M. Aufal Fresky
Bachelor of Development Economics Program Alumni (Batch 2011)
In the economic development of a country there are things that hinder the construction process. The obstacles are of the quantity of natural resource and the low quality of human resources, the low quality of human resources, and the huge number of population. Here we will discuss the relation between population and characteristics of the population to the economic development of a country.
If we discuss about population of a country, it can to be separated from the demographic issue. According to Philip M. Hauser and Duncan Duddley, demographics studies about the amount, distribution, territorial and composition of the population and the changes and the reasons for those changes, which usually arise due to birthrate (fertility), mortality, territorial movement (migration) and social mobility. Meanwhile, from time to time the structure, composition and number of the population are always changing, and have increased very sharply. It is caused by several things, such as the increasing of medical science which influence the decision of a family to have a child, the development of transportation sector will cause the current delivery of drugs more easily and it can reduce the number of disease in each area, which in turn presses the number of deaths, and many other reasons that led to the growth in population.
We need to know that there is strong relationship between the number and the quality of population with the construction and development of the national economy. There are several theories put forward by a number of figures that explain the relationship between the population and economic problems. One of them is the theory of physiology and socioeconomic initiated by John Stuart Mill. He argues that in certain circumstances humans can influence their demographic behavior. He also stated that if a person’s productivity is high, people tend to have a small family. In this kind of circumstance, the fertility rate will be low. From this J.S Mill theory, we can conclude that standard of living (standard of living) is detrimental to fertility. It is not true that poverty is inevitable (as Malthus stated) or poverty is caused by the capitalist system which is stated by Marx. There are only two possibilities solutions, namely: importing foodstuffs, or migrating to other region.
Meanwhile, Mill also suggested to increase the level of middle class. By increasing the level of population’s education, so they need to consider whether or not to increase the number of children in accordance with their businesses and careers. On the other hand, Aresene Dumont in an article Depopulation et Ciivization, launched a new population theory, that is the theory of social capillarity (theory fo social capilarity). Social capillarity refers to a person’s desire to achieve a high position in society, for example, a father always expect and strive for their child to obtain high socioeconomic position beyond what he has achieved. To be able to achieve a high position in society, a large family is a barrier. This concept is based on the analogy that the fluid will rise in a capillary tube.
Those are some explanations and theories about the relationship between the population and the economy. We need to know the theory to broaden our perspectives that there is a connection between these two things, and in the end, the structure and number of population will influence the economic conditions of the country. Emile Duerkheim, French sociologist said, in a region with a high density of population as a result of the high rate of population growth, there will be competition among the population to be able to survive. In an effort to win the competition each person strives to improve education and skills, and take particular specialization.
In terms of utilizing human resources well as controlling the number of population, the government has several programs such as KB (Family Planning) and MSME (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises). KB aims to control the population, while the MSME aims to reduce the unemployment rate. In the process of national development, especially economic development, is never separated from the role of population, because the population is a subject of governing and involved in the development process. Considering the vital role of population in economic growth and development, it is necessary to note the problems relating to the settlement in order to not disrupt the development process. Because our country is predicted to experience demography bonus in 2020-2030. Therefore we need the awareness of all parties concerned, including the government, to issue some regulations and policies in preparing the demography bonus.
National economic development is based on the human resources that exist in the country, but at the macro level, the government is the party that has the responsibility. Because, national economic development will fail when the economic system and economic regulation which managed by the government has no clear direction. Man as subject and object of economic development is expected not just stand idle in the development process, it is expected the entire population of the country especially in the workforce become agents of development (development agency). People need to increase their quality because national and global economic competition begin to strict and enter the era of meritocracy, the era in which the capable, qualified person, is the one who are able to survive in labor market.
There are some solutions I can offer to face this problem. First, the government must monitor and evaluate the demographic policies. Second, the government can conduct a national scale program that aims to enhance the skills and expertise of the population in many areas (eg marine, agriculture, manufacturing, services, etc.). Third, improving the quality of education and revamping the educational curriculum in accordance with national conditions. Fourth, providing regular training to educators and youth homeland in improving soft skill. Fifth, establishing the learning center of foreign languages (English, French, Arabic, etc.) so that it can improve the communication quality of youth in a foreign language.
Hopefully this brings benefits to all parties, especially the Indonesian people that I love.
Bagoes Mantara, Ida. 2000. Demografi Umum. Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar.