Causes and Effects of Gambia’s Youthful Population

Causes and Effects of a Youthful population Gambia is a small, narrow, horizontal country in western Africa. It is surrounded by Senegal and a short strip of Atlantic coastline at its western end. When a country has a high number of children, it is said to have a youthful population. There are many Causes and Effects for this: Social There are many social causes and effects. * 95% of Gambia’s population is Muslim. This means they can marry more than one wife. Each woman has a TFR (total fertility rate) of about 7 children. A man marrying 3 or 4 wives can mean 21-28 children.
It could be more children as, in a country with a high infant mortality rate, women tend to have more children for a better chance of survival. * Education isn’t common meaning contraceptives and family planning is harder to reach. Also it is discouraged, traditionally. This would mean people won’t use contraception and families will grow larger. Also it is a taboo subject so people won’t question the fact that their families are so big. * Gambia is a poor country; there is not enough money to make government programmes that educate and inform women about family planning etc. eaning, again, more children. * Many children means families are likely to have financial problems; there will not be enough money to feed and support an ever-growing family. This will make malnutrition common; homes will be extremely over-crowded and poor sanitation. * With large proportions of children in the country, there will not be enough education. There is a shortage of toilet facilities and educational material. Often schools have to adopt a 2 shift system; some children educated in the morning and some later in the day.
Environmental * Due to large families and the need to use more resources, desertification of the forests can become a problem. People will use the wood for fires in their homes, for making houses and for selling. The land left will end up as a desert therefore making the temperature rise. 2/3 of forests are now gone. Economic * Due to the 2 shift system and lack of money, teachers are poorly paid and can work up to 12 hours a day. * Lack of work means 1 in 3 14 year olds have to work to help to support their family. Because of over-crowding in the cities, they are being expanded but there isn’t enough money to do a good job of it. Also there is a lack of money for the infrastructure. * There is no money to build new schools so overpopulation is very common; 3000 pupils are divided into 26 classrooms. 6 toilets for 3000 pupils, typically with queues of 50 plus students. So to summarize, due to the high birth rate and falling infant mortality rate and improvements in the level of healthcare available, the population has been increasing rapidly.

Gambia’s population doubles every 28 years and it is expected to be 3. 9 million in 2050. About 63. 55% of the population is under 25; elderly people of 65 years and above account for only 2. 8% of the population. This will create a high dependency ratio. In the future it will be harder to find employment and accommodation with even more of a strain on food resources, infrastructure and the health service, which is already struggling. However, in the future, there will be a large and cheap workforce.

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