Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
We cannot leave these questions of health and physique without referring to yet another factor, the importance of which has increasingly impressed itself upon us. High as is the general death rate, the rate of natural increase in India is still sufficient to add large numbers annually to the population. Increased production of food ultimately effects little improvement in the standard of living or in the quantity of foodstuffs available, since the population quickly multiplies under these favourable conditions. Formerly war, famine and pestilence were all active in reducing the numbers for which the land had to provide sustenance; war and famine have been largely negatived as active influences, whilst deaths from pestilence have been considerably reduced. The result is a steadily growing pressure on the land, which compels increasing numbers to migrate from the agricultural villages to urban and industrial areas in the hope of finding employment. This increasing migration is probably not a little responsible for the beginning of an unemployment problem in the latter places and for the keen competition for available work. We are not alone in holding that this factor exerts considerable influence in depressing the general standard of living, and it is one which must always be remembered when considering the other problems with which we are dealing. It calls urgently for studied attention from economists and others interested in the welfare of the peoples of India.