Nigeria's poverty has nothing to do with population size
Population levels are rising, Source: Flickr

Nigeria's population is a hot topic.

In fact, just the other day, I was involved in a heated discussion over the recent remarks from a certain British royal who claimed that high population growth in African countries has a negative impact on the natural environment.

The relationship between population growth and economic development has been a recurrent theme in economic analysis since Thomas Malthus proposed the same argument in a famous essay. According to Malthus, population growth depresses living standards in the long run. If you are a Marvel fan, you probably recognise this as Thanos’ justification for collecting the infinity stones and wiping out half of the world’s population.


Some takeaways 

  • Having a large population is often viewed as a negative issue. Still, the experiences of countries like China and Japan, which risk having few people to replace their current workforce when they retire, shows us that context matters.

  • Instead, the population's quality determines if the large population is a disadvantage. Nigeria currently has about 95 million youth, many of whom are not productive due to improper policies. 

  • Matching people with the right skills while developing the proper physical human capital development is key to creating a middle class needed to induce growth in the economy. 


To see why a comic book villain, a 17th-century economist and a British monarch agree, consider the following scenario. Given that we have a fixed quantity of land, the more people we add (increase population growth), the fewer

This story is only available to Premium subscribers Subscribe or sign in to finish reading

Not ready to subscribe? Register to read a selection of free stories

Fadekemi Abiru

Fadekemi Abiru

Read Latest

Rescuing GTCO’s stock price

PREMIUM - 30 JAN 2023

An investor’s guide to Nigeria’s digital economy

PREMIUM - 27 JAN 2023

How the CBN wipes out investor confidence in Nigeria

PREMIUM - 26 JAN 2023

Why is your local government not effective?

PREMIUM - 25 JAN 2023

Download our mobile app for a more immersive reading experience

Scan QR code
mobile download