1. With a growing population, many canals and ponds are getting filled in with soil and sand.
  2. With the increasing population, many canals and ponds are getting filled in with soil and sand.

Please say, which one from above is correct? If both of them are correct, please say the differences of meaning between them.

  • 2
    Increase says nothing about the source of the additional amount; it merely says some quantity is becoming larger by accretion. Grow, on the other hand, invites the inference that something living is growing, possibly at the usual exponential rate. Nov 16, 2015 at 15:55

2 Answers 2


Choice (2) is better. The use of "grow" in this context, while not technically wrong, is suspect since growing implies some sort of organic process that applies to individuals' adding more material to themselves. Vegetables grow, germinating from seeds in the earth. Children grow as they continue to eat. In this context, we're talking about a mere hike in numbers that applies to a collective, a "population," so the more neutral "increase" would be sufficient.

As a side note, I'm also not particularly fond of that hazy use of "with" and might recommend replacing with a clearer substitute, possibly "because of."

  • "Growing" is definitely problematic. If a relative says "My, you're growing boys!" that doesn't mean the number of boys is increasing, but "a growing family" commonly means a family with additional children (particularly when selling houses, cars, etc, with additional rooms or seats).
    – Stuart F
    Jul 24, 2023 at 15:25

I think, also growth could be decreasing measure, for example, the annual growth of Euro population is decreasing annually. So this is the difference between growth and increase because increase is meaning there is an increase in numbers not decrease.

  • 1
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    Jul 24, 2023 at 8:40

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