Overpopulation can be defined as an undesirable condition where the existing population of human beings exceeds what the world can be able to sustain (Howard 2). World overpopulation is attributed to a number of factors and effects that have been discussed below.
Causes of overpopulation: Decreased Death Rate
The difference between the overall death rate and birthrate has affected the world population growth. If the death rate would be equal to the number of children born in a year then there would be stability in the population (Howard 2). One factor that first caused the imbalance between the two is the discovery of agriculture which provided our ancestors with enough nutrition without going for hunting. This factor thus contributed to overpopulation due to enough nutritious food.
Improved Medical Facilities
The industrial revolution led to advancement in technologies that enabled better means of food production thus allowing more people to access enough food. Moreover, there were increased medical discoveries by scientists which enabled people to overcome a number of diseases hence a decline in death rate. Chronic illnesses that claimed a big number of lives now could be cured using the invented medical vaccines (Howard 2). Therefore, a combination of the rich supply of food and the decreased mortality rate marked the beginning of world overpopulation.
More hands to fight poverty
This refers to the psychological component of overpopulation. Thousands of years ago, the infant mortality rate was very high due to poverty and poor medical care. This forced families to give birth to many children to make up for the huge number of deaths. Families too needed more hands to do work and overcome poverty and this was a major factor for overpopulation (O'Rourke & Patrick 11)
Most people are preferring to migrate to more developed nations like the UK, the US, Australia and Canada where the best services and facilities can be found such as education, employment; security and healthcare (Thomlinson 13). Consequently, the immigrants end up settling there which leads to overcrowding. The difference between the numbers of people that enters the country and those that leave becomes small and this affects the population density thus becoming the root of overpopulation.
Effects of World overpopulation: Natural Resources Depletion
The fast growing population leads to depletion of natural resourses.This is due to the stiff competition for the limited natural resources such as land, food and water. Overpopulation has caused environmental damage due to reckless wildlife hunting and deforestation (O'Rourke & Patrick 11). The aggressive competition for the limited resources has led to much depletion of natural resources.
The increased use of oil, coal and natural gas has had adverse effects to the environment. More industries and factories have been started to sustain the growing population. This in turn affects the environment due to emission of harmful gases which cause global warming (Thomlinso n 13). Moreover, people have cleared more land for settlement and this in turn has affected world climatic conditions.
Increased Unemployment Rate
Overpopulation in the world results in general unemployment as there are no enough jobs to sustain the growing population. It further leads to the rise in criminal acts since people resort to stealing and violence to fend for themselves and their families.
High Living Costs
World overpopulation causes a high difference between supply and demand. This causes prices of goods and commodities to rise which include shelter, food and healthcare services and facilities (Thomlinson 13). This consequently means that people will be required to incur more expenses in order to survive and be able to feed their families.
In summary, the world overpopulation is attributed to a number of factors which include decreased death rate, improved medical services, immigration among many others. On the other hand the overpopulation leads to adverse effects that negatively affect human life and their environment.
Howard, George S. Ecological psychology: Creating a more earth-friendly human nature. University of Notre Dame Press, 1997.
O'Rourke, Patrick J. All the trouble in the world: the lighter side of overpopulation, famine, ecological disaster, ethnic hatred, plague, and poverty. Grove/Atlantic, Inc., 2007.
Thomlinson, Ralph. Demographic Problems: Controversy over population control. Dickenson Publishing Company, 1975.
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