Overpopulation in the World
The current world population stands 7.6 billion as per the United Nations Statistics, while the human population is projected to clock 10.5 billion in the year 2040 and 12 billion by the year 2050. The current human population growth rate per year 70 million. China has got the highest number of people per unit area, with the total population being 1.2 billion. The African continent has reached the highest population growth rate, which is 6 percent while the lowest is European continent which is 1.2 percent(Dunlap & Jorgenson, 2012).
High level of growth of individuals within a given duration is known as overpopulation. Uncontrolled growth of human population beyond the optimal level which the environment can support without depleting its resources leads to the condition of overpopulation. There is various cause of the condition as well as the effects of the situation. Human beings are sources of labor. Hence the growth of a large number of people offers access to human capital.
However, when the environment cannot support the capacity, the situation becomes undesirable. The discussion, in this case, entails causes of overpopulation, the impacts, effects, and control measures. The growth of human population across the globe has been raising rapidly, with international organizations getting concerned about the condition.
The world’s population has been rising rapidly from the 20th century. Currently, the world population stands at 7.5 billion, with over 1.2 billion people living in China alone. The African continent has got the highest level of the human population followed by Asian continent. World population is forecasted to be 11 billion by the year 2050, according to the current growth rate of 70 million per year(Dunlap & Jorgenson, 2012). Scientists have warned that lack of control might lead to negative effects on top of the current scenario. The most populated nations across the globe include China, India, Nigeria, Brazil, Indonesia, the US, Russia, and Ethiopia. More than 47.6% of the total population live in the less developed countries.
Life expectancy is less than 50 year in most of the least developed countries, while in the developed countries is more than 65 years.
Causes of Overpopulation
The key factors which lead to rapid population growth include the reduction in mortality rates across the globe, advanced medical care services, better living standards across the world as well as the decrease in the welfare activities. Other factors include educational access and change in the living standards of the individuals. China has got the most significant population across the globe as a country with African continent leading to the population level. On the key factors which have contributed to growth in population is advanced technology(Kelley, 2008).
Technical growth has led to innovation and invention of medical facilities. Better healthcare leads to the reduction in death rates, with a large number of people having access to treatment and eradication of common diseases. For instance, polio, chicken pox, influenza, tuberculosis, and measles has been eradicated in most parts of the world.
Children had better living conditions and less prone to death compared to the 19th century when mortality rate was significantly high. Use of technology in the process of diagnosis, treatment, and control of diseases has changed the condition. Improved facilities in the hospitals have been in use, which results to prolonged lifespan and hence more people per unit area. The advanced population has therefore led to a growth of human society and eventual overpopulation. Another apparent cause of overpopulation is the decline in the death rate.
High numbers of birthrate and reduction in the level of deaths per year create growth in a total community across the globe. People have access to better living conditions compared to the past. For example, there is access to regular checkups and lifestyle conditions. A significant portion of the population has improved diets and living conditions, which contributes to growth in the human population. The growth of agriculture using the mechanized system of production results to food supply and healthy living conditions(Dunlap & Jorgenson, 2012).
People have access to food, hence elimination of hunger and poverty, something which contributes to high population growth. Scientific advancement has led to improved food production whereby people eat nutritious diets compared to the past. Traditionally, people used to hunt for food and gather fruits. However, change in lifestyle has led to fertility and hence high levels of productivity. Lack of adequate family planning and early marriages is another common cause of overpopulation. The control of birth activities has been effective in the developed countries such as Britain, the United States, German, France and other developing countries. On the other hand, developing countries have got poor living standards due to weak economies and social life(Kelley, 2008).
Lack of education is one of the factors which contribute to low-income family planning. When people lack methodologies of birth control, the outcome is the large family size which eventually leads to increase of population. Early marriages have also contributed to the menace of overpopulation with the sub-Saharan countries affected by the condition. Still, the situation is very evident in Asian countries and Latin America. Poverty and early marriages are widespread in the developing nations which leads to high birthrate among women. The overall impact is rapid population growth.
Effects of Overpopulation
Overpopulation has got the negative impact on economic and social life. The most common adverse effects include depletion of natural resources, environmental degradation, reduced economic growth and social vices. Earth has got limited resources which can support a given number of human beings.
A Large population means high demand for land for human settlement, a demand of area for farming and demand for food to support the human beings. Clearing of forest to pave the way for human settlement has led to deforestation and drought. Still, the cutting down of trees causes environmental pollution such as a decline of oxygen and high levels of harmful gases.
Reduction in wildlife and water level is a common factor contributed by overpopulation. The effects are also felt in the social and economic sectors as well. In social life, people have experienced the shortage of housing mainly in urban areas. People compete for the few available houses, leading to the creation of squatters and slums in cities. Still, high population is associated with social vices such as crime, drugs abuse, congestion in towns as well as sexual misconduct(Morrison & Thatcher, 2009).
When community does not match the economic growth of the country, cases of unbalanced growth rate occurs. People indulge in criminal activities to get a source of income while other get into drugs and substance abuse. Still, congestion is common in social avenues such as learning institutions and hospitals. Poor control of such vices hence is associated with the high population which cannot be supported by the environment(Loo, 2004).
Another common effect of overpopulation is environmental pollution. When the number of people exceeds the normal capacity, cases of abuse of nature occurs. In most cases, poor handling of wastes and dumping is very common which leads to water, air and soil pollution. Control of the above things can be done through careful human population control.
Control of Overpopulation
The control of a human population is significant to ensure that vices associated with overpopulation do not occur. Having effective means of controlling human birthrate is hence essential. The common means of regulation include education on family planning, government regulation measures, economic growth and training facilities. Family planning is the process through which people are given knowledge and facilities to have limited number of children as per their level of income. It entails getting only some children which one can support. In less developed countries, mainly in African continent and Asian, the practice should be implemented. It entails teaching families on how to handle birth activities through the limited number of children per couple(Loo, 2004).
On the other, birth control measures are adequate means which ensure that there is control of the human population. Government regulation entails having strict measures on the number on children per couple. It entails education of the public on matters of controlled family planning and importance. The government passes laws which regulate the number of children which a given family should have. It aims at ensuring that cases of overpopulation do not occur.
In conclusion, it can be said that overpopulation has got a negative effect on the human life. The control should be done by the whole society, through a cooperation of various groups. Since the phenomena affect almost all areas of life, effective control measures are mandatory. Education, a creation of awareness, legal regulation as well as campaigns should be used to tame the condition.
Dunlap, R. E., & Jorgenson, A. K. (2012). Environmental problems. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization.
Loo, C. (2004). Important issues in researching the effects of crowding on humans. In Crowding and Behavior (pp. 133-140). MSS Information New York, NY.
Kelley, A. C. (2008). Economic consequences of population change in the Third World. Journal of Economic Literature, 26(4), 1685-1728.
Morrison, B. J., & Thatcher, K. (2009). Overpopulation effects on social reduction of emotionality in humans. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 69(4p1), 658.