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How Concerning is Population Growth?

by | Jul 16, 2022 | Community




Causes of population growth

We all agree that there are more people now than ever before in our history. We are in the midst of one of the biggest transformations in human history. At the start of the 1800s, the human population reached 1 billion people. It took humanity 200,000 years to put the first billion people on earth.

However, the next billion were much easier as it took around 100 years. Since 1960, we added 1 billion people to Earth every 12 years. In 2011, the world population reached 7 billion and in November 2022 it reach 8 billion.  This exponential growth in the human population is due to improvements in our cognitive abilities, agricultural revolution, and scientific breakthroughs.

The industrial revolution increased employment rates and wages. Humans also started to mass produce food, improve the quality of healthcare, and access education and medicine. These factors have increased standards of living, decreases mortality rate and people were healthier which in turn led to a massive population boom.

Because there were more food and clean water, better healthcare and less disease meant that fewer people died and those who would have otherwise died, survived. During the past couple of decades, scientific development has helped developing countries curb the number of diseases that cause death.

Efforts for global disease control have made this change possible, and death due to infectious disease is now less of a hindrance to population growth. Now, the world population is growing at 0.84% per year which might not seem very much but multiplied by 8 billion this number represents around 67 million per year.

This also means that we add 385,000 people every day. In fact, for every 2 who die, around 4 are born. Each second, around 4 babies are born and less than 2 die which means that the world’s population is growing by about 2.5 people per second.

While there are some worrying trends about overpopulation, progress in science and technology has allowed people to live longer and more productive lives. New antibiotics and vaccines have saved thousands of lives. Life expectancy has increased by around 20 since 1960.

Today’s average life expectancy is 73.4 years. But this also depends on countries where Japan and Hong Kong have the highest in the world with around 82 years. Also, women live longer than men where the average for females is 81 years and males 72 years. But the fact that we are living longer is a major factor in increasing the population.

It is estimated that by 2050 the world population will reach almost 10 billion. It is also estimated that in the next 30 years, the U.S. will be overtaken by Nigeria to become the world’s third most populated country behind China and India. China is the world’s most populous country, followed by India.

If you removed 1 billion people from china and 1 billion from India they will still be first and second respectively in terms of population in the world. By the end of this century, there will be 4.2 billion people living in Africa, making up 36% of the world’s population. Africa has the second largest population after Asia, but it’s far less dense than Europe. However, Africa doesn’t have the infrastructure to handle it.

Importance of population growth

However, in the early 2000s, countries across Europe started to notice that fewer and fewer babies were being born. For almost all the time in human history, there have been more children than old people on the earth. But this isn’t anymore, even if the population is growing we are heading into a demographic transformation.

Now we are heading to a world where there will be more elderly than youngsters. There will be more people aged over 60 than under 5. What’s worst is that we know nothing about how to plan a society where there are many older people and so few young children. With economic growth, people started investing in children.

But children became expensive because there is a need to invest in education, health, food, clothes, and others. People in developed countries have recognized the direct connection between the standard of living and the number of children. They know that to increase the standard of living, they have to maintain the average family size.

So the family started to have fewer. Families determine their family size based on individual economics like access to food, education, healthcare, and leisure. And since fewer babies are dying, families are concentrating to deliver a better life to a small amount of children. While families are having fewer babies, the aging population were living longer.

Population count is determined by two things which is the fertility rate which represents the number of babies born and the other is the mortality rate which is the number of death. And for individual countries, the number of migrants is also added. Throughout human history, both death and birth rates were high.

The high mortality and fertility rate created an equilibrium where a lot of people were born and a lot of people were also dying. Then things started to change where mortality rates decrease and people were living longer. After that birth rates started to drop as people wanted fewer babies.

Birth rates dropped mean fewer youngsters and death rates drop means people live longer which eventually leads to more elder. This is creating a disequilibrium. Fertility rates have hovered below the replacement level of 2.1, which basically means the number of children women need to have on average to sustain the population.

But it is much lower in rich countries such as South Korea where the number is 0.81 and the US hit 1.7 births per woman in 2021. Well, with fewer people we consume less stuff so a declining population means slower economic growth which can also lead to economic recession.

The main concern with an economic recession is investment demand reduces as companies expect a declining customer base. Economic growth also comes from new ideas which depend on the number of people researching them. So population drainage basically means that fewer people are devoted to research or contributing ideas. Which can even put a hold on technological progress.

Low fertility increases aging populations which gives rise to a tax burden for pensions and healthcare. And another issue arises as there are not enough people to take care of the elder ones. So some countries began implementing new policies to incentivize people to have more children.

While we worry about being too many for the planet to support, we are also worried about having fewer people in some places. As this may affect the economy. For example, what happens when there are more elderly people who need care than there are healthcare workers.

Capitalism is based on eternal growth and depends upon more and more consumers. When the population is lowered, the economy suffers. However, some argue that it will suffer less if there’s no more oil, food, and water. But the problem is that we are not evenly distributed around the planet.

In developed countries, the average family size is decreasing but they also have the easiest to the most basic necessities. Whereas in developing countries, the average family size is much bigger with limited access to vital necessities. While the Industrial Revolution is considered to be the tipping point for population growth, many other smaller revolutions led to the overpopulation we see today.

Effects of overpopulation

Everybody knows that we are living in an unsustainable world. Almost everything that we produce and consume creates a byproduct that damages the planet. Our economy is driven by consumerism. When the population grows so does the demand for resources. All those people will want and need the same things that you and I want and need.

They will need food, water, education, and healthcare and they will want nice cars, nice clothes, and nice homes. It becomes obvious that we will need more food, water, fertile land, resources, and energy. You don’t have to be a genius to work out that more people use more resources, consume more energy, and create more waste.

With all the current crises the world is facing like war, climate change, inequalities, and depletion of resources, the population growth looks pretty unsustainable. For instance in Africa, the average number of children is 4.7 per woman. While overpopulation is a global issue, there are many local causes.

Poverty is one of the main causes of overpopulation, resulting from a lack of educational resources and high mortality rates. While only a small percentage of the population is able to afford comfortable living conditions, poor people are forced to produce large families in order to compensate for the high infant mortality rate.

Overpopulation in the developed world has caused more than a half billion people to live in overcrowded countries. In addition, the average human life expectancy has risen from around 30 years in pre-industrial times to over 70 years today, but the average life span remains below 50 years in parts of Africa.

Population growth is one of the biggest challenges mankind faces today. Overpopulation is one of the most common and persistent beliefs of environmental activists. The impact of overpopulation on our natural resources is well documented, and the pandemic has served as a wake-up call for mankind.

Densely populated urban areas are the perfect breeding grounds for diseases like the coronavirus. And the rest we know it, lots of dead, social distancing, crippling economies, and locking entire cities or countries down. The rapid growth of the human population has resulted in an increase in unemployment and pushed people into ecologically sensitive areas.

More people mean more food is needed. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the world already produces more than enough food for the global population. Unfortunately, the real cause of hunger is poverty, food waste, and inequality, not scarcity. The real issue is water, as even if nearly 70% of the world is covered by water only around 2% is fresh.

Most of the earth’s water is salty. And of the 2% fresh water available, just 1% is easily accessible. Not to mention that the agriculture sector uses around 70% of the world’s fresh water. Now a population increase means that competition for a copious supply of water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and sustaining life intensifies.

The strain on natural resources increases conflict between countries which can eventually lead to wars. A water war is something nobody wants to witness. Overpopulation is one of the causes of famine and war because it increases inequality and conflict. Overpopulation is associated with many other negative consequences, including increased poverty and environmental degradation.

Environmental changes and deforestation are just a few of the many consequences of overpopulation. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 99% of the food that we eat is derived from the soil. Land degradation directly related to intensive food production has been occurring worldwide costing billions of dollars to countries.

Food production is destructive to the environment as natural vegetation is removed to the surface, the lands are reshaped and the structure of the soil is destroyed from tillage. Moreover, human population growth is already causing massive changes in the ecosystems, causing deforestation and degradation of habitats.

The population increase is already causing the extinction of over 50% of the species on the planet. The increasing population causes a greater strain on the Earth’s natural resources. And we are already facing a water crisis in the world, where around one-third of the world’s population doesn’t have access to clean water.

In addition to overpopulation, the effects of overpopulation can also be felt in the form of pollution, violence, and aggression. The rapid increase in industry and vehicles has resulted in increased air pollution. Overpopulation is also associated with increased pollution and waste. In addition to environmental problems, it also increases the likelihood of disasters such as floods, fires, and droughts.

Not only does overpopulation affect our environment, but it also affects our economies as well. It also leads to an increase in poverty and unemployment. These issues are becoming more acute. It is critical to address the issue of overpopulation before it becomes a crisis. If population growth continues unabated, the effects of overpopulation will worsen.

Overpopulation affects women in developing countries. And in these communities, women do not have access to education, have to take care of a household, walk long distances to collect water, and sometimes children have to work. And what is worst is that most of the time women don’t have a strong voice in these countries.

Overpopulation has various negative impacts on human beings and the environment. This problem must be resolved to ensure that future generations will live in a healthy and sustainable way. And we must also ensure that they can also take advantage of our natural resources otherwise they will be depleted before they are even born.

Solution to overpopulation

While overpopulation has its negative effects, it is a necessary concern for all human beings. It’s important to remember that there are many solutions to overpopulation. Despite the devastating impacts of overpopulation, population stabilization can be achieved fairly. While these solutions are largely personal, governmental programs could help address the problem.

A number of solutions exist to solve the overpopulation problem, such as better education for girls, family planning, and voluntary sterilization. Education on the subject is essential for preventing the overpopulation of the world. It is possible to combat overpopulation by making decisions that will help society grow sustainably.

In fact, dozens of nations have stabilized their populations using the right policies. While overpopulation is unavoidable, we can take steps to reduce it and prevent it from destroying our planet. One way to do this is to empower women and increase their agency in reproductive decisions.

We can do that by mobilizing against coercion and debunking the myths surrounding contraception. For example, women should not have to choose between a husband and a baby in order to avoid child marriage or early pregnancy. Increasing women’s access to education is an important step toward limiting the growth of the global population.

The most efficient way to stabilize the world population is by sending girls to school and empowering women. In developing countries, uneducated women tend to be subservient to men and the number of children tends to be determined based on what the man wants. Providing education to women in these countries increases their knowledge as well as confidence.

And upon their graduation, they can join a workforce which in turn increases their prosperity as well as national prosperity. With that in mind, it’s imperative that we take steps to ensure the future of our planet. Educated women can move to countries that are facing population drainage thus contributing to their economic growth.

Also, education about contraceptives, safe sex techniques, and modern technology can help women make more informed reproductive choices. Another way to combat overpopulation is to promote open dialogues on abortion and voluntary sterilization. Increasing awareness is one of the most important steps in curbing the rate of population growth.

Educating the masses that they should only have two children at most can be a viable solution. Providing education to individuals and their families is necessary for all of them to understand the causes and solutions to overpopulation. The world’s poorest nations will drive population growth, but there are measures to slow the pace.

Improving education, and economic opportunities are some of the ways to limit the rate of overpopulation. Education, contraception, and awareness-raising campaigns are all steps that will help us combat overpopulation. In addition, lowering fertility rates can free up women for more paid work, which could help them tackle their cash-strapped societies and increase their standard of living.

Whether overpopulation is good or bad depends on the different issues. In many areas, it affects the quality of life, and it can cause environmental degradation. It can also cause wars and conflicts. But in others, it affects economic growth. But despite all the negative consequences, overpopulation can also be a source of cooperation and compromise.

A recent study published that if we take the time to learn how to manage our population growth, we can prevent our planet from becoming overpopulated. Human overpopulation is not directly detrimental to the environment, as long as it is kept in balance. When the population is balanced, an ecosystem will be healthier.

However, when the population increases beyond a point, unsustainable practices are increased. As such, we must ensure that we limit the growth of our population in order to protect our planet’s resources. Addressing overpopulation requires changing our mentality about reproduction and promoting reproductive rights.

The future of overpopulation is far from bright, but it’s worth taking into account what it means for the planet. If current trends continue to go unchecked, it is likely that two out of three people on the planet will be unable to get clean water. A third of the world’s population will live in poverty as a result of overpopulation.

By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities. As sea levels continue to rise, there will be more floods and other hazards due to the planet getting warmer. Climate change is already devastating the food supply. The number of people on earth continues to rise and we are heading to a point in time where the world is suffering from overpopulation.

Overpopulation has serious consequences for the future of the planet. Overpopulation puts a great strain on resources, threatening global economies and living standards. Further, it is creating severe environmental and economic consequences. The effects of overpopulation are many and varied.

The population of a nation can either be beneficial or detrimental, depending on its size and demographics. Population growth is more complex than just having too many or too few people. But when we understand what drives the population of a place we begin to understand future patterns of urban and rural growth. If we don’t change our views on overpopulation, it will be far-reaching and the effects will be felt for generations to come.