Population is the total number of people living in a particular geographical location within a given period of time. Nigeria is believed to be the most populous country in Africa with a population of about 140 million people as at 2006. China has about 1.3 billion, the highest in the world.
Most countries of the world are either over-populated, under-populated or having optimum population
Over-Population: This is a situation whereby the number of people living in a country is far more than the available resources of the country.
Under-Population: This is a type of population in which the number of people living in a country is far below the available resources of that country.
Optimum Population: This is a situation whereby the number of people living in a country is neither too small nor too great compared to the available resources of that country.
REASONS FOR RAPID POPULATION GROWTH
- Improved healthcare service.
- Reduction in infant mortality rate.
- Improvement in standard of living of the people.
- Early marriage.
- Lack of family planning.
- Increase in birth rate.
The following factors will help to reduce over-population in any country.
- Mass education on the dangers of over-population.
- Family planning.
- Regulation of immigration rate.
- Sex education.
- Early marriage should be discouraged.
- Encouragement of small family size.
Population census is the official headcount or enumeration of the people who are physically present in a country at a given period at a time. In some countries of the world this exercise is conducted at least once in every ten years. The last population in Nigeria was conducted in 2006. There are two types of population census: De-facto and De-jure.
De-facto type of population census is a system of counting people who are physically present in a given area during the census exercise irrespective of whether they reside in that area or not.
De-jure is the system of counting people who are regular residents in an area irrespective of whether they are present or absent at the time of the census exercise.
IMPORTANCE OF CENSUS
- It helps to know the number of people living in a particular a given time.
- It helps government to determine the allocation of resources.
- It helps to determine employment and unemployment rate in a country.
- It enables government to plan economically.
- It is used in the allocation of seats in parliament under democratic system of government.
- It helps to determine the structure of the population e.g. sex, age, etc.
PROBLEMS OF CENSUS IN NIGERIA
- It is expensive to conduct.
- Problem of interference by politicians.
- Unqualified personnel.
- Problem of transportation and communication in some rural areas.
- Custom and religious beliefs.
- Inaccurate information.