly routine oriented." They are more involved in just making sure feudal structure continues rather any thing else and it becomes just crisis management.
pramodgokhale from Pune( India) on January 29, 2013:
Government and governance is a factor and quality of governance later.
Many countries despite natural resources failed on many parameters.
The political class in those countries is not groomed to development
issues and mostly routine oriented.
After WWII Japan and Germany started from scratch and invented new system of creativity and productive concepts and did it without much theories and became success model to others.
MNC of developed nations also made spoil sport and able to buy governments of the nation in need of capital and technologies.
So many problems are man made and not as natural calamities.
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on January 06, 2012:
I agree Aniruddha. Fifity years projections are much higher than 3 times Aniruddha. But I think even that will be easily accommodated by earth. I quite agree with you
Anirudha Oke on January 06, 2012:
i always believed that earth can easily accomodate at least three times the existing population numbers,,there is no shortage of natural resources on earth,whatever shortage is there its all artificial,,,the day solar energy will be in use to its optimum capacity all the current myths about population will go a begging,,
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on July 23, 2011:
Thanks a lot for the visit and comment. I am not so sure that the opinion that if population is controlled every thing will be better, is right. Such opinions were indeed there among experts for a long time, mainly because even today expert's opinions are highly influenced by Western countries. It was much more true in 50's-80's, when these opinions were created.
But today Japan and many Western countries find themselves in a situation which is worrying, because as the above Statistics show, they may very soon face the situation that much less people will be working and supporting much larger number of older people, which may make life difficult for the over all population of the country. It is a bit surprising that experts in those years did not think of such effects in highly controlled population. Indeed immigration should help them to keep over all population -age better. But political sentiment in these countries is against immigration.
At the same time it is also true that no birth control etc. as a religion issue is equally harmful.
I think much more important is to create a proper management system which allows infra-structure and social environment to be created so that every working person can provide a decent life to his/her family. The fact that this has been more or less achieved in UK, Netherlands etc. with much bigger density of population and much less resources than India for example, while we are still quite far from this goal does show that population control is certainly not a major tool in achieving this goal- it is just a myth and slogan used for hiding excuses.
Though some ideas of growth of population and how to manage/balance it, surely should have place in plans to achieve such a goal.
MG Singh from UAE on July 23, 2011:
Very well written, but is not a fact that in case the population is controlled everything will be better, more food per capita, more income per head, better health etc ?
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on July 02, 2011:
Thanks a lot for visit. Over all agree with you, that is exactly my theme, we surely have enough resources to feed every child. There surely is no reason that by law or social customs one should think of aborting a child. That is inhuman. The right about such decisions should remain with the girl who carries the child. She should have all rights to decide about her child, born or unborn.
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on July 02, 2011:
Thanks a lot for the visit and appreciation. Yes not just the article, comments and discussion is equally important part of hub. It is also, apart from enjoyment, a learning process, different views ideas etc. It does not end with just commenting. I enjoy seeing what do the author of hub or others feel about a comment.
TheMonk from Brazil on June 30, 2011:
I remember back in school when my teacher liked to make round tables and long discussions about this kind of thing. Really like the way you write. Keep it up!
Katharella from Lost in America on June 30, 2011:
Hi soumyasrajan, I just have a short thing to say, it's on my front page the link to GOOGLE EARTH! One can see how much uninhabited land there is, there is NO REASON for these countries to abort unborn children. I have been gathering information for a while to make a well informed hub and be able to back up my words with links. I've gone as far back in history to read of Marxism and how it got everything started!
A whole group of American girls are for this infanticide to be brought to American, it's got to be stopped from spreading. :(
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on January 31, 2011:
Thanks a lot athulnair for the visit!
athulnair from India on January 31, 2011:
omg!! facts and figures are awesome.....
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on December 13, 2010:
Nice to hear from you. Yes you are right that idea that average person should have good life just by their own profession, seems to reducing in USA with all these turmoils. Ratio of income of top few and average person has become vulgar. Looks like top managers have got lost in path and are interested in counting their vulgar income figures only. I have to still write second part of dark ages.
I did not get time. Also I am watching carefully Wikileaks- cablegate and a similar exposure in India now called radiagate. Those exposures via web do bring in some hope of possibility of wisdom and wake up call coming back via silent majority.
But I think this urge to have minimal good life for every working person has not died down. I hope it comes back soon.
Micky Dee on December 13, 2010:
Great write. Most of America may look prosperous James Watkins. But having American businesses wandering around the world getting resources and cheap labor only gives American big business advantages. Most Americans that I see and know don't eat at nice restaurants or go to Europe.
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on November 02, 2010:
Thanks a lot for your response.
I did not take Statistical data from any other article. I had this idea for a long time that population density per square mile of arable land is an important data for judging the agriculture and related economic potential of a country. I got this feeling once some years back, when I was looking at data at the CIA Fact book site on different countries (later I verified figures from UN site on population- both I have given the links in the article). I judged myself that this is much more important figure then just density of population. I have not seen any other article so far which uses this figure of density of population per square mile of arable land. So there is at least no question that I am using data from some other article and my views may reflect views of those authors and they may have compiled data to reflect that view.
It is more in other direction. By looking at India and other countries in South Asia and some in South east Asia etc. I had always felt that myth spread in these countries that "we are poor" has been just spread by those in power and their technical/economic advisers to hide their mismanagement. They have used such myths and slogans of "socialism" and "working for poor" etc. for last 50 years and have not done any thing. For last 30 years, I have been visiting USA, Europe often. The way things are managed in most of Western Europe and USA made me realize even more this fact. I feel a country like India is much more rich in resources than almost any country in Europe. It is also weather wise much easier to live in India, where in most parts sun shines for 8-9 months for full day. In fact I admire the way people have made life livable in countries with much harder weather conditions in Europe, USA. I feel it is highly shameful on part of people in India that with such gifts they are allowing so many people (who work on regular jobs) to live with almost nothing.
With these ideas built up I started looking at Statistics. Does that confirm what I have in mind and it did. I feel this is quite good use of Statistics. In fact this is the way it should be used. Your ideas may be wrong and Statistics can tell you some times that. If it matches with your ideas, it gives you enthusiasm to study further.
I agree with you that further study is required. The article I wrote is just a beginning and a very mild beginning. For example even though very little of potential in India has been actually exploited so far but manner in which it has been exploited already creates lot of worries. Like people in many parts of India are now a little worried about water level going down in their areas. In a way you also point out the same when you mention like in Holland a lot of land is used for flowers etc. These worries are similar in India also. But still my main aim in current article, to compare them for their economic potential via agricultural land available does not change that. People in Holland are fond of growing flowers because it is a cash crop, in India for example similar worry is there about using land too much for cash crops (like sugar cane). One does require further studies and lot more to really create an atmosphere to do right things in all these countries- this aspect I agree with you. My aim of this article was indeed to start such a discussion.
About decrease in population related data -I took it from UN site (link I have given). You can look at it. It is quite carefully prepared. But I agree completely with you that one has to be careful about such data. A prediction for 30- 50 years can be completely off the mark with just one minor mistake and some unpredictable change occurring. Again my aim time being is to use it in positive direction to create some inspiration in these countries (like India, USA, China, Pakistan etc.) via this data to show to them that they can do lot more - via a model that has already worked (in Europe).
I hope you will also agree for that this much of info is quite ok.
Again it is just starting point. Much more careful studies are needed. I wish some groups and money can be found to do these studies and implement some of the ideas generated.
Finally about one more point you make - using agriculture for bio-fuels and problems it may generate. This problem is going to come. In a country like USA where perhaps less than 5% of population lives in villages or is in agriculture profession - perhaps criteria for best use will be very different than that in a country like India where a large percentage lives in villages. If a proper balance can be found to use agriculture waste for example for bio-fuel- it can make a big difference to village life in India. Long time back Gandhi used similar ideas - Khadi (a cloth hand woven) was popularized by him to give some money in hands of villagers who had very little income. It worked very well until government took over whole movement after Gandhi- in the name honoring his movement. That aspect looks attractive to me about bio-fuel.
Some of my friends who have expertize in energy via bio-objects tell me that just waste or unused part of crops like sorghum in India has potential to generate 60% of India's energy (India currently spends 70-80% of all its foreign exchange earnings on petroleum imports).
But that will require lot of research too. Time being even what is suitable process is not clear.
Though on the other hand looking at Brazil, I feel India is still just sleeping it does not use bio-fuel at all or negligible amount- in transport, electricity etc.
paul_gibsons from Gibsons, BC, Canada on November 01, 2010:
no my friend, I am not suggesting you interpret incorrectly, but numbers, statistics can be hellishly confusing because they are so simple and intuitive in many cases. My general attitude is: there are at least two sides to everything. Even statistics.
First of all let us look at inhabitants per square km. That is simply a division between the number of inhabitants over the total square km's a country consists of. But it doesn't tell me anything about the usable square km's a country has. The figures become dramatically different if we look at the quality of those sq km's. A country such as Saudi Arabia or some of the Sahel countries have a large proportion of their territory which is not inhabitable, not for large numbers anyway, without extreme measures being taken to ensure their survival. Much of Siberia is another case in point. Or Greenland. So that simple statistic, telling as it is, only presents a partial picture of density.Potential density. Actual density may be very different.
Then the arable land statistic. This should be more reflexive of the actual situation,and it is, but only tells me something about, say, potential food production, not actual, today. Looking at the country I originally come from, Holland, which in your numbers has 21% which is indeed correct, a significant proportion of that is given over to growing flowers, bulbs, shrubs and trees for the garden trade. Here in North and South America we see an increasing amount of crops being grown not for food but for energy, biomass. And then of course there is the argument about crops for meat production which in terms of land used is rather wasteful. Thus as a statistic for supporting a certain population size it is deficient. Theoretical. And even then it doesn't give us the whole picture; it would very well be possible although maybe not desirable to create more arable land for food production if we cleared a large number of the suburbs, which are real land-eaters, moved the population into higher density housing and brought that area back into production. Conversely we could also go into high density agriculture, which is what we do here in the Lower Mainland of BC, in the form of glasshouses or "hothouses" as we call them. I wouldn't dare argue that any of this is desirable, but possible and therefore potential it is..
So no, I would absolutely not argue that you mis-used your statistics; you use them exactly as they were intended when compiled by their authors, to give some comparable measure in a generally broad argument. But be careful when you go into the detailed argument.
The one I love though is your population age/decreasing statistic and I would dearly like to know a bit more about how this was compiled. Was it just birth/death rates? Did it take into account our frantic efforts to cure every disease so we can live "forever" resulting in a higher proportion being over 65 in future years? Did it take account of migration under different sets of circumstances? Nah.. I won't bother with global warming or climate change for now... But playing around with those statistics a bit under different scenarios would probably tell us a lot more than the bare bones population/sq km or arable land %.
No, you raise a lot of interesting arguments, some of which I may not agree with or dont know enough about but I wholeheartedly endorse that the whole discussion blaming everything on "population" is cheap, to an extent racist actually because we never apply it to ourselves, always others, and a "red herring" if promoted as the simple answer. There are no simple answers. Once more, congratulations with your article. I enjoyed it and it made me think. What more can I or anyone else ask for...
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on October 31, 2010:
Thanks a lot paul for visit and interesting comment!
You summarize well the main point. You are a biologist so you may have interesting way of selecting data. I wonder why you feel:
1. "you can do almost any thing with Statistics to prove a point" (as if I am interpreting incorrectly from data or giving data selectively to draw my point). Here figures are so simple and direct I do not see what wrong inference I can draw from them. Please elaborate a little more your Remark.
I know very well the misuse of Statistics. I have taught some times to very young people also points of the well known book "How to lie with Statistics", so I will be the last person to try to misuse Statistical data or not be careful about it. I did choose only very few figures deliberately, to keep the article simple and readable.
I chose figures of amount of arable land per person to find agriculture related product -strength or potential of a country. What else is more appropriate for that? I did not give figures of other types of wealth in country like minerals, hydroelectric or other energy potential sun shine available etc. But they do not show any thing much different.
In general I feel nothing shines brighter than truth. So I always like to get my point in my articles out of truth.
Of course it is possible that I may have neglected some information which can reveal a little more. If you feel so please do mention that.
2. "I would disagree with a lot of the stats you chose, not because they are wrong (they aren't) but because they are not necessarily the most appropriate."
Again with your expertise it will be nice to know what type of data is most appropriate?
About your last point, I am optimistic. Let us hope it happens much before your time or my time is over.
paul_gibsons from Gibsons, BC, Canada on October 31, 2010:
entertaining article which shows you can do almost anything with statistics to prove a point. I would disagree with a lot of the stats you chose, not because they are wrong (they aren't) but because they are not necessarily the most appropriate. But that doesnt matter; I agree with the main point that some of them lead to that population increase tends to the naturally finite, rather than continuing indefinitely exponentially. So whereas in the interim we just may have a potential problem feeding an increasing population, in the long term the population decrease will present considerable challenges to an economic system such as ours that is based on (almost) exponential growth (of consumption). Much more interesting and much more challenging than the cheap and simple screaming about needing to reduce population. Sadly that will be after my time so I wont see it. But maybe just as well...
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on October 05, 2010:
Thanks a lot RunAbstract! Your comment is so generous. I wish some thing could be done to make over all life of an average guy better with these ideas.
RunAbstract from USA on October 05, 2010:
I greatly appreciate your in depth research, as well as the timeliness of this article. Great job!
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on September 29, 2010:
Thanks a lot for visit and appreciation.
Jyoti Kothari from Jaipur on September 29, 2010:
Thanks for your useful article. Thumbs up!
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on September 04, 2010:
Thanks a lot for your visit and comments. I quite agree with you. Such Statistics say a lot. These figures I took from sites I have mentioned in references. Your strong article and clear picture it gives says clearly that you will not accept words of politicos. Today no body should do that even of main stream journalists, with out verifying facts.
amillar from Scotland, UK on September 04, 2010:
These are very interesting and useful statistics, which I'll bookmark for future reference.
I don’t automatically accept the words of politicos or pundits; I’ve seen too much deceit and broken promises.
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on August 10, 2010:
Thanks a lot for your comment. I completely agree with you about free Enterprise and that spirit inherent in internet.
About your other question, I am reminded of Naryana Murthy's (former chariman of Infosys a large computer company) answer to question during a TV interview.
Some body asked him "when will India have companies like Microsoft".
He answered nicely "just now only in USA Eco-system allows such companies to go to this level starting from almost nothing. Even in Europe that Eco system does not exist in that manner"
I hope that Eco-system gets created not just in India and China but also all over world.
I also hope strength of this ecosystem gets USA back into its right mode to get out of this quagmire it has got into with this china looking policy instead of its own production and financial turmoil caused by it and things like fighting wars on both sides in Af-Pak sector etc.
I do not know about others but I have confidence in strengths of India and USA (countries where I have spent a lot of time ) etc.
Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on August 10, 2010:
I enjoyed this very much. I must state I agree with Mr. James Watkins - "free enterprise" produces more than just freedom - it produces income. I hope the Internet continues in this same fashion.
Speaking of which - any predictions about the world population and the Internet? Who is our target market - mainly the USA? When will China and India overtake the US in the world wide web?
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on July 09, 2010:
Thanks a lot Bhagwad. I quite agree with you. I am also very optimistic.
Bhagwad Jal Park from Chennai, India on July 09, 2010:
A beautiful statistical overview! And this also illustrates why population control is a double edged sword. The Chinese "One child policy" promotes a demographic disaster.
I'm a great optimist. I always get the feeling things will turn out ok :)
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on June 20, 2010:
Thanks a lot for the visit. Nice comment. Of course I agree heartily.
mega1 on June 20, 2010:
All of these figures are very revealing. To me what they reveal is that our populations have in common a seeming lack of spiritual evolution - when we begin to see that what we do truly effects others and develop a more compassionate way of living, perhaps our greed will no longer allow us to use others' labor and not provide a good life for them also. I don't think any political system can answer the need for generosity of spirit. Certainly capitalism does not genuinely provide for people, it only encourages their greed. I am only encouraged when I meet and hear about people who are less self-interested and more community focused. Thank you for this thoughtful hub.
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on June 17, 2010:
I agree with you completely. What you say is much more true for India than USA. We are still very far from a minimal life style for every working person principle (which should obviously include good education, housing, food, telecommunication, transport, public transport etc.)
Actually not only India should try to improve its own people its business and industry development should include helping countries in its neighborhood also improving lives there. All this can be done as business and economy growth proposition in all countries not just a social idea.
I quite agree with your example of fishing. That should be the main basic ideas of policies. But about teaching to fish in India is a bit out of place. In India more than 40% of people are vegetarian. I am myself a vegetarian. Efficient agricultural methods is more right idea. More important fro India is to have green energy development. It spends almost 70% of its earnings to buy oil. While green energy can generate not only all its energy it can create big employment and business opportunities in rural areas.
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on June 17, 2010:
Welcome! You have much better expertise than me about China. I was also a little surpirsed about this.
John B Badd from Saint Louis, MO on June 17, 2010:
I have to admit I am not well traveled. I only know about European health care from what others have told me. I know general health care is available to everyone, which it was not here (I am not sure what we have here now, I will find out in 2014 I guess), but I also know that there are longer waits for doctor visits because of this (and a shortage of doctors).
Now from everything I have heard the education system is better in Europe. I have to investigate to find out why, we need to improve education in the United States and you need to improve it greatly in India. I do not agree with Europe's other social programs. We have issues with our own welfare system being taken advantage of here and I want to see it stop (not welfare just the advantage taking). People need to be helped up but not supported. It goes back to the whole "give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime" saying. We need to teach all of our citizens to fish, in both the US and India. I would like to see 99.9 % literacy around the globe to be perfectly honest.
Take care, till next time.
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on June 17, 2010:
Thanks fro visit. Yes quite true for many politicians
suraj78 on June 17, 2010:
Nice statistics, we all Indians know that these politicians always think about themselves and their parties no matter how other countries think about us.
HarryHarding on June 16, 2010:
i never knew that China had such a low percentage of land that can be used for agriculture! Very interesting article. I am very new to this site, and still trying to find my way around... but very glad I stumbled upon your article :)
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on June 16, 2010:
Hi! James and Someonewhoknows
Thanks for your interesting comments.
James it is difficult to measure who is wealthier. After all wealth should be measured in terms of life style and opportunities available to an average person and life style available to almost every working person. While indeed opportunities available in USA still is far far better than any country, on average most Americans have to give too many hours and much harder work to get a minimal life style compared to Europe.
But even if one accepts ok over all USA is richer it is not surely 3-4 times richer. These Statistics show that resources it has are of that order, actually much more. My idea of asking Americans and Indians to question this aspect was not so much to try to go in past but use these Statistics as a generating force to create more business, more opportunity, better life style out of it.
I feel currently Americans have unnecessarily lost heart. They are not seeing their strengths. They are getting lost in useless fights. In India they are lost in fights like this for decades. I wrote a little bit about strengths of both these countries in those financial turmoil articles.
I quite agree with you about "Secondly, the USA absolutely did not become wealthy because of socialism. The complete opposite is true. The USA became the most wealthy nation in the history of the earth because of Free Enterprise. And the Liberty that comes with it."
At the same time what someonewhoknows points out is also quite in order. If you see carefully they are not so much in conflict as one might imagine initially.
What I admire in USA most that idea of so called "Socialism" (a minimal life style for every working person) can not be forced by governments and administrators. The desire for socialism comes from business people, industries etc. They build up technologies (one example is Garbage truck which allows driver to pick up garbage in cold winter without getting out in freezing cold), and working atmosphere for their employees and general public to bring so called Socialism (I admire Ford most for the fact that he introduced 8 hour working days and finance companies to finance loans for its employees for car housing etc.) In so called socialist countries and even in Europe these things are either not done at all even now (like India still does not have good financing systems) or are forced in a little feudal inefficient manner by governments, rulers etc.
Even now in financial turmoil if you see the debate about what caused it is much more open only in USA -as I say in my articles on turmoil other countries are essentially trying to sweep it under carpet.
I think there can not be much dispute that finance, good life style should be available to family of every working person. To do that any country does require some discipline (as someonewhoknows says). Only dispute can be about how much of it should be forced by government, politicians. There I tend to agree with James, as little as possible. In past in USA it has been done as a part of culture and it was used even as a business growth.
Let us hope still Americans find their cultural strength to over come quagmires they have got into. Still there are many Fords in society in USA who can do it. I think there are many in India too. Only government should create an atmosphere for them to achieve their potential rather than trying to control them. Let us hope it happens in both these countries as well as some others.
someonewhoknows from south and west of canada,north of ohio on June 16, 2010:
James you have to admit that with that freedom comes responsability.I could point to many inconsistancies where free enterprise and the greatest good or the good of all the people do not neceassarily coincide with each other.The private federal reserve banks being at the very top of free enterprise system.Money or capital is at the crux of the free enterprise system.We all know for a fact that our government is controlled by the money supply,or lack of supply.The world has succunbed to control by the money creators.
James A Watkins from Chicago on June 16, 2010:
Thank you for this exposition of exhaustive research you have diligently performed. I love the statistics and I agree with most of your points. I beg to differ about two things. Americans should ask themselves why they aren't as well off as Europeans? I have been all over Europe and all over America and Americans are better off. And Europe is committing demographic suicide, while going broke in the process. Half of the continent is bankrupt. Secondly, the USA absolutely did not become wealthy because of socialism. The complete opposite is true. The USA became the most wealthy nation in the history of the earth because of Free Enterprise. And the Liberty that comes with it. Thank you.
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on June 14, 2010:
Thanks for your comments. I quite agree with you on most of them accept for some ordering you are doing.
I have spent quite a bit of time in India, USA and have often been in Europe-USA also for months. Perhaps you are also like me.
I wrote a little about strengths of USA and India to face financial turmoil etc. in 3 articles I wrote some months back. Last one was https://hubpages.com/money/Financial-Turmoil---Ind...
I want to write more on similar observations/ideas, when I get time. Though much more analysis is needed specially by people like you. I see that just like me you enjoy writing about almost any topics. You are in fact doing much more - I enjoyed your chapters of novel with elves and man etc. very much.
I agree with you completely about lack of investment in education sector in India by government. In fact most of education in India is because of private investments in Schools and Colleges. I have been talking about it in some of my lectures. When I tell people that in some of States in USA about 50% of their budget is spent on education, while in India it is less than 3-4%. They are quite surprised. Their perception specially of USA is quite different.
Actually School education in India is quite good (problem is it is not available to many because mostly it is run by private investment), it does create well disciplined student. I often point out to people that we in our undergraduate colleges make a well disciplined guy/girl quite undisciplined while in USA they make quite undisciplined one coming out of school, a very disciplined one during undergraduate education.
I think medical system in USA has admirable capacity to to take emergency care and to save life but I am not sure that your perception that it is best is so right. While it is technically admirable, it looks like that it suffers from corruption and fear of legalities. Doctors seem to be more worried about legal aspects than quick treatment. I think general practitioners in
India take better care of patients and it is affordable without any insurance for even lower middle class person, though hospital care for insured guy is better in USA. But I feel over all in Europe it may be better. Government investment there has given some assets. Though it has also problems as you point out.
About quality of life I am not again so sure that your perception may be right. Most of the things you describe are also available in Europe (I mean Western Europe) + they have much easier access to higher education and very well run infra structure of public transport, which is almost nonexistent now in USA. I think destruction in USA of mass transport systems like railroads etc. was a big mistake. Though some of the socialistic and "government taking care of people" ideas in Europe has brought some problems too. Like a lot of very talented people roam around doing nothing just because they can get government money to live well.
Over all I prefer USA model of government facilitating building of infra-structure via private business and management. That seems to be only example which has brought success in so called socialistic goal of a minimal life style for every working person's family. I hope India continues at a faster pace the same. It doing now its journey on similar path, which it should have started 5-6 decades back.
John B Badd from Saint Louis, MO on June 14, 2010:
Soumyasrajan this is a great hub. I learned so much about the world and its views of the west that it will take days for me to process all the information. While I was reading I did some research and came up with some theories of my own.
India has a low unemployment rate compared too much of the world, however over half of the employment is listed in agriculture. Without more employment in industrial areas the country will not produce as many specialized jobs as are necessary to require that money be spent on education. India spends a lower percentage of GDP on education than many large countries and there percentage of educated citizens reflects this. India is financially growing faster than most countries in the world so it is important to educate the people or crime will eventually run rampant.
I think the United States citizens have a better quality of daily living than most European nations despite rumors to the contrary. I can show you flat screen televisions, air conditionings, and full refrigerators in the poorest neighborhoods (though there are those who do without these things also). Opportunities really do exist here for anyone who tries and lives within their means. No one is starving to death. I also think our medical system is one of the best in the world, we do not have the long lines and waiting lists (yet) that many countries with socialized medicine have.
Our educational system does need much work and that is due to a broken system of local government financing education for their neighborhoods instead of states equally distributing funds. And our infrastructure is not as good as Europe's because we spend too much of our tax money on a hopeless drug war domestically and overblown military and humanitarian campaigns on foreign soil. Over all I agree that the United States does need to rework its education system and infrastructure.
I hope India improves theirs as well.
Best wishes to you, and thanks again for this great hub.
John B Badd
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on June 14, 2010:
Thanks a lot Billy! I was going through just now your interesting article on oil disaster etc.
billyaustindillon on June 14, 2010:
Excellent hub that deals with many ofthe misconceptions peddled by the media. The one that really stood out for me was the amount of arable land. Awesome Rating!
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on June 07, 2010:
Hi! The Glacier
Welcome back. He may be right when you want to go into detailed analysis one should look at all possible aspects.
Also it is clear that USA has far better advantages practically 2-3 times better than any other country.
Quite similar is situation with India. Whether fretile land or not - how many country are there where 3 crops can be produced in a year in about 1/2 of land. I think even USA does not have such a situation.
Even if you count once we are in far better position than say UK, Netherlands, Japan China etc. Why should we not plan to do better than them. That was my main theme.
TheGlacier from USA/INDIA on June 07, 2010:
One of my friend says the fertility of the land should also be considered instead of just calculating the arable land alone. The sol in India is used for agriculture for thousands of years where as USA land is not used even for hundreds of years. So the land in USA is more fertile and would give more outcome compared to Indian land.
Though I am not convinced with this argument, I wanted to know your view on it.
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on June 01, 2010:
Welcome dreamreachout! Yes it is interesting, perceptions about such issues change so quickly. A so called weakness might become strength in no time.
dreamreachout on June 01, 2010:
What a hub!! It destroyed all myths!! Just a point to add, I think today's growth of China and India is directly proportional to its population!! While the American and European markets saturated, India and China became the focus because with our huge population the market cant shrink or get saturated!!
A sarcastic addition: Where technology cant, manpower can!!
All the kudos for a great hub!!
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on May 27, 2010:
Thanks a lot Micky Dee!
Micky Dee on May 27, 2010:
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on May 26, 2010:
Thanks dallas! agree with you completely.
Dallas W Thompson from Bakersfield, CA on May 26, 2010:
Where is government for the people, by the people...? Give each a seed: not grants !
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on May 26, 2010:
Thank u pisean
pisean282311 on May 26, 2010:
wow..this is good work..u did a great job..
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on May 24, 2010:
The whole idea of controlling population artificially seems to be quite wrong. It gets controlled automatically with economic development and creating minimal life style. In fact balance gets tilted to other side very quickly as the experience in Japan and Western countries show. One has to just have the right balance.
H P Roychoudhury from Guwahati, India on May 24, 2010:
The underground humiliation for failing in controlling the increase in population rate in India is some what reduced by the statistical figures given in this hub.
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on May 23, 2010:
That should have been decades
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on May 23, 2010:
I agree with you completely. Giving free service or rice at 2 rupees a kilo are just gimmicks or what I call feudalism in the name of socialism. One does not need free or cheap services, one needs to give enough income for every working person so that he/she can afford minimal services and happily pays for it. What one needs is bringing a minimal standard of life as a business and growth proposition. It should be creating better business atmosphere, creating infra-structure, banking facilities, housing etc.
Actually we have made our country in last decade quite polluted and dirty. Even if government properly makes scheme to just clean up our country it will generate enough employment.
Let us hope we get into right path sooner.
TheGlacier from USA/INDIA on May 23, 2010:
It is an interesting article and the data. I blame the government and officials for the mismanagement of the resource that we have. and I think corruption is one of the sources and root of this mismanagement, which is eminent under congress rule.
And the political parties are giving subsidies just to win the elections without even doing a primary analysis of the impact.
Today, if we look at the AP government, it had brought up lot of schemes under Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy's rule just to please the people. Its unique scheme of 1kg of rice per 2 rupee itself put a burden of 2000 Crores on the government.
The Government has gone too far in giving free stuff that it does not know how to come back as it afraid of loosing elections next time.But at least the people need to be educated enough to understand the situation.
Every politician should think of resources for next generations too, which is missing in the country.
I am planning to write an article on situation in AP.
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on May 23, 2010:
ngureco on May 23, 2010:
Very good statistics with logic here. Thank you. I will bookmark this so that I can refer to it in the future.
soumyasrajan (author) from Mumbai India and often in USA on May 23, 2010:
Ralph Deeds from Birmingham, Michigan on May 23, 2010:
Interesting data and viewpoint! Good government is so important and so rare.