Bangladesh is a developing country of Southeast Asia. There are many problems in this country, which are said to be major obstacles in the development of this country. Excessive Population is said to be the worst among all current problems. If we compare to the global population we will see why population causes such damage to the development of Bangladesh. The area of Bangladesh is near to 1,47,570 square kilometer. The current population of Bangladesh is approximately over 164 million and will exceed 200 million within 2020. Even a very rich country would have been in deep troubles if they have to handle such mass population in such short land. So whenever the government tends to take any developing steps, they seems to fell into shortage of resources for such huge population. As a result the actual development is just getting being delayed and hampered a lot.
In the 1980s, Bangladesh faced no greater problem than population growth. First post independence census, taken in 1974, which reported the national population at 71 million. The 2001 census reported a population of 130 million and the most recent 5th census of 2011 puts the figure at 14.2 million.
Bangladesh’s population density provided further evidence of the problems the nation faces. In 1988 an average of 821 persons inhabited in one square kilometer area whereas that figure stands at over 964 as of today.
Although the post independence family planning programs were surprisingly successful, the population growth rate is still in an uncomfortable zone.
Food shortages are likely to worsen as the population grows. Malnutrition levels are already high. At least half of Bangladesh’s people live below the poverty line. They eat only about half of the amount of food that would be considered normal elsewhere in the world.
To deal with the population, we have to deal with infrastructure and education and many other issues. Managing population will require some deliberate planned actions, such as:
1. Balanced distribution of rural-urban migrants – Managing urban population in four big cities, namely, Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi and Khulna shall be one of the major tasks for the Governments in Bangladesh. Among the rural migrants, about 80 percent are absorbed in these four cities and the rest in the remaining 60 district towns of the country. Imagine a demographic catastrophe when the population of these four cities shall be doubled in the next 14-23 years, which will almost paralyze the city life. 2. Relocation of industries from the cities – One of the reasons for overcrowding, congestion and pollution is the location of many industries in the heart of the big cities and their adjoining areas. As a strategy for urban population management, and minimizing the urban problems, relocation of the industries to a suitably located distant place is necessary. 3. Increasing people’s mobility – Enhancing people’s mobility beyond the national boundary through their capacity development could be a worthwhile strategic option for population management and socio-economic development.
Conclusion: Unless addressed through non- conventional methods, population problem will trigger unmanageable physical and environmental problems, which will be uncontrollable, despite sincere efforts. We are facing an alarming situation. Highest level of commitment from all of us is needed to face this enormous challenge.