Overpopulation – The Biggest Problem of the 21st Century

Overpopulation. We hear it, we know what does it mean, we potentially even know how to solve it, but why are we doing nothing? Should we be like Thanos and just delete half of the population, or should we ban having more than one kid? And after all, is there even a solution to a problem like this one?

What is Overpopulation?

Overpopulation occurs when a species’ population exceeds the carrying capacity of its ecological niche. It can result from an increase in births (fertility rate), a decline in the mortality rate, an increase in immigration, or an unsustainable biome and depletion of resources.


Wikipedias definition explains it well, however, I’m not sure is it understandable for everyone.

It states that Overpopulation happens when a specific species’ demands, in this case, us, humans, is exceeding the supply of nature.

Overpopulation can occur because of an increase in births, decrement in the mortality rate, increase in immigration, and/or because of the ecological footprint.

Reasons Overpopulation occurs

  • The decline in the death rate
  • Agricultural advancement
  • Better medical facilities
  • More hands to overcome poverty
  • Child labor
  • Technological advancement in Fertility treatment
  • Migration and urban concentration
  • Lack of family planning
  • Poor contraceptives use

You can read more about this here.

Proof of Overpopulation

Future Population Growth - Our World in Data
Source: Our World in Data
Source: Our World in Data

These graphics are probably one of the scariest ones. They show how tremendously the world grows and that there will be more than 10 billion of us in 2100.

The optimum population of Earth – enough to guarantee the minimal physical ingredients of a decent life to everyone – was 1.5 to 2 billion people rather than the 7 billion who are alive today or the 9 billion expected in 2050, said Ehrlich in an interview with the Guardian.

The Guardian: Cut world population and redistribute resources, expert urges

Furthermore, the best proof there is is the information about the optimum population on Earth and the actual population. Statistically, the population will grow and continue growing until we are extinct.

In fact, industrialization and overpopulation are helping to facilitate a mass extinction comparable to that of the dinosaurs. According to National Wildlife Federation, in a report titled Population and the Environment, “nearly 20 plant and animal species become extinct every hour”

Max Katz-Balmes: How Overpopulation Leads to Habitat Loss and Mass Extinction

What are the consequences of Ovepopulation?

  • Lack of water
  • Lower Life Expectancy
  • Extinction
  • Exhaustion of natural resources:
  • Increased Intensive Farming
  • Faster Climate Change
  • Rising unemployment
  • Rising living costs
  • Conflicts and Wars
  • Pandemics and Epidemics 
  • Malnutrition, Starvation, and Famine

Furthermore, you can read more about this here and here.

How can we stop it?

Although there are a lot of ways we could potentially decrease the chance of extinction due Overpopulation, we don’t have a clear global solution.

Some of the ways we could work on this problem would be through education, especially educations of girls, tax benefits or concessions and even social marketing.

However, these solutions are not good enough. We would need something more, something that would solve the problem once and for all.

Until now, plagues always came when the population became too dense, but now we are left alone, to seek a solution and hope it will work.

At the End

At the end of this article, I will leave you with a question, originally asked in Dan Brown’S Inferno. If there was a button, and if you pressed the button you could save the entire human race, but pressing it would instantly kill half the population, would you press it? Would you sacrifice many lives for the sake of saving many more?

– if you are interested in reading more about subjects like this, you should check out this article: Population Growth in the Modern Period

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