Human overpopulation (or overshoot population ) occurs when the ecological footprint of a human population in a specific geographical location exceeds the carrying capacity of the occupied. Overpopulation can be further explored in a long-term perspective, and can be used to reduce the burden of non-renewable resources to the population. Changes in lifestyle could reverse overpopulated status without a large population reduction. [1] [2] [3]

The term human overpopulation refers to the relationship between the human and the environment : the Earth, [4] or. Overpopulation can result from an Increase in births , a decline in mortality rates , an Increase in immigration , or an unsustainable biome and depletion of resources. It is possible for very sparsely populated areas to be overpopulated if the area has a gold meagre non-existent capability to sustain life (eg a desert ). Advocates of population moderation quotes issues like quality of life,carrying capacity , and risk of starvation as a basis for argue for population decline . Scientists suggest that the human impact on the environment as a result of overpopulation, profligate consumption and proliferation of technology has been pushed to the ground in a new geological epoch known to the Anthropocene . [5] [6] [7]


Human population has been rising continuously since the end of the Black Death , around the year 1350, [8] the most significant increase since 1950s, mainly due to medical advancements and increases in agricultural productivity . The rate of population growth has been declining since the 1980s, while the absolute total numbers. Recent rates of growth in several countries have been shown to be stable. The United Nations has continued to focus on population growth in sub-Saharan Africa . [9]Recent researches have shown that these topics are well grounded. [10] As of December 2, 2017 the world’s population is estimated to be 7.585 billion by the United States Census Bureau , [11] and over 7 billion by the United Nations . [12] [13] [14] Most recent estimates for the carrying capacity of the earth under existing conditions are between 4 billion and 16 billion. Depending on which estimate is used, human overpopulation may have occurred. Nevertheless, the rapid increase in human population is some cause. The population is expectedto reach between 8 and 10.5 billion between the years 2040 [15] [16] and 2050. [17] In 2017, the United Nations increased the average projections to 9.8 billion for 2050 and 11.2 billion for 2100. [18]

The recent rapid increase in human population over the past few years may be of interest to the planet. The InterAcademy Panel Statement on Population Growth , circa 1994, stated that many environmental problems, such as rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide , global warming , and pollution , are aggravated by population expansion. [19] Other problems associated with overpopulation include the use of natural resources (such as fossil fuels , starvation and malnutrition) faster than the rate of regeneration, and deterioration in living conditions. Wealthy but highly populated territories like Britain rely on food imports from overseas. [20] This was severely felt during the World Wars when, despite food efficiency initiatives like “ dig for victory “ and food rationing , Britain needed to fight to secure import routes . However, many believe that waste and over-consumption , especially by wealthy nations, is putting more strain on the environment than overpopulation. [21]

Most countries have no control over their birth rates, but the rates have not yet been increased. Only China has imposed legal restrictions on having more than one child .

History of concern

Concern about overpopulation is an ancient topic. Tertullian was a resident of the city of Carthage in the second century CE , when the population of the world was about 190 million (only 3-4% of what it is today). He said: „What are we doing in the face of the world? Our numbers are burdensome to the world, which can hardly support us …. In very deed, pestilence, and famine, and wars, and earthquakes have been considered as a remedy for nations, as the means of pruning the luxuriance of the human race. “ Before that, Plato , Aristotle and others broached the topic as well. [22]

Recorded Throughout history, population growth usually HAS-been slow DESPITE high birth rates , due to war, plagues and other diseases, and high infant mortality . During the 750 years before the Industrial Revolution , the world grew very slowly, remaining under 250 million. [23]

By the beginning of the 19th century, the world population had grown to a billion individuals, and intellectuals such as Thomas Malthus predicted that they would be unable to afford a population for increase. [24] Mercantillists argued that a large population was a form of wealth, which made it possible to create bigger markets and armies.

During the 19th century, Malthus‘ work was often explained in a way that was important to them. [25] This result, for example, in the English poor laws of 1834 [25] and in a hesitating response to the Irish Great Famine of 1845-52. [26]

The UN Population Assessment Report of 2004 will remain stable until 2300. [27] A 2014 study published in Science challenges this projection, asserting that population growth will continue into the next century. [28] [29] Adrian Raftery, a University of Washington“The consensus over the past 20 years or so that world population, which is currently around 7 billion, would go up to 9 billion and level off“ „We found there’s a 70 percent probability the world population will not stabilize this century.“ [30] A projection suggests the population could grow to as many as 15 billion by 2100. [31]

In 2017, more than a third of 50 Nobel prize-winning scientists surveyed by the Higher Education Times at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings said that human overpopulation and environmental degradation are the two greatest threats facing humankind. [32] In November that same year, a statement by 15,364 scientists from 184 countries indicated that rapid growth is the „primary driver of many ecological and even societal threats.“ [33]

Human population

History of population growth

The human population has gone through a period of growth since the dawn of civilization in the Holocene period, around 10,000 BCE. The beginning of civilization roughly coincides with the receding of glacial ice following the end of the last glacial period . [35] It is estimated that between 1-5 million people, subsisting on hunting and foraging , inhabited the Earth in the period before the Neolithic Revolution , when human activity shifted away from hunter-gathering and towards very primitive farming . [36]

Around 8000 BCE, at the dawn of agriculture , the population of the world was approximately 5 million. [37] The next several millennia saw a steady increase in the population, with very rapid growth in 1000 BCE, and a peak of between 200 and 300 million people in 1 BCE.

The Plague of Justinian caused Europe’s population to drop by around 50% between 541 and the 8th century. [38] Steady growth resumed in 800 CE. [39]However, growth was again disrupted by frequent plagues ; most notably, the Black Death during the 14th century. The effects of the Black Death are thought to have reduced the world’s population, then at an estimated 450 million, to between 350 and 375 million by 1400. [40] The population of Europe stood at over 70 million in 1340; [41] these levels did not return until 200 years later. [42]England’s population reached an estimated 5.6 million in 1650, up from an estimated 2.6 million in 1500. [43] New crops from the Americas via the Spanish colonizers in the 16th century contributed to the population growth. [44]

In other parts of the globe, China’s population at the founding of the Ming dynasty in 1368 stood close to 60 million, approaching 150 million by the end of the dynasty in 1644. [45] [46] The population of the Americas in 1500 may have been between 50 and 100 million. [47]

Encounters between European explorers and populations in the world of local epidemics of extraordinary virulence. Archaeological evidence indicates que la death of around 90% of the Native American population of the New World Was Caused by Old World diseases Such as smallpox , measles, and influenza. [48] Europeans introduced diseases to the indigenous people, so they did not have immunity to these foreign diseases. [49]

After the start of the Industrial Revolution , during the 18th century, the rate of population growth began to increase. By the end of the century, the world’s population was estimated at just under 1 trillion. [50] At the turn of the 20th century, the world’s population was roughly 1.6 trillion. [50] By 1940, this figure had increased to 2.3 billion. [51]

Dramatic growth beginning in 1950 (above 1.8% per year) coincided with greatly increased production as a result of the industrialization of agriculture brought about by the Green Revolution . [52] The rate of population growth in 1964, at about 2.1% per year. [53] For example, Indonesia ’s population grew from 97 million in 1961 to 237.6 million in 2010, [54] [55] to 145% increase in 49 years. In India , the population grew from 361.1 million in 1951 to just over 1.2 billion by 2011, [56] [57] to 235% increase in 60 years.

Continent 1900 population [58]
africa 133 million
asia 904 million
Europe 408 million
Latin America and Caribbean 74 million
North America 82 million

There are many countries in the world, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa , which has been created in the past, and that it is creating problems with land management, natural resources and access to water supplies. [59]

The population of Chad has, for example, grown from 6,279,921 in 1993 to 10,329,208 in 2009. [60] Niger , Uganda , Nigeria , Tanzania , Ethiopia and the DRC are witnessing a similar growth in population. The situation is most acute in western, central and eastern Africa. [10] Refugees from places like Sudan have more strained the resources of neighboring states like Chad and Egypt. Chad is also host to roughly 255,000 refugees from Sudan’s Darfur region, and about 77,000 refugees from the Central African Republic, while approximately 188,000 Chadians have been displaced by their own civil war and famines, have either fled to Sudan, the Niger or, more recently, Libya . [61]

Projections of population growth

Main article: Projections of population growth
Continent Projected 2050 population [62]
africa 1.8 trillion
asia 5.3 trillion
Europe 628 million
Latin America and Caribbean 809 million
North America 392 million

According to projections, the world population will continue to grow at least 2050, with the population reaching 9 billion in 2040, [63] [64] and some predictions putting the population as high as 11 billion in 2050. [65] By 2100 , the population could reach 15 trillion. [31] Walter Greiling projected in the 1950s that world population would reach a peak of about nine billion, in the 21st century, and then stop growing, after a readjustment of the Third World and a sanitation of the tropics. [66]

In 2000, the United Nations is estimated to be 1.14% (or about 75 million people) per year and according to the CIA’s World Factbook , the world ’s population is growing every minute. [67]

According to the United Nations‘ World Population Prospects report: [68]

  • The world population is currently growing by approximately 74 million people per year. Current United Nations estimates that the world population will reach 9.0 billion around 2050, assuming a decrease in average fertility rate of 2.5 to 2.0. [69] [70]
  • Almost all growth will take place in the less developed regions, where today’s 5.3 trillion population is expected to increase to 7.8 trillion in 2050. By contrast, the population will likely remain unchanged at 1.2 trillion. An exception is the United States population, which is expected to increase by 44% from 2008 to 2050. [71]
  • In 2000-2005, the average fertility was 2.65 children per woman, about half the level in 1950-1955 (5 children per woman). In the medium variant, global fertility is projected to decline to 2.05 children per woman.
  • During 2005-2050, India , Pakistan , [72] Nigeria , Democratic Republic of the Congo , Bangladesh , Uganda , United States, Ethiopia , and China, listed according to the size of their contribution to population growth. China would be better still in this list were not for its one-child policy .
  • Global life expectancy at birth is expected to continue rising from 65 years in 2000-2005 to 75 years in 2045-2050. In the more developed regions, the projection is to 82 years by 2050. Among the least developed countries, where life expectancy today is just under 50 years, it is expected to increase to 66 years by 2045-2050.
  • The population of 51 countries or areas is expected to be lower in 2050 than in 2005.
  • During 2005-2050, the net number of international migrants to more developed regions is projected to be 98 million. These populations are projected to increase during the period 2005-2050, during which population growth will likely increase.
  • In 2000-2005, net migration in 28 countries Either Prevented decline population or Doubled at least the contribution of natural Increase (births minus Deaths) to population growth.
  • Birth rates are now falling in a small percentage of developing countries , while the actual populations in many developed countries would fall without immigration. [69]

Urban growth

In 1800 only 3% of the world’s population lived in cities. By the 20th century’s close, 47% did so. In 1950 there were 83 cities with populations exceeding one million; but by 2007 this had risen to 468 agglomerations of more than one million. [73] If the trend continues, the world’s population will double every 38 years, according to researchers. The world’s forecast of $ 3.2 billion will rise to nearly $ 5 billion by 2030, when three out of five people will live in cities. [74]

The increase will be most dramatic in the poorest and least-urbanized continents, Asia and Africa. Projections indicate indication That MOST urban growth over the next 25 years will be in Developing Countries . [75] One billion people, one-seventh of the world’s population, or one-third of urban population, now living in shanty towns , [76]which are seen as „breeding grounds“ for social problems such as unemployment, poverty, crime , drug addiction , alcoholism, and other social ills. Many in poor countries, slums exhibit high rates of disease due to unsanitary conditions malnutrition, and Lack of basic health care. [77]

In 2000, there were 18 megacities – conurbations such as Tokyo, Beijing , Guangzhou , Seoul , Karachi , Mexico City, Mumbai , São Paulo, London and New York City – which have populations in excess of 10 million inhabitants. Greater Tokyo already has 35 million, more than the entire population of Canada (at 34.1 million). [78]

According to the Far Eastern Economic Review , Asia alone will have at least 10 ‚hypercities‘ by 2025, that is, cities inhabited by more than 19 million people, including Jakarta (24.9 million people), Dhaka (25 million), Karachi (26.5 million), Shanghai (27 million) and Mumbai (33 million). [79] Lagos has grown from 300,000 in 1950 to an estimated 15 million today, and the Nigerian government estimates that it will increase to 25 million residents by 2015. [80] Chinese experts forecast that Chinese cities will contain 800 million people by 2020 . [81]


From a historical perspective, recent developments have coincided with population expansion. There have been three major revolutions – the tool-making revolution, the agricultural revolution , and the industrial revolution – resulting in more explosions. For example, the use of tools, such as bow and arrow, allowed primitive hunters greater access to high energy foods (eg animal meat). Similarly, the transition to farming over 10,000 years ago. Food production further increased with the industrial revolution as machinery, fertilizers ,Herbicides and pesticides have been used to increase land under cultivation. Today, starvation is caused by economic and political forces rather than a lack of the means to produce food. [82] [83]

Significant Increases in human population Occur whenever will the birth rate Exceeds the death rate for extended periods of time. Traditionally, the fertility rate is well below the norms of social stability and social norms. For example, when death rates fell during the 19th and 20th century – as a result of improved sanitation, child immunizations, and other advances in medicine – to achieve newborns to survive, the fertility rate did not adjust downward, resulting in significant population growth. Until the 1700s, seven years of age. [84]Today, more than nine years of age in industrialized nations reach adulthood. quote needed ]

There is a strong correlation between overpopulation and poverty. [85] In contrast, the invention of the birth control pill and other modern methods of contraception resulted in a dramatic decline in the population. [86]

Agriculture has sustained human population growth. This dates back to prehistoric times, when agricultural methods were first developed, and continued with the present day, with fertilizers, agrochemicals, large-scale mechanization, genetic manipulation, and other technologies. [87]

Historically humans-have exploited the environment using the Easiest, Most available resources first. The richest farmland was plowed and the richest mineral ore mined first. Ceballos, Ehrlich and Ehrlich said that overpopulation is demanding the use of more and more expensive and / or environmentally destructive means to satisfy consumers. [88]

Demographic transition

Main articles: Demographic transition and Sub-replacement fertility

The theory of demographic transition, which, after the standard of living and expectancy increase, family sizes and birth rates decline. However, it has been observed that a certain level of development ( HDI equal to 0.86 or higher) the fertility increases again. [89] This means that both the population and the population are more likely to be affected by misguided populations.

Factors cited in the old theory of social exclusion and the role of women in the care of children. The latter factor stems from the fact that children perform a great deal of work in small-scale agricultural societies, and work less in industrial ones; it has been cited in the industrializing regions.

Many countries have high population growth rates but lower fertility rates because of high population growth in the past. „Demographic entrapment“ is a concept developed by Maurice King, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Leeds , who believes that this phenomenon is more important than its carrying capacity. able to import food. This will cause starvation. He claims that for many many sub-Saharan nations are going to be stuck in demographic entrapment, instead of having a demographic transition. [90]

For the world as a whole, the number of children decreased from 5.02 to 2.65 between 1950 and 2005. A breakdown by region is as follows:

  • Europe – 2.66 to 1.41
  • North America – 3.47 to 1.99
  • Oceania – 3.87 to 2.30
  • Central America – 6.38 to 2.66
  • South America – 5.75 to 2.49
  • Asia (excluding Middle East) – 5.85 to 2.43
  • Middle East & North Africa – 6.99 to 3.37
  • Sub-Saharan Africa – 6.7 to 5.53

Excluding the observed reversal in fertility decreases for high development, the projected population of children born for 2050 would be around 2.05. Only the Middle East & South Africa (2.09) and Sub-Saharan Africa (2.61) would be better than 2.05. [91]

Carrying capacity

Some groups (for example, the World Wide Fund for Nature [92] [93] and Global Footprint Network ) have stated that the carrying capacity for the human population has been exceeded using the Ecological Footprint . In 2006, WWF’s “ Living Planet Report “ stated that we would be spending more time on the planet. [94] Humanity as a whole, by 2006, 40 percent more than that Earth can regenerate. [95] However, Roger Martin of Population Mattersstates the view: „the poor want to get rich, and I want them to get rich,“ with a later addition, „of course we have to change our habits, … but we’ve also got to stabilize our numbers“ . [96] Another study by the World Wildlife Fund in 2014 found that it would take the equivalent of 1.5 Earths of biocapacity to meet humanity’s current levels of consumption. [97]

But critics question the simplifications and statistical methods used in calculating Ecological Footprints. Therefore, Global Footprint Network and its partner organizations are affiliated with national governments and international agencies to test the results – reviews have been produced by France, Germany, the European Commission, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. [98] Somewhat more than a refined method of evaluation Ecological Footprint is to designate sustainable versus non-sustainable categories of consumption. [99] [100]However, if yield estimates were adjusted for sustainable levels of production, the yield figures would be lower, and hence the overshoot estimated by the Ecological footprint method even higher.

Other studies give particular attention to resource depletion and increased world affluence. further explanation needed ] [101] [102]

In a 1994 study titled Food, Land, Population and the US Economy , David Pimentel and Mario Giampietro estimated the maximum US population for a sustainable economy at 200 million. [103] And in order to accomplish achieve a sustainable economy and avert disaster, the United States Would Have to Reduce icts population by at least one-third, and world population Would Have to be Reduced by two-Thirds. [104]

Many quantitative studies have estimated the world’s carrying capacity for humans, which is limited to the world population. [105] A meta-analysis of 69 such studies suggests an estimated 7.7 billion people, while 0.6 million and 98 billion people, respectively. They conclude: „recent predictions of a population limit for the population of the world. [106]

Effects of human overpopulation

Main article: Human impact on the environment
Further information: Overconsumption

Overpopulation causes environmental degradation. [107] As a population rises, more land is deforested to clear land to grow the need for food and to house the additional people. [107] About eight million hectares of forest are lost each year. [108] Deforestation in global warming, [109] and is also a form of habitat destruction , [110] which results in the loss of biodiversity . [111] People create pollution; more people create more pollution. [112] Humans have released so much carbon emissions into the atmosphere that they have become the major cause of global warming. [113]

The situation is not sustainable . According to Population Matters :

In the 21st century, the human activity demands more, and threatens the health of the environment on which we all depend. No person who is born here what they need with them. The more of us there are, the more we consume the planet’s natural resources, build in its wild places and pump carbon into its atmosphere. [114]

Environmental impacts are synergistic and intensified by population size. [115] John Harte, In Human Population and the Environmental Crisis (1996), points out a common misconception about the role of population in the impact on the environment:

the often-assumed notion that we are roughly linearly proportional to our numbers. In particular, it ignores a host of thresholds, the synergism among multiple threats, and other nonlinear phenomena that are more likely to increase the magnitude of the problem. . [115]

David Attenborough describes the level of human population on the planet as a multiplier of all other environmental problems. [116] In 2013, he described the phenomenon as „a plague on the earth“ that needs to be controlled by limiting population growth. [117]

Some deep ecologists , such as the radical thinker and polemicist Pentti Linkola , see human overpopulation as a threat to the entire biosphere . [118]

Most biologists and sociologists see overpopulation as a serious threat to the quality of human life. [119] [120]

The effects of overpopulation are compounded by overconsumption . According to Paul R. Ehrlich :

Rich western countries are now siphoning the planet’s resources and destroying their ecosystems at an unprecedented rate. We want to build highways across the planet to get more rare earth minerals for our cellphones. We grab the fish from the sea, wreck the coral reef and put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We have triggered a major extinction event … A world population of around a billion would have an overall pro-life effect. This could be supported for many millennia and sustain many others lives in the long term compared to today’s uncontrolled growth and the prospect of sudden collapse … If everyone consumed resources at the US level – which is what the world aspires to – you will need another four or five Earths. We are wrecking our planet’s life support systems . [121]

Some more problems associated with or exacerbated by human overpopulation and over-consumption are:

  • Inadequate fresh water [122] for drinking as well as sewage treatment and effluent discharge. Some countries, like Saudi Arabia , use energy-expensive desalination to solve the problem of water shortages. [123] [124]
  • Depletion of natural resources, especially fossil fuels . [125]
  • Increased levels of air pollution, water pollution , soil contamination and noise pollution . A combination of government regulation and environmental innovation causes pollution to decline substantially, even as the population continues to grow. [126]
  • Changes in atmospheric composition and global warming . [127] [128] [129]
  • Loss of arable land and increase in desertification . [130] Deforestation and desertification can be reversed by adopting property rights, and this policy is successful even while the human population continues to grow. [131]
  • Mass species extinctions and contracting biodiversity [132] [133] [134] [135] [136] reduced shrinkage in tropical forests due to slash-and-burn techniques that are sometimes practiced by shifting cultivators , especially in countries with populations; present extinction rates may be as high as 140,000 species lost per year. [137] As of February 2011, the IUCN Red List lists a total of 801 animal species having gone extinct during recorded human history, [138]The vast majority of extinctions are thought to be undocumented. [137] Biodiversity would continue to grow at an exponential rate if not for human influence. [139] Sir David King , chief scientific adviser to the UK government, said, „It is self-evident that the massive growth in the human population through the 20th century. . “ [140] [141] Paul and Anne Ehrlich said population growth is one of the drivers of the Earth’s extinction crisis. [142]
The Yangtze River dolphin , Atlantic gray whale , West african black rhino , Merriam’s elk , California grizzly bear, silver trout , blue pike and dusky seaside sparrow are all victims of human overpopulation.

– Chris Hedges , 2009 [143]

  • High infant and child mortality. [144] High rates of childhood mortality are associated with poverty. Rich countries with high population. [145]
  • Intensive factory farming to support large populations. It results in human threats including the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria , excessive air and water pollution, and new viruses that infect humans.
  • Increased chance of the emergence of new epidemics and pandemics . [146] For many environmental and social reasons, including overcrowded living conditions, malnutrition and inadequate, inaccessible, and non-existent health care, the poor are more likely to be exposed to infectious diseases . [147]
  • Starvation , malnutrition [148] or poor diet with ill health and diet-deficiency diseases (eg rickets ). However, rich countries with high population densities do not have famine. [149]
  • Poverty coupled with inflation in some regions and resulting low level of capital formation. Poverty and inflation are aggravated by bad government and bad economic policies. Many countries with high population and low inflation rates. [150]
  • Low life expectancy in countries with faster growing populations. [151]
  • Unhygienic living conditions for many depletion, discharge of raw sewage [152] and solid waste disposal. However, this problem can be reduced with the adoption of sewers. For example, after Karachi, Pakistan . [153]
  • Elevated crime rate of drug cartels and theft by people stealing resources to survive. [154]
  • Conflict over scarce resources and crowding, leading to increased levels of warfare. [155]
  • Less personal freedom and more restrictive laws. Laws regulate and shape politics, economics, history and society and serve as a mediator of relations and interactions between people. The higher population, the more frequent such interactions become, and thus there develops a need for more laws and / or more restrictive laws to regulate these interactions and relations. It was even speculated by Aldous Huxley in 1958 that it was threatened overpopulation, and could give rise to totalitarian style governments. [156]

Many of these problems are explored in the dystopian science fiction film Soylent Green , where an overpopulated Earth suffers from food shortages, depleted resources and poverty and the documentary “ Aftermath: Population Overload „.

Some economists, such as Thomas Sowell [157] and Walter E. Williams [149] argue that third world poverty and famine are caused by bad governance and bad economic policies.


Youth unemployment is also soaring, with the economy unable to absorb the spiraling numbers of those seeking employment. Many young people do not have the skills to match the needs of the Egyptian market, and the economy is small, weak and insufficiently industrialized. -Ofir Winter, an Egypt specialist at the Institute for National Security Studies [158]

Overpopulation does not depend on the size of the population. It also depends on how resources are managed and distributed throughout the population.

The resources to be considered when it is necessary to have an ecological niche is overpopulated include clean water , clean air, food, shelter, warmth, and other resources necessary to sustain life. If the quality of human life is addressed, it may be additional resources considered, such as medical care, education, proper sewage treatment , waste disposal and energy supplies. Overpopulation places competitive stress on the basic life sustaining resources, [159] leading to a diminished quality of life. [120]

Directly related to maintaining the health of the human population is water supply, and it is one of the resources that experience the biggest strain. With the global population at about 7.5 billion, there is a demand for 15 billion liters of water each day to meet the minimum requirement for healthy living (United). Weather patterns, elevation, and climate contribute to a distribution of fresh drinking water. Without clean water, good health is not a viable option. The use of water is used to create healthy living conditions. In addition to drinking water, water is also used for bathing, washing clothes and dishes, flushing toilets, a variety of cleaning methods, recreation, watering lawns, and farm irrigation. Irrigation poses one of the largest problems, because of sufficient water to irrigate crops, the crops die and then there is the problem of food rations and starvation. In addition to water needed for crops and food, there is limited land area dedicated to food production. Arable land, needed to sustain the growing population, is also a factor because it is easily cultivated. There are also problems with land use (Bashford 240). Access to nutrition is an important factor in population sustainability and growth. No increase in arable land added to the still increasing human population will eventually pose a serious conflict. Only 38% of the land area of ​​the globe is dedicated to agriculture, and there is no room for much more. Although plants produce 54 billion metric tons of carbohydrates per year, when the population is expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050, the plants may not be able to keep up (Biello). Food supply is a primary example of a resource when its carrying capacity is exceeded. By trying to grow more and more crops, the soil becomes exhausted. Because the soil is exhausted, it is unable to produce the same amount of food as before, and is less productive overall. Therefore, by using resources beyond a sustainable level, the resource becomes nullified and ineffective, which further increases the disparity between the demand for a resource and the availability of a resource.[160] [161] [162]

David Pimentel has stated that „With the imbalance growing between population numbers and vital life sustaining resources, humans must actively conserves cropland, freshwater, energy, and biological resources. growth damages the Earth’s resources and diminishes human well-being. “ [163] [164]

These reflect the comments of the United States Geological Survey in their paper The Future of Planet Earth: Scientific Challenges in the Coming Century . „As the global population continues to grow … we will place greater and greater demands on our planet’s resources, including mineral and energy resources , open space, water , and plant and animal resources.“ „Earth’s natural wealth: an audit“ by New Scientist magazine states that many of the minerals that we use for a variety of products are in danger of running in the near future. [165]A handful of geologists around the world, they calculate the costs of new technologies in terms of the materials they use and the implications of their spreading to the developing world. Allowing the planet’s growing population and rising standards of living can not provide [165] Limitations on how much of these materials is not possible that some technologies are not worth pursuing long term …. „Virgin stocks of several metals appear inadequate to sustain the modern world“ Earth’s people under contemporary technology „. [166]

On the other hand, some cornucopian Researchers, Such As Julian L. Simon and Bjørn Lomborg believe That further Top resources exist for population growth. In a 2010 study, they concluded that „there are not so many people for the planet to feed“ according to the Independent . [167]Some critics warn, this will be at a high cost to the Earth: „the world is probably okay in the world of food production. R. and Anne H. Ehrlich describe a large-scale expansion of agriculture to provide growing populations with improved diets and deforestation , loss of species, and soil erosion . and pollution from pesticides and fertilizer runoff as farming intensifies and new land is brought into production. “ [168] Since we are intimately dependent upon the living systems of the Earth, [169][170] [171] Some scientists have questioned the wisdom of further expansion.

According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment , a four-year research effort by 1,360 of the world’s scientists commissioned to measure the actual value of natural resources to humans and the world, „The structure of the world’s ecosystems changed rapidly in the second half of the world. the twentieth century, and virtually all of Earth’s ecosystems have been significantly transformed through human actions. “ [172]„Ecosystem services, particularly food production, timber and fisheries, are important for employment and economic activity. It is possible that the economic value of ecosystems is high, but it is likely to be a positive gain to GDP, despite the loss of capital assets. or even reversed. “ [173] [174]

Another study was done by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) called the Global Environment Outlook .

Although all resources are available on the planet, there is a degree of self-correction when a scarcity is high. For example, in 1990, they were higher, and their prices lower, than in 1970, despite higher demand and higher consumption. Whenever a substitute for an equivalent resource or switching to a new technology. [175]

Fresh water

Further information: Water crisis

Fresh water supplies, on which depends on agriculture, are running low worldwide. [176] [177] This water crisis is only expected to increase the population increases. [178]

Potential problems with dependence on the world, but the majority of the world’s freshwater supply is contained in the polar icecaps, and the underground river systems accessible through springs and wells.

Fresh water can be obtained from salt water by desalination . For example, Malta derives two thirds of its freshwater by desalination. A number of nuclear powered desalination plants exist; [179] [180] however, the high costs of desalination, especially for poor countries, make impractical the transport of large amounts of desalinated seawater to interiors of large countries. [181] The cost of desalination varies; Israel is now desalinating water for a cost of 53 cents per cubic meter, [182] Singapore at 49 cents per cubic meter. [183]In the United States, the cost is 81 cents per cubic meter ($ 3.06 for 1,000 gallons). [184]

According to a 2004 study by Zhou and Tol, „one needs to lift the water by 2000 m, or transport it over more than 1600 km to get transport costs equal to the desalination costs. from the sea and some high, such as Riyadh and Harare ., Beijing, Bangkok , Zaragoza , Phoenix , and, of course, coastal cities like Tripoli“Thus, while the study is more positive about the technology for affluent areas that are proximate to oceans, it concludes that“ Desalinated water may be a solution for some water-stress regions, but not for places that are poor, deep in the interior. of a continent, or at high elevation. “ [185] Another potential problem with desalination is the byproduction of saline brine , which can be a major cause of marine pollution when dumped back into the oceans at high temperatures.“ [185]

The world’s largest plant is the Jebel Ali Desalination Plant (Phase 2) in the United Arab Emirates , which can produce 300 million cubic meters of water per year, [186] or about 2500 gallons per second. The largest desalination plant in the US was the one at Tampa Bay , Florida, which began desalinating 25 million gallons (95,000 cubic meters) of water per day in December 2007. A January 17, 2008, article in the Wall Street Journal states, „Worldwide, 13,080 desalination plants produce more than 12 billion gallons of water a day, according to the International Desalination Association. “ [187] After being desalinated at JubailSaudi Arabia, water is pumped 200 miles (320 km) inland though a pipeline to the capital city of Riyadh . [188]

HOWEVER, new data Originating from the GRACE experiments and isotopic testing done by the IAEA show que la Nubian aquifer -which is under the Largest, driest portion of the earth’s surface HAS enough water in it to Provide for „at least Several centuries.“ In addition to this, new and detailed maps of the earth’s underground reservoirs will be created from these technologies. [189]


Some scientists argue that there is enough food to support the world population, [190] [191] and some dispute this, particularly if sustainability is taken into account. [192]

Many countries rely heavily on imports. Egypt and Iran rely on imports for 40% of their grain supply. Yemen and Israel import more than 90%. And just 6 countries – Argentina , Australia, Canada, France, Thailand and the USA – supply 90% of grain exports. In recent decades the US alone has supplied almost half of world grain exports. [193]

A 2001 United Nations report says population growth is the most important expert assessments of global food production in the world. until approximately 2030 or 2050) „, assuming declining population growth rates. [194]

However, the observed figures for the world, 923 million in 2007 versus 832 million in 1995 .; [195] The more recent FAO estimates point to an even more dramatic increase, to 1.02 billion in 2009. [196]

Global perspective

The amounts of natural resources in this context are not necessarily fixed, and their distribution is not necessarily a zero-sum game . For example, due to the Green Revolution and the fact That more and more land is appropriated Each year from wild lands for agricultural Purposes, the worldwide manufacture of food HAD Increased Steadily up up to 1995. World food output per person considerably Was Higher than in 2005 1961.

As world population doubled from 3 trillion to 6 trillion, daily calorie consumption in poor countries increased from 1,932 to 2,650, and the percentage of people in those countries were malnourished fell from 45% to 18%. This suggests that Third World poverty and hunger are caused by underdevelopment, not overpopulation. [197] However, others question these statistics. [198] From 1950 to 1984, the Green Revolution transformed agriculture around the world, grain production increased by over 250%. [199] The world population HAS grown by about four trillion since the Beginning of the Green Revolution and MOST believe That, without the Revolution, there Would Be Greater famine andmalnutrition than the UN presently documents. [52] [200]

The number of people who are overweight is the number who is undernourished. In a 2006 news story, MSNBC reported, „There are an estimated 800 million undernourished people and more than a billion overweight worldwide.“ The US has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world. [201] However, studies show that healthier and educated people are more likely to eat healthy food, [202] indicating that they are a poorer and more expensive person. little nutritive value are consumed. [203] [204]

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006, that the number of undernourished people in the world declined by about a million, to a smaller proportion of the population of developing countries is undernourished today than in 1990-92: 17% against 20%. Furthermore, FAO’s projections suggest that the proportion of hungry people in the developing world could be halted from 1990-92 to 10% by 2015. The FAO also states The world is richer today than it was ten years ago.[205]

As of 2008, the price of grain HAS increased due to more farming used in biofuels , [206] world oil prices at over $ 100 a barrel, [207] Global population growth , [208] climate change , [209] loss of agricultural land to residential and industrial development, [210] [211] and growing consumer demand in China and India [212] [213] Food riots have recently taken place in many countries across the world. [214] [215] [216] An epidemic of stem rust on wheat caused by race Ug99is currently spreading across Africa and Asia and is leading major concern. A virulent wheat disease could destroy most of the world’s main wheat crops, leaving millions to starve. The fungus has spread from Africa to Iran , and may already be in Afghanistan and Pakistan. [217] [218] [219]

Food security will become more difficult to achieve. Resources in danger of becoming depleted include oil , phosphorus , grain , fish , and water . [220] [221] The British scientist John Beddington predicted in 2009 that it is expected that food, energy, and water will be increased by 50% to reach levels of 2030. [222] [223] According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), food supplies will be increased by 70% by 2050 to meet projected demands. [224]


The Population Reference Bureau in the US reported that the population of Sub-Saharan Africa – the poorest region in the continent – is rising faster than most of the rest of the world, and that „Rapid population growth makes it difficult for economies to create enough jobs to lift large numbers of people out of poverty. “ Seven of the 10 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with the highest fertility rates also appear among the United Nations Human Development Index. [225]

Hunger and malnutrition kill nearly 6 million children a year, and more people are malnourished in sub-Saharan Africa this decade than in the 1990s, according to a report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization . In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people grew to 203.5 million people in 2000-02 from 170.4 million 10 years earlier says The State of Food Insecurity in the World Report. In 2001, 46.4% of people in sub-Saharan Africa were living in extreme poverty. [226]


According to a 2004 article from the BBC, China, the world’s most populous country, suffers from an “ obesity surge“. The article stated that, „Altogether, around 200 million people are thought to be overweight, 22.8% of the population, and 60 million (7.1%) obese“. [227] China’s grain production peaked in the mid-1990s, due to increased extraction of groundwater in the North China plain. [228]

Other countries

Japan may face a crisis that could be reduced to austere meals of the 1950s, a senior government adviser. [229]

Population as a function of food availability

David Pimentel, [230] behavioral scientist Russell Hopfenberg, [231] right-wing anthropologist Virginia Abernethy , [232] ecologist Garrett Hardin , [233] ecologist and anthropologist Peter Farb , journalist Richard Manning , [234] environmental biologist Alan D. Thornhill, [235] cultural critic and writer Daniel Quinn , [236] and anarcho-primitivist John Zerzan , [237]-proposes that, like all other animal populations, human populations predictably grow and shrink according to their availability food supply, growing over an abundance of food and shrinking in times of scarcity.

Proponents of this theory argue that every time food is grown, the population grows. Most human populations in this history validate this theory, as does the overall current global population. Populations of hunter-gatherers fluctuate in accordance with the amount of available food. The world’s human population has increased after the Neolithic Revolution and its increased food supply. This was, subsequent to the Green Revolution, followed by even more severely accelerated population growth, which continues today. Often, wealthier countries send their surplus food resources to the aid of starving communities; However, proponents of this theory argue that this seemingly beneficial notion only results in further harm to those communities in the long run. Peter Farb, for example, has commented on the paradox that „intensification of production leads to an increase in population.“ [238] Daniel Quinn has also focused on this phenomenon, which he calls the “ Food Race “ (comparable, in terms of both escalation and potential catastrophe, to the nuclear arms race ).

Critics of this theory point of Out That, in the modern era, birth rates are lowest in the Developed Nations , qui also have access to The Highest food. In fact, some developed countries have both a population decline and an abundant food supply. The United Nations projects that the population of 51 countries or areas, including Germany, Italy, Japan, and most of the states of the Soviet Union form, is expected to be lower in 2050 than in 2005. citation needed ]This shows that, limited to the scope of the population living within a single given political boundary, particular human populations do not always grow to match the food supply supply. HOWEVER, the global population as a whole still grows in accord avec total the food supply and Many of These wealthier countries are major exporters of food to Poorer people, so That, „it is through exports from food-rich to food-poor areas ( Allaby, 1984, Pimentel et al., 1999) that the population growth in these food-poor areas is further fueled. [230]

Regardless of the criticisms against the theory that the population is a function of food availability, the human population is, on the global scale, undeniably increasing, [239] as is the net amount of human food produced – a pattern that has been true for approximately 10,000 years, since the human development of agriculture. The fact That Demonstrate Some affluent countries negative population growth fails to discredit the theory as whole, since the world HAS Become a globalized system with food moving across national borders from areas of abundance to areas of scarcity. Hopfenberg and Pimentel’s findings support both this [230] and Quinn’s direct accusation that „First World Farmers Are Fueling the Third World Population Explosion.“[240] Additionally, the hypothesis is not so simple, as in Germany; Other financial factors: contraceptive access, educational programs, cultural norms and, most influentially, differing economic realities from nation to nation.

As a result of water deficits

Water deficits , which are already spurring heavy grain imports into smaller countries, may soon be the same in China or India, if technology is not used. [241] The water tables are falling in scores of countries (including Northern China, the US, and India) owing to widespread overdrafting beyond sustainable yields. Other countries affected include Pakistan, Iran , and Mexico. This overdrafting is already leading to water scarcity and cutbacks in grain harvest. Even with the overpumping of its aquifersChina has developed a grain deficit. This effect has contributed to the growth of the market. Most of the 3 billion people in the world are already experiencing water shortages . Desalination is also considered a viable and effective solution to the problem of water shortages. [182] [183]


The World Resources Institute states That „Agricultural conversion to croplands and managed pastures HAS affected Some 3.3 trillion [hectares] – Roughly 26 percent of the land area All Totaled, agriculture HAS displaced one-third of. Temperate and tropical forests and one-quarter of natural grasslands. “ [242] [243] Forty percent of the land is under conversion and fragmented; less than one quarter, mainly in the Arctic and the deserts, remains intact. [244] Usable land can become less useful through salinization , deforestation , desertification , erosion , and urban sprawl. Global Warming can cause flooding of many of the most productive agricultural areas. [245] The development of energy sources may also require broad areas, for example, the building of hydroelectric dams . Thus, available useful land may become limiting. By most estimates, at least half of cultivable land is already being farmed, and there are concerns that the remaining reserves are greatly overestimated. [246]

High yield yields like potatoes and lettuce citation needed ] , like stalks, husks, vines, and inedible leaves. New varieties of selectively bred and hybrid plants with larger edible parts (fruit, vegetable, grain) and smaller inedible parts; however, many of these gains are more difficult to achieve. With new technologies, it is possible to grow crops on some marginal land under certain conditions. Aquaculture could theoretically increase the area available. Hydroponics and food from bacteria and fungi, like quornmay, or may be, available for sunlight, such a process may be very energy-intensive. Some argue that it will not be productive if used for agriculture because some marginal land can be used to produce food by unsustainable practices like slash-and-burn farming. Even with the modern techniques of agriculture, the sustainability of production is in question.

Some countries, Such As the United Arab Emirates and PARTICULARLY the Emirate of Dubai -have constructed artificial islands wide, gold-have created wide dam and dike systems, like the Netherlands, qui reclaim land from the sea pour augmenter Their total land area. [247] [248] Some scientists-have Said That in the future, densely populated cities will use vertical farming to grow food inside skyscrapers. [249]The notion that space is limited by skeptics, which compares to the Earth’s population of roughly 6.8 billion people in the United States (about 269,000 square miles or 696,706.80 square kilometers). [250] However, the impact of humanity extends over much more than just required for housing.

Fossil fuels

Population optimists have been criticized for failing to take into account the depletion of fossil fuels required for the production of fertilizers , tillage, transportation, etc. [251] In his 1992 book Earth in the Balance , Al Gore wrote, „… it should be possible to establish a comprehensive global program to accomplish the strategic goal of completely eliminating the internal combustion engine over, say, at twenty-five. five-year period … “ [252] Approximately half of the oil produced in the United States is refined into gasoline for use in internal combustion engines. [253]

The report Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, and Risk Management , commonly referred to as the Hirsch Report , was created by the US Department of Energy and published in February 2005. [254] Some information was updated in 2007. [255] It examined the time frame for the occurrence of peak oil , the necessary mitigating actions, and the likely impacts based on the timeliness of those actions. It concludes that the world is going to happen, and will likely be abrupt. Initiating a mitigation crash program 20 years before peaking appears to offer the possibility of avoiding a liquid fuels shortfall for the forecast period.

Optimists counter that fossil fuels will be sufficient until the development and implementation of suitable alternative technologies-such as nuclear power or various sources of renewable energy -occurs. [256] Methods of manufacturing fertilizers from garbage, sewage , and agricultural waste by using thermal depolymerization have been discovered. [257] [258]

With increasing awareness about global warming , the question of peak oil has become less relevant. According to many studies, about 80% of the fossil fuels must be left untouched because of the fossil fuels. [259]

Wealth and poverty

The United Nations indicates That about 850 million people are malnourished or starving , [148] and 1.1 trillion people do not-have access to safe drinking water . [122] Since 1980, the global economy has grown by 380 percent, but the number of people living than US $ 5 billion has risen by more than 1.1 billion. [260]

The UN Human Development Report of 1997 states: „During the last 15-20 years, more than 100 Developing Countries, and several Eastern European countries, growth-have Suffered from Disastrous failures The reductions in. Standard of living -have-been deeper and more long- It was seen in the 1930s as the result of the depression in the 1930s , which was reached 10, 20 or 30 years ago „. Similarly, the proportion of „starving“ people in sub-Saharan Africahas decreased, the number of people has increased. The percentage dropped from 38% in 1970 to 33% in 1996 and was expected to be 30% by 2010. [198] But the region’s population roughly doubled between 1970 and 1996. To keep the numbers of starving constant, the percentage would have dropped by more than half. [173] [261]

As of 2004, there were 108 countries in the world with more than five million people. All of these, in their lifetime, have a per capita GDP of less than $ 5000. Only in two countries with per capita GDP above ~ $ 15,000 in the lifetime, these are Israel and Saudi Arabia, with average lifetime births per woman between 2 and 4.


You know, when we first set up WWF, our objective was to save endangered species from extinction. But we have failed completely; we have not managed to save a single one. If only we had money in condoms, we might have some good. Sir Peter Scott , Founder of the World Wide Fund for Nature . [264]

Overpopulation has substantially adversely impacted the environment of Earth starting at least as early as the 20th century. [120] According to the Global Footprint Network, „today we are using the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide the resources we use and absorb our waste“. [265] There are also economic consequences of this environmental degradation in the form of ecosystem services attrition. [266] Beyond the scientifically verifiable harm to the environment, some assert the moral right of other species to simply become extinct. Environmental author Jeremy RifkinIt is no accident that we are celebrating the urbanization of the world, we are rapidly approaching another historic watershed: the disappearance of the wild. “ [267]

Says Peter Raven, President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in their seminal work AAAS Atlas of Population & Environment , „Where do we stand in our efforts to achieve a sustainable world?“ Clearly, the past half-century has been a traumatic one, has the collective impact of human numbers, affluence (consumption per individual), and our choices of technology continues to grow rapidly in the world of the world’s resources at an unsustainable rate. , we have lost a quarter of the world’s topsoil and a fifth of its agricultural land, altered the composition of the atmosphereprofoundly, and destroyed a major proportion of our forests and other natural habitats without replacement. Worst of all, we have driven the rate of biological extinction , the permanent loss of species, up to several hundred times beyond its historical levels, and are threatened with the loss of a majority of all species by the end of the 21st century.

Further, even in countries which have both large population growth and major ecological problems, it is not necessarily true that the population growth will make a major contribution towards resolving all environmental problems. [268] However, as developing countries become more industrialized, pollution and consumption will invariably increase.

The Worldwatch Institute said in 2006 that the booming economies of China and India are „planetary powers that are shaping the global biosphere“. The report states:

The world’s ecological capacity is simply insufficient to satisfy the ambitions of China, India, Japan, Europe and the United States as well as the aspirations of the rest of the world in a sustainable way. [269]

According to the Worldwatch Institute , if China and India were to consume as much resources per capita as the United States, in 2030 they would need a full planet Earth to meet their needs. [270] The Malthusian Catastrophe [271] and the worst case in the worst case .

Many studies link population growth with emissions and the effect of climate change . [272] [273]

Warfare and conflict

It has been suggested [274] that overpopulation leads to increased levels of tension between countries. Modern use of the term „lebensraum“ supports the idea overpopulation That May Promote warfare through fear of resource scarcity and Increasing numbers of youth lacking the opportunity to undertake peaceful in employment (the youth bulge theory ).

Criticism of this hypothesis

The hypothesis That population pressure causes Increased warfare has-been recently Criticized on the empirical grounds. Both studies and the analysis of cross-cultural data have failed to find positive correlation between population density and incidence of warfare. Andrey Korotayev , in collaboration with Peter Turchin , has shown that such negative results do not falsify the population-warfare hypothesis. [275]

And their interaction causes sustained oscillations, then we do not in general expect to find strong correlation between the two variables measured at the same time (that is, unlagged). Korotayev and Turchin have explored mathematically what the dynamical patterns of interaction between population and warfare (focusing on internal warfare) might be in both stateless and state societies. Next, they have tested the model predictions in several empirical cases studies: early modern England, Han and Tang China, and the Roman Empire. Their empirical results have been supported by the population-warfare theory: that there is a tendency for population numbers and an increase in the rate of change with the same period of time (with warfare peaks following population peaks).

In addition, they have been shown to be highly variable in the incidence of population change by the rate of change, while the rate of change is positively affected by population density. [275] [276] [277]

Proposed solutions and mitigation measures

Several solutions and mitigation measures have the potential to reduce overpopulation. Some solutions are to be applied on a global planetary level (eg, via UN resolutions), while some one has a country or state government level, and some one has an individual level. Some of the proposed mitigations aim to help implement new social, cultural, behavioral and political norms to replace or significantly modify current norms.

For example, in societies like China, the government has put policies in place that regulate the number of children allowed to a couple. Other societies have implemented social marketing strategies in order to educate the public on overpopulation effects. „The intervention can be widespread and done at a low cost.“ A variety of print materials (leaflets, brochures, fact sheets, stickers) to be produced and distributed throughout the local community, local food, local food places markets, schools and at car parks (taxis / bus stands). “ [279]

Such prompts work to introduce the problem that they are easier to implement. Some government policies are making it easier and more socially acceptable to use contraception and abortion methods. An example of a country whose laws and norms are hindering the global effort to slow population growth is Afghanistan. „The approval by Afghan President Hamid Karzai of the Shia Personal Status Law in March 2009“ Shia Women’s Rights and Freedoms in Afghanistan „Under the law, women have no right to deny their husbands sex unless they are ill, and can be denied food if they do. “ [280]

Scientists and technologists, eg Huesemann, Huesemann, Ehrlich and Ehrlich, who are currently practicing, can not solve the problem of global human society, and that a cultural-social-political shift is needed to reorient science and technology more socially responsible and environmentally sustainable direction. [281] [282]

Reducing overpopulation

Main article: Human population planning

Education and empowerment

One option is to focus is education about overpopulation, family planning , and birth control methods, and to make birth-control devices like male and female condoms , contraceptive pills and intrauterine devices Easily available. Worldwide, nearly 40% of pregnancies are unintended (some 80 million unintended pregnancies each year). [283]An estimated 350 million women in the poorest countries of the world, but they do not want their children, but they do not want to their families. In the United States, in 2001, almost half of pregnancies were unintended . [284] In the developing world , some 514,000 women die annually from complications of pregnancy and abortion, [285] with 86% of these deaths occurring in the sub-Saharan Africa region and South Asia. [286] additional, 8 million infants die, many because of malnutritionor preventable diseases, especially lack of access to clean drinking water. [287]

Women’s rights and their reproductive rights are important issues in the debate. [288]

„The only ray of hope I can see – and it is not so – that they are able to control their lives, both politically and socially, where they are allowed to make those decisions, birth rate falls.Women do not want to have 12 – David Attenborough [289]

Egypt announced a program to reduce its overpopulation by family planning and putting women in the workforce . It was announced in June 2008 by the Minister of Health and Population, and the government has set aside 480 million Egyptian pounds (about $ 90 million US) for the program. [290]

Several scientists (especially Paul and Anne Ehrlich and Gretchen Daily ) proposed that they should work towards stabilizing their absolute numbers, starting from the beginning of the process of reducing total numbers. They suggest the following solutions and policies: following a small-family-size socio-cultural-behavioral norm worldwide (especially one-child-per-family ethos), and providing contraception to all along with proper education on its use and benefits (while providing access to safe, legal abortion as a backup to contraception), combined with a more equitable distribution of resources globally. [291] [292]

Business magnate Ted Turner proposed a „voluntary, non-imposed“ one-child-per-family cultural norm. A “ pledge two or fewer “ campaign by Population Matters (a UK population concern organization), in which they are encouraged to limit themselves to small family size.

Population planning is more likely to reduce or increase the size of the population.

  • Greater and better access to contraception
  • Reducing infant mortality so that parents do not need to adulthood. [293]
  • Improving the status of women in order to facilitate a departure from traditional sexual division of labor.
  • One-Child and Two-Child policies, and other policies restricting or discouraging births directly.
  • Family planning [294]
  • Creating small family „role models“ [294]
  • Tighter immigration restrictions

The method (s) chosen can be strongly influenced by the cultural and religious beliefs of the community members.

Birth regulations

Overpopulation can be mitigated by birth control ; Some nations, like the People’s Republic of China, use strict measures to reduce birth rates. Religious and ideological opposition to birth control has been cited as a factor contributing to overpopulation and poverty. [295]

Sanjay Gandhi , the late Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi , implemented a sterilization program between 1975 and 1977. Officially, men had more sterilization than men. Some unmarried young men and political opponents may have been sterilized citation needed ] . This program is still remembered and criticized in India, and is blamed for a public aversion to family planning , which hampered government programs for decades. [296]

Urban designer Michael E. Arth has proposed a „choice-based, marketable birth license plan“ he calls “ birth credits „. [297] Birth credits would be allowed, as long as it would be licensed for any child beyond average allotment that would result in zero population growth . If that was determined for the child, then the first child would be free, and the market would be determined. Extra credits would expire after a certain time, so these credits could not be hoarded by speculators. The actual cost of the credits would be a fraction of the actual cost of having and raising a child, so the credits would serve as a wake up call to women who might otherwise produce children. [298]

In 2014 the United Nations is estimated to be around 9.6 billion and 12.3 billion by 2100. Most of the world’s population is expected to increase in Africa and southern Asia. Africa’s population is expected to rise from the current one billion to four billion by 2100, and could not be more expensive. [300] Because the median age of Africans is relatively low (eg in Uganda it is 15 years old) birth credits would have to limit fertility to one child per day. For a population with a wide base in their population, it will be possible for them to have a family.[298] An example of demographic momentum is China, which added 400,000 more people after its one-child policy was enacted. Arth has suggested that the focus should be on the development of these countries, and that they should be able to rapidly increase their growth rate. [298]

Extraterrestrial settlement

Main article: Space colonization
See also: Space Advocacy and Steady-State Economy Pushing some of the terrestrial limits into outer space

Various scientists and science fiction authors have contemplated that overpopulation on Earth can be remedied in the future by the use of extraterrestrial settlements. In the 1970s, Gerard K. O’Neill suggested building space habitats that could support 30,000 times the carrying capacity of Earth using the asteroid belt, and that the Solar System could sustain a population growth rate for a thousand years. [301] Marshall Savage (1992, 1994) has projected a human population of five quintillion (5 x 10 18 ) throughout the Solar System by 3000, with the majority in the asteroid belt . [302] Freeman Dyson (1999) favors the Kuiper belt as the future home of humanity. [303] In Mining the Sky , John S. Lewis suggests that the resources of the solar system could support 10 quadrillion (10 16 ) people. In an interview, Stephen Hawking is asking for a threat to human existence and „our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain inward looking at planet earth but to spread out into space.“ [304]

K. Eric Drexler , famous inventor of the futuristic concept of molecular nanotechnology , HAS suggéré in Engines of Creation That Colonizing space will mean breaking the Malthusian limits to growth for the human species.

It may be possible for other parts of the Solar System to be inhabited by somebody in the future. Geoffrey Landis of NASA ’s Glenn Research Center In Particular HAS pointed out That „[at] cloud-top level, Venus is the paradise planet“, as One Could construct aerostat habitats and floating cities there Easily, based on the That breathable air concept is a lifting gas in the dense Venusian atmosphere . Venus would, like Saturn , Uranus , and Neptune , in the upper layers of their atmospheres, even afford a gravitationalmost exactly as strong as earth ( see colonization of Venus ). [305]

Many science fiction authors, including Carl Sagan , Arthur C. Clarke , [306] and Isaac Asimov , [307] have argued that excess population is not a viable solution to human overpopulation. According to Clarke, „the population battle must be fought or won here on Earth“. [306] The problem for these authors is not the lack of resources in space (as shown in books such as Mining the Sky [308] ), but the physical impracticality of shipping vast numbers of people in space to „solve“ overpopulation on Earth . However, Gerard K. O’Neill’s calculations show that the world could not afford to be marketed. [309]

The StarTram concept, by James R. Powell (the co-inventor of maglev transport) and others, with a capacity to send up to 4 million people a decade to space per facility. [310] A hypothetical extraterrestrial colony could potentially grow by reproduction only (ie, without any immigration), with all of the inhabitants being the direct descendants of the original colonists.


DESPITE the Increase in population density Within cities (and the emergence of megacities), UN Habitat states in icts carry urbanization That May be the best compromise in the face of global population growth. [311] Cities focused on human activities in limited areas, limiting the breadth of environmental damage. [312] But this mitigating influence can only be achieved if urban planning is significantly improved [313] .