Essay On Demographic Process Influencing Sex And Age Composition Of Population
Any society is made up of people. The structure and features of population indicate socio-cultural conditions of any given society.
Structure of population is based on sex, age, mental status, race, socio-economic condition, religion, etc. Population not only helps us to study the changes in the characteristics of population but also takes into consideration the distribution of these characteristics. Demographic study includes size of the population as well as its composition and distribution. Population can be studied when important static compositions like mortality, fertility, age, sex, family size, marriage and divorce, level of literacy and unemployment, crime and migration are analysed.
To study the structure of number of males and females in a given population, studying sex ratio is important. Sex ratio is the number of females per 1000 males or vice versa. Sex ration above 1000 shows a high sex ratio, while below 1000 is considered as a low sex ratio. According to the 1991 census, the sex ratio was 927 females over 1000 males. This showed a decline in the population of females.
Various factors affect overall sex ratio. Sex ratio at birth varies from population to population. It has been proved that the birth ratio is slightly more favourable to males. Age of the mother also plays an important role in determining the sex ratio. In countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, it is observed that female foetus is biologically more delicate than the male foetus. Therefore, female babies are at a disadvantaged. The life expectancy after birth is much less among females than males.
The age structure of different population is usually compared in terms of age groups. The three important age groups are children under the working age, working age and people who are above the working age. These age groups are below 15 years, between 15 to 60 years and above 60 years. Developing countries like India have higher percentage of children below 15 years.
There are number of factors that determine the age structure of population. When the fertility level among women is high, birth rates are also high. The number of children born is more. Thus, the young population increases. When the fertility level is low, birth rates are also low. The number of children born is less. Thus, the older population increases. The improvement in health and medical services has led to high survivor rate among children. Thus, the average age of the population goes down.
Finally, sex and age are important composition of population as they are visible and convenient indicators, through which population data may be distributed, compared and analyzed.
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