Economics Project Topics

Impact of Population Growth on Unemployment in Nigeria – an Empirical Analysis

Impact of Population Growth on Unemployment in Nigeria - an Empirical Analysis


Impact of Population Growth on Unemployment in Nigeria – an Empirical Analysis



Unemployment rate can either increase or decrease proportionately with regard to population increase or decline. While unemployment is unimaginably growing despite economic recession, population growth is also on the increase. If this duo tyrant is not properly checked, it could pose a devastating effect on the nation’s future effect.

The findings in this study revealed that unemployment has greatly increased over the years which as at 2014 were 25.1%, with about 50% youth unemployment. Over the years, there has been a rise in population which is accompanied by a rise in unemployment. This study aimed to find out if population has an effect on unemployment, and from the regression analysis conducted, it shows that there is a positive correlation/relationship between unemployment and population growth. This implies that apart from improving other factors that causes unemployment, population growth in particular needs to be checked, and proper measures should be taken to reduce the population so that the population can match the jobs available. Unemployment from all indication is a threat that has lingered for so long and poses a serious problem in the growth and development of Nigeria. This means that the government needs to play a major role as well as stakeholders and international community in eliminating the present rise in unemployment through job creation. The leaders should also make possible effort to promote good and effective governance so as to help the unemployed.



Empirical analysis was carried out in testing the impact of population growth on unemployment in Nigeria, using the OLS multiple regression analytical method. Total unemployment rate (dependent variable) was regressed on total population in the country, size of domestic market or activities, flow of FDI, and exchange rate(independent variables) between 1985- 2019. It was established in the study that population and exchange rate have positive effects on unemployment while domestic market and FDI both have negative effects on unemployment in Nigeria. Based on the findings of this study, it is concluded that unemployment has serious consequences on the Nigerian economy. Employment generation as seen in this study is a means of alleviating poverty, increasing the level of economic activities which brings about economic growth. The unemployment situation in Nigeria is on the increase and it has resulted in increased poverty among the citizens, increased social vices, under utilization of human capacity, social alienation and weak purchasing power among others. Although the Nigerian Government in previous times had set up different policies and programmes to combat this menace, but these programmes have not made much impact and the expected result could still not be achieved. This is due to lack of transparency, lack of commitment to the programme, inadequate funding and absence of enabling environment, corruption and economic mismanagement among other reasons. This has made the Country to witness an alarming increase in unemployment incidence rather than reducing it. 



It is expected that everyone should join hands in building Nigeria where everyone at all level is resourceful. The problem of unemployment is a chronic issue that is a threat to the Nigerian economy and development. The first and key solution to unemployment is for the government to come into play by taking the responsibility of creating a socio-economic and political atmosphere that will provide necessary infrastructures so that it can make industrial sector investment friendly so as to attract investors to invest, thus, creating job opportunities that will absorb the unemployed people in the country (Tunde, 2012). Also, wealthy individuals can take example from Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, (the former minister of youth and development) by embarking on developing centers that will massively train the youths on useful trade and entrepreneurial skills in different aspects like technology, automobiles and agricultural production. Nigeria is blessed and has so many areas to explore that can boost unemployment and the economy at large if given the opportunity (Anthony Ilegbinosa, 2013).

 Nigeria can also implement the “United Nations Credit Programs in Africa” which has he potentials to create jobs for 50,000 skilled and unskilled jobs in real estate projects (P. S. O. Uddin and Uddin, 2013). It will also generate 38,000 jobs in the agricultural sector in the period of one year, alongside absorbing more than 1000 marketers and pharmacists in the pharmaceutical project (McKenna, 2015).


  • There should be improvement in technology so as to help accommodate the population
  • There should be provision of better education and orientation and also women education should be encouraged and highly considered
  • There should be more investment on human capital and infrastructures in the country.
  • The Government can implement a child policy (like 4 children policy).
  • Family planning should be highly emphasized and encouraged.


  • Efforts should be made towards coordinated labor intensive projects
  • There should be revival of the labor exchange programs which will be based on comparative advantage
  • Orientation and enlightenment should be given to university graduates so as to transform their perspectives and views about menial jobs
  • Wage preference and rigid job should be eliminated
  • University graduates should be inspired to study a higher degree in other relevant discipline in order to reduce the problem of mismatch
  • The union should take the role of protecting the interest of its members when there is massive rate of unemployment. This can be done if the unions extend their aims in such a way that social justice is advocated for both the employed and unemployed
  • Trade unions can help create more jobs by investing to an extent on labor intensive projects in the country.
  • There should be population control in such a way that the population matches the jobs available
  • The economy of Nigeria should be diversified so that many job opportunities can be created.
  • Entrepreneurship should be highly encouraged and programs should be set to incorporate the citizens. When the right incentives are put in place and given, it makes the population to interact favorably in terms of business. It also creates a suitable environment for the citizens especially youths to be productive in the country. Given that Nigeria is a country with so many untapped potentials among its vibrant population and large market, gives it an edge to compete and thrive well economically if only citizens and the government give more attention to entrepreneurship.
  • A process of selective industrialization should be embarked on, so that industries will be selected for promotion based on its ability to stimulate demand for labor and locally produced materials.
  • The agricultural sector should be promoted in such a way that it becomes attractive for people to invest in it. This involves designing and implementing policies that is favorable to the agricultural sector. These can be done through better organizing the sector in the aspect of production and marketing. Also, the government should be more focused on rural areas which will help to reduce the problem of urban bias and dualisms which will in-turn create jobs for those in villages as well.

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