The Demographic Pressures Indicator considers pressures upon the state deriving from the population itself or the environment around it. For example, the Indicator measures population pressures related to food supply, access to safe water, and other life-sustaining resources, or health, such as prevalence of disease and epidemics. The Indicator considers demographic characteristics, such as pressures from high population growth rates or skewed population distributions, such as a “youth or age bulge,” or sharply divergent rates of population growth among competing communal groups, recognizing that such effects can have profound social, economic, and political effects. Beyond the population, the Indicator also takes into account pressures stemming from natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes, floods or drought), and pressures upon the population from environmental hazards.

Questions to consider may include*:


  • Population Growth: Is the population growth rate sustainable?
  • Population Distribution: Is the current and projected distribution reasonable?
  • Population Density: Is population density putting pressure on areas of the state?
  • Infant Mortality: What is the infant mortality rate – actual and projected?
  • Orphan Population: Is there a high orphan population?

Public Health

  • Disease Control: Is there a system for controlling spreading of diseases or pandemics?
  • Disease Epidemics: Is there a high likelihood or existence of diseases of epidemics?
  • HIV Aids: What is the rate of spread of HIV Aids cases—most recent and projected?

Food and Nutrition

  • Food supply: Is the food supply adequate to deal with potential interruption?
  • Drought: Is there are high likelihood of droughts or is there currently a drought?
  • Starvation: Is there a short-term food shortage that needs to be alleviated?
  • Malnutrition: Are there long-term food shortages affecting health?


  • Environment: Do sound environmental policies exist and are the current practices sustainable?
  • Likelihood of Natural Disasters: Is a natural disaster likely, recurring?
  • Impact of Natural Disasters: If a natural disaster occurs, is there an adequate response plan?
  • Deforestation: Has deforestation taken place or are there laws to protect forests?


  • Resources: Does resource competition exist and are there laws to arbitrate disputes?
  • Land competition: Does land competition it and are there laws to arbitrate land disputes?
  • Water Supply: Is there access to an adequate potable water supply?


* Indicator descriptions are not exhaustive, and are intended only as an entry point for further interpretive analysis by the user.