Since the 15th century the population growth of the earth has been on a constant increase. There were approximately 0.45 billion people in the 15th century, now there are approximately 7 billion people in the world- at the time of writing. This means that in the last 500 years the population has grown by 14x its size in the year 1500, which is incredible considering that in the year 1804 the population was at 1 billion. Whats strange is that from the years 1500-1800 the population only grew by 2x, while from 1800-2014 the population has grown by 7x. There are various reasons why populations grow and there are various ways to bring the populations down, there are many consequences that the human race and the planet suffer, when the population of the world goes too high or too low.
One of the causes of overpopulation is the advancement of medical science and better medical facilities. In the 19th century, science became more and more prominent within society, as a result doctors devoted more time to systematically diagnose the symptoms of patients. Among the new medical techniques that were being developed at the time were anaesthesia and the development of both antiseptic and aseptic operating theatres, actual cures for certain endemic, infectious diseases were made. However the major decline in disease is mainly due to the fact that public health and nutrition increased in quality.
Another cause of overpopulation is the need for more children to overcome and survive things like poverty, natural disasters and wars. Over the thousands of years that human civilization has been on the planet, historically we see that power was solely in the hands of a small few, who didn’t have to go to war- personally-, who weren’t exposed to the elements while farming or other labouring tasks. The majority had to take on all the danger and phsyical labour of the menial tasks, they also made up a majority of armys. Because so much danger faced the peasant/worker class, it was important for poor families to make as many children as possible to preserve the family legacy- infant mortality rate was also incredibly low up until the 19th century.
Immigration is also a factor in overpopulation. People in under developed countries sometimes seek to get into countries like the US, Canada, Germany etc. They go to developed countries to use the countries medical services, to find work and live on a higher wage then they would have access to in there own countries and to also find education in that country. Immigration isn’t as big a factor as some people claim however, as- according to the BBC- in 2013 immigration has gone down since 2005 from approximately 600,000 to around 500,000 coming into the country, with a reported 320,000 people leaving the country in 2013 , so all in all immigration added 180,000 people to the countries population.
There are many negative effects of overpopulation, one of these effects includes the depletion of natural resources and degradation of the environment. As the population grows the need for more food to be made increases. In 2010-12 there were 800 million plus people in the world that are living in poverty, while approximately 2700 kilocalories (kcal) in food is produced per person per day, this indicates that there is enough food in the world for everyone the problem for people living in poverty is that most people who live in poverty live in under-developed countries, about 16 million people who live in poverty live in developed countries. The problem for a lot of people is simply the cost of food, the cost to buy it, the cost to produce it and the cost to distribute it.
Another negative effect of overpopulation is conflicts and wars. Since humans discovered fire, people have been at odds with each other- often leading to conflict. Often countries or tribes had a war to expand there countries/tribes influence on more areas, countries/tribes also go to war over limited resources, such as oil, rare metal and food. But sometimes countries and tribes and empires go to war, just because they want to.
One more negative effect is the rise of unemployment and a higher cost of living. As the population goes up the demand for jobs goes up and that demand is not always capable of being met, then unemployment starts to rise and often crime rates rise with it. In 2013 it was reported by the telegraph that 22% of people on unemployment benefits in England are former criminals, this suggests that crime and unemployment do have a link, Overpopulation can increase the cost of living, as the population grows and items and products become more scarce there prices rise.
There are many solutions to overpopulation. One of these solutions is to create policies to combat overpopulation. One of these policies can be seen in China one child policy. China has the single largest population in the world with over 1 billion people living there, the population in China has grown so big that the Chinese government has implemented a policy to alleviate social, economic and enviromental problems in China- Demographers estimate that the policy has helped to avert at least 200 million births inbetween the years of 1979-2009. This policy basically states that after the first child a family has, they can have more children but they will face fines- immigrants and ethnic minorities are exempt from this policy. However the policy has been accused of violating basic human rights but its also been shown to work.
Another solution to overpopulation is teaching children about sex education. Many parents are uncomfortable about talking to there kids when it comes to sex, which usually results in said children looking on the internet and/or asking there peers about sex. This gives children incomplete information on what contraceptives are and why there important. It is crucial that parents or teachers pass on the information they have learned from there experiences and give that wisdom to there children.