Table of Contents
- Here are the top four causes and effects of overpopulation.
- What are the effects of overpopulation?
- What can be done?
- Key takeaways
According to the United Nations, the world’s population will reach 10.8 billion by 2100. Reduced mortality, improved medical facilities, and overall an increased lifespan increases population. There are many other reasons too which are beyond these positive reasons that lead to overpopulation. For instance, the need to have more family members to work and contribute to the family – a common situation in poor countries.
Here are the top four causes and effects of overpopulation.
What are the causes of overpopulation?
Several factors cause overpopulation. Some of these factors are mentioned below.
Falling mortality rate
An imbalance between births and deaths is the primary (and perhaps most apparent) cause of overpopulation. According to the World Health Organization, the global infant mortality rate has decreased, with 4.1 million infant deaths in 2017, compared to 8.8 million in 1990. Of course, this is good news in terms of public health.
Worldwide average life expectancy has more than doubled since 1900, thanks to advances in medicine, technology, and general hygiene. People are living longer lives all over the world. Those of us alive today will most likely outlive most of our forefathers.
Lack of contraceptive knowledge
The lack of use of contraception and about birth control due to social norms and religious beliefs. Couples need to be educated about contraception to control adverse effects. People need to educate themselves about the uses and advantages of contraception. This way, we can look forward to a less populated world.
Scope for hope
According to the UN Population Division, the global fertility rate has steadily declined over the years, from an average of 5 children per woman in 1950 to 2.4 children per woman today. Along with that encouraging trend, global contraceptive use has steadily increased, rising from 54% in 1990 to 57.4% in 2015. Nonetheless, contraceptive use remains underutilized in general.
Advancement in fertility treatment
Couples unable to conceive can now undergo fertility treatment and have a child – thanks to recent technological advancements and medical discoveries. There are now effective medicines that can increase the likelihood of conception and the birth rate.
Though this is great for society, it poses a particular threat to the world. The chances of overpopulation increase daily. The government can develop some rules and regulations for the people who want to opt for treatments.
We are already facing issues like starvation and depletion of natural resources, yet bringing new life into the world without much thought seems uncertain.
Furthermore, modern techniques have made pregnancies far safer. Fertility treatments like IUI (intrauterine insemination) and IVF (in vitro fertilization) are widely used and promoted through television, movies, and social media.
Lack of education
It is a tragedy that child labor is still widely practiced in many parts of the world. According to UNICEF, approximately 150 million children are currently employed in countries with poorly enforced child labor laws. Children seen as a source of income by impecunious families start working too young and miss out on educational opportunities, especially the knowledge regarding birth control.
Children need a direction towards education rather than earning money. More children, more earnings, hence overpopulation. People need to take some initiative to change the scenario.
What are the effects of overpopulation?
As the global population grows, so will the resource strain. More people means more demand for food, water, housing, and healthcare. This consumption contributes to environmental degradation, conflict, and an increased risk of pandemics. Let us have a look at the effects of overpopulation.
Population growth will inevitably create extreme pressure, resulting in more deforestation. More people necessitate more food and space, which demands more land for agriculture and human habitation. This, in turn, leads to more forest clearing.
It also leads to diminished biodiversity and spikes in pollution and emissions. All of which will exacerbate climate change. Many scientists believe that unless we take action to help reduce further overpopulation in the remainder of this century, the additional stress on the planet will cause severe ecological disruption and collapse. This threatens the survivability of life on Earth as we know it.
Many recent novel pathogens have wreaked havoc on humans worldwide. Such as COVID-19, Zika virus, Ebola, and West Nile virus originated in animals or insects before being transmitted to humans.
The world is entering a period of increased outbreaks because humans are destroying wildlife habitats and coming into more frequent contact with wild animals. Now that we’re in the grip of a pandemic, it’s clear how difficult it is to maintain social distance in a world with a population of nearly 8 billion people.
Rise in unemployment
When a country is at the risk of overpopulation, unemployment increases because there are fewer jobs to support a large number of individuals. People want to support their families and provide them with necessities. The rise in unemployment encourages crime. As the phrase suggests, ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop,’ people with no aims, goals, or employment are at a higher risk that they might commit crimes.
Conflicts and wars
Scarcity caused by ecological disruption and overpopulation has the potential to escalate violence and political unrest. Warfare over water, land, and energy resources is already taking place in many parts of the world, and the unrest is likely to worsen as the global population increases.
What can be done?
The first step is to provide better education to everyone worldwide. Be it a child, man, or woman, knowledge about the environment, unemployment, poverty, and pandemics is a must. Women need to have quality education and equal say in family planning. Use social media’s power to educate individuals still in the dark about such grave situations.
- Overpopulation has led to many problems around the globe. Environmental effects, pandemics, unemployment, and the list goes on.
- When we live, breathe and eat from the resources Earth provides, we must take care of it. Overpopulating it by not taking necessary measures and inadequate knowledge about family planning is something we must look into immediately.
- Social media is a means of communication through which we can educate people about the causes and effects of overpopulation. This will help them to identify if they are on the right path and taking proper precautions.
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Q1. What are the disadvantages of overpopulation?
Answer- High cost of living, water shortage, and starvation are some disadvantages of overpopulation.
Q2. When do we celebrate world population day?
Answer- We celebrate world population day on the 11th of July.
Q3. What are the advantages of overpopulation?
Answer- The advantages of overpopulation include scope for innovation, economic growth, increase in human capital, and more.