In this blog, I will introduce you to the concept of Population Density. It’s the number of human beings per sq. km. Naturally, one would be curious to know how many human beings can live well without ecological and resource issues within a sq.km. This is called the Optimum Population Density.
There had been quite a lot of debates about how the ‘Optimum Population Density’ should be calculated, and whether it made sense. Several parameters were discussed, and several reasons were quoted to argue that such a parameter does not make sense. The culture and ways of living of each region varies, and thus it is not logically correct to pin-down the number, is what the gist of the argument was.
But, eventually, an organisation called ‘Population Matters‘ in UK, came up with a way of measuring the density, taking into consideration the ecological and biological constraints. And here is what they found :
Note that this data is as of 2007, and we are now in 2014. The India Population has increased another 0.2 billion.
If you look at the report closely, India Population is at 68th position in terms of the overshoot. Overshoot is how much of population is in excess to the sustainable population, based on the eco and bio considerations. How the eco and bio parameters are considered and derived is explained well in the introduction section of the report.
Given the India’s total area of 3,287,590 sq. kms, and given the sustainable population of 0.650 billion as per the report, the average population density per sq.km turns out to be 197 persons / sq.km. But, when I was looking at the Wikipedia article on India population, these are the densities of the topmost states (leaving alone places which are union territories) :
Bihar: 1,102 persons / sq.km West Bengal: 1,030 / sq.km Kerala: 859 / sq. km Uttar Pradesh: 828 / sq. km
Even if we account for the ‘Thoda adjust kar lo bhai’ (Can you please adjust a bit?) attitude of India, 10 times overshoot of the living standards of the rest of world is very troublesome, don’t you agree?
So, what are we going to do? We got to do something different, not do the same thing of reproducing more and more, but a bit different than how we saw things in the past, and change our attitudes – because, at the current rate, we not only cannot live well, we are going to be cruel to each other – in a country where people don’t respect the concept of queues!