Overpopulation: Causes, Effects and Solutions

More people means more production, consumption, and destruction of nature. In order to supply shelter to the growing population, forests are being cut down rapidly and production has been increased by destroying the soil quality. Overpopulation is a state in which a large number of people are raised on the planet rapidly exceeding its capacity.

It is a situation whereby people living in an environment increase the number of resources available to meet their basic needs, such as shelter, drinking water, food, and many more. Overpopulation is one of the biggest problems for the environment, human beings, and the whole ecosystem. Here we will discuss the causes, effects, and solutions of overpopulation.

Growing advances in technology, improvement in the medical sector, quality of life, immigration, etc. are some of the major causes of the growing population in the world. With each year, the population has been increasing, which has affected human life in many ways.

In the past 50 years or so, the growth of the population has boomed and has turned into overpopulation. Equal birth and death rates will only be able to balance each and maintain a population growth rate. There are various kinds of solutions available for this problem such as better sex education, changes in policy, government incentives, promote family planning, and many more.

Especially the problem of overpopulation can be seen more in developing countries than in developed countries, but overall, it affects most of the Earth. Here we have highlighted the significant causes, effects, and solutions of overpopulation in order to inform and understand the alarming threat to the world.

Causes of Overpopulation

Poverty

It is a common thought that extremely impoverished areas are most likely to be overpopulated. There are various reasons for that, but the most crucial factor is that they can barely afford basic needs, so it is hard to expect to have access to any contraceptive. It is believed to be the major leading cause of overpopulation.

The United Nations (UN) has predicted that the 48 poorest countries in the world could be responsible for doubling from 850 million population in 2010 to 1.7 billion in 2050. A lack of educational resources, awareness, and sex education resulted in impoverished areas seeing large boomers in population.

Technological Advancement in Fertility Treatment

Another cause for overpopulation is the development of advanced technology that has increased the chance of having more children. The discoveries in the medical field have made it possible for a couple who are unable to conceive now can go for a fertility treatment method.

It is much more comfortable to have a baby than it was a few decades ago. Due to modern techniques which made pregnancies are far safer now.

The decline in the Death Rate

Thanks to modern medical treatment, which has provided better health facilities and a supply of better food since the industrial revolution period. This means it has helped in reducing the death rate each year.

When the birth rate stays unchanged and the death rate decreases, this means an overall positive effect on population growth. In one year, more than twice as many babies are born than deaths.

Migration

Unequal distribution of the population also brings chaos in a particular area. Every person wants to spend his/her life in cities where they can have a better lifestyle, education, job opportunity, and necessary infrastructure. In order to acquire these facilities, people migrate from one place to another; this is why there is a larger population in urban or city areas than a village or rural area.

Likewise, many people prefer to move to developed countries like Canada, the United States, the UK, European countries, and Australia, for better opportunities and facilities. The result is that there will be more demand for food, clothes, energy, and homes which will eventually lead to a shortage of resources. Though the overall population remains the same, it affects the people’s density, making that place simply overcrowded.

Better Medical Facilities

After WWII, the world population has drastically increased. Advances in medicine, science, and technology has helped to provide better facility and quality life, which led to a decrease in the death rate.

The development of medical science has provided medicine for each disease and also offered many ways out to come up with the illness and make people live longer. Various illnesses, diseases, and viruses that took thousands of lives in the past can now be easily cured because of the invention of the vaccines.

Family Planning

In most of the rural areas of developing countries, people get married at an early age. Thus, they are likely to get more children throughout their lives. These people are unable to understand the harmful consequences of overpopulation, and lack of awareness prompts them to avoid family planning.

Also, lack of education, family pressure, and religious values are some of the factors that are responsible for overpopulation in the world. This kind of problem is more severe in developing countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Rwanda, etc.

Effects of Overpopulation

Rise in Unemployment

Higher the population, the higher will be the demand for facilities and infrastructure required. Besides food, shelter, and drinking water, employment has become the primary factor to survive in this world. The increasing population can result in increased unemployment as there will be only a few jobs to support a large number of people. As a result, the rise of Unemployment will give rise to different kinds of crime in society.

Environmental Degradation

The most obvious effect of overpopulation is the impact on the environment. Overpopulation has become one of the major environmental issues in the world as it has been damaging the natural environment and increasing pollution. The continuous use of natural resources, as well as growth in energy production from coal, oil, and natural gas, is harming the planet.

However, the population has been increasing each year in a rapid span. In effect, it has resulted in growing deforestation, extinction of animals, and plant species. Moreover, the most direct consequence is the release of harmful gasses from the industries, vehicles, and factories, leading to global warming.

Depletion of Natural Resources

The Earth can only generate a limited amount of food and water, which is gradually falling short of the current needs. The world is already facing many difficulties regarding the water crisis, and food scarcity and overpopulation will add more demands to supply.

To meet the needs of the growing population, the forest has been cut down rapidly. Similarly, there has been increased use of pesticides in agriculture production and maximum use of water resources, etc. As a result, it has caused pollution, extinction of animals and plant species, and many more.

A study by the UNEP Global Environment Outlook, “Human consumption had far outstripped available resources. Each person on Earth now requires a third more land to supply his/her needs than the planet can supply.”

Increased Global Warming and Climate Change

The more people we add on the planet, the worse the problem will get from every aspect. Overpopulation is also one of the major responsible factors in creating climate change and global warming on Earth.

Larger nations like China, India, the USA continue to develop industrial capacities. They are the top three largest contributors for creating emissions in the world. According to experts, human activities are responsible for changing global temperatures.

Loss of Freshwater

Freshwater is the most fundamental finite resource without any substitutes for drinking and other uses. Human beings are consuming fresh water at least ten times faster than they are replenished in regions of the Middle East, India, Pakistan, northern Africa,  China.

According to the World Resources Institute,” As human populations grow, so will the problem of clean freshwater availability will also increase. Most of the freshwater resources are either polluted or unreachable, leaving less than 1% of the world’s freshwater or about 0.003% of all water on Earth to drink.

By 2030, nearly half of the world’s population will be living in acute water shortage areas. According to the UN, by 2025, more than half of the world’s people will be facing water-based issues, and human demand for water will account for 70% of all available freshwater.

Solutions for Problems Caused by Overpopulation

Women Education


Education is the key to mitigating the problem caused by overpopulation. It is very important to educate women and make them aware of the consequences of having more children on their health and society as well. When women have education, job, financial stability, and freedom, then they choose to have a smaller family.

Ending early marriage and knowledge of family planning push back the age at which women have their first child. This will eventually reduce family size. In a survey, it was found that African women with no education have 5-4 children on average whereas those who have a college education have only two children. This survey shows that educating women can reduce overpopulation and improve the economic status of the community.

Poverty Alleviation

The UN states that population growth over the next century will be driven by the world’s very most impoverished countries. Improving education, decreasing child mortality, and providing people with economic opportunities will help to reduce fertility and population growth.

Promotion of Family Planning


Besides making policies and plans regarding family planning and raising awareness, another best way to reduce the overpopulation is to let them know about the use of contraceptives and avoid any unwanted pregnancy. Still, in many parts of the world, people are unaware of the concept of using contraceptives, so educating men and women about contraception can have a significant impact.

Access to Contraceptives

A lot of unplanned pregnancies occur in the world due to the lack of access to contraception. According to The World Health Organization (WHO), about 225 million women who are living in developing countries prefer to delay giving birth but are not using any form of contraception. The easy access to contraceptives and knowledge of safe education will reduce the growing unwanted population in the world. Further, most people feel shy or find it unnecessary to use contraception.

Conclusion

Overpopulation is a big threat to the environment, natural resources, human beings, or the entire ecosystem. It only creates a crisis that increases poverty, climate change, pollution, and many environmental and social issues in the world.

So, before we lose every natural and ecological aspect, it is necessary to reduce birth control and establish a good policy and plan in all countries. If this issue continues to grow, it could have a knock-on effect that will lead to many problems in the future. It only creates a crisis that increases poverty, climate change, pollution, and many environmental concerns and social issues in the world.