AN ANALYSIS OF THE POPULATION-POVERTY CYCLE IN NIGERIA: IMPLICATIONS FOR HUMAN WELFARE
Population growth matters to sustainable development, however its consequence on poverty is of interest to this study. This study therefore investigates the population-poverty cycle in Nigeria and its implications for human welfare. Specifically, the study evaluated the potential negative consequences of population growth on economic growth, poverty, education, health, food, environment and migration; and how their interaction affects human welfare. Descriptive statistics and the Structural Vector Auto-Regressive (SVAR) technique were used to analyse the stated objectives for the period 1973-2016. The findings indicated that population growth affects economic growth, per capita income, and agricultural output negatively while it leads to increases in emigration and carbon dioxide emissions (environmental degradation). Furthermore, the study revealed that the population-poverty cycle affects human welfare negatively in Nigeria. The study estimated the population threshold in Nigeria to be 116.8 million – beyond which HDI is expected to decrease by 0.23%. This implies that Nigeria’s current population which is put at 193 million is detrimental to the attainment of human welfare. The study concludes that the population-poverty cycle is binding on Nigeria and its effect may be underestimated if its latent effect on human welfare is not taken into cognizance. Unless a credible reconciliation is done quickly to control the negative consequences of population growth, human welfare will continuously be given a secondary status in Nigeria. Thus, a caveat is necessary which requires policies that will curb population increase and harness resources to improve human welfare. Therefore, the focus ought to be on providing basic amenities and investments that will increase genuine wealth per capita amongst Nigerians.
|Keywords: Population-Poverty Cycle, Human Welfare, Nigeria Economy, SVAR|
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