Overpopulation is an undesirable condition where the human number exceeds the carrying capacity of the Earth. The population growth is due to
- Better healthcare
- Rise in birthrate
- Food security
- Lack of awareness/ education
- Cultural influences
- Lack of family planning
- Religious propagation
- Malicious intent to change demographics
- For Social support
- Perception of marriage & family.
This rapid population growth has an adverse effect on the natural resources and quality of life.
However, overpopulation has a deleterious effect on the environment due to the current lifestyle.
There would be rampant exploitation of natural resources, excess human waste accumulation, chances of epidemics, etc.
Human overpopulation occurs if the number of people in a group exceeds the carrying capacity of the region occupied by that group.
What causes overpopulation 10 Reasons
1. Better health care leads to a decline in the death rate
- The reduced mortality rate is one of the main reasons for population growth. Due to medical advancements, many diseases can be cured now.
- Owing to advances in both preventive and curative medicine, diseases have either been eradicated or controlled from spreading.
- Deadly diseases like smallpox, plague, tuberculosis, and malaria used to be epidemics for centuries. They used to affect millions of people in each continent, leading to massive deaths.
- But due to medical knowledge, they have been controlled drastically. Smallpox and the plague, are almost extinct from the earth, while malaria and tuberculosis have an effective cures.
- Further, if there is any pandemic, as we have seen in recent viral infections, there is widespread awareness due to technology and media.
The number of deaths due to recent outbreaks can never equate with those caused by past epidemics.
- Thus the epidemics are effectively controlled, and diseases are well treated, leading to a drop in death rates.
- Developments in medicine have led to reduced mortality and an increase in the average life expectancy of humans. Infant mortality rates are very low, and causes of death during childbirth are less frequent now.
Good prenatal care has improved the chances of survival for both the mother and the baby.
2. The rise in the Birth Rate
- Due to the advancement in medicine, the average birth rate has gone up. Due to various fertility treatments available today, there are effective solutions to infertility problems, which increase the chances of conception.
- Even if the parents are sterile, they can opt for test-tube babies and surrogacy methods to have children of their own.
- Previously the chances of death of either mother or baby were a possibility during delivery. Due to modern medicine, pregnancies are safer, which minimizes the chances of death.
- In the case of conception after fertility treatment, the chances of abortion are also minimized, contributing to an increasing birth rate.
- Early marriages also contribute to population growth as getting married at an early age increases the chances of having more children. And especially so with the uneducated class where family planning is not adopted. This further contributes to overpopulation.
3. Food security
- Food is more widely available for most parts of the world population than it was before.
- This is due to scientific advancements in food yield and enhancement of storage methods for future use.
- Besides, there is a widespread conversion of forest land for agricultural purposes and also an option to import food from places of surplus to a place of drought.
4. Lack of Education/awareness
- Illiteracy is another important factor that contributes to overpopulation. Masses lacking education fail to understand the need to curb the population explosion.
- As per the data by the world bank, women with higher education tend to have fewer children while women with less education have more children.
- Also, adults with higher education tend to get married late, while those without higher education tend to get married early.
- It appears that the educated class can make more responsible decisions about marriage and childbirth. They consider the correlation between more number of children versus quality of life.
5. Cultural Influences
- The concept of birth control is not widely accepted. Adopting birth control measures is considered taboo in certain cultures.
- Some cultures foster beliefs that marrying at a certain age or having a certain number of children is considered to be ideal.
- In some cultures, there is pressure from the family and society to have children. Social norms influence decisions about starting and extending one’s family.
In cultures where a woman’s role is considered to be that of a child-bearer, large families become the norm.
6. Lack of Family Planning
- Most developing nations have a large number of people who are illiterate, living below the poverty line.
- They have little or no knowledge about family planning which is a major cause of overpopulation.
- The misconception about contraception (fears of sterility) or lack of economic affordability are also factors.
- Even getting their children married at an early age also increases the chances of producing more kids.
People do not understand the harmful effects of overpopulation, and ignorance prompts them to avoid family planning measures.
7. Religious propagation
- Few religions are also causing rapid population growth.
- It is believed that some religious preachers encourage their community to have more children.
- They propagate that God would feed them, and hence they should not stop having children or adopt family planning.
- This is a sort of selfish motive to enhance their religious population and impact the democratic voting practice.
Hence, you can notice countries with certain major religious groups have more populations.
8. The desire to manipulate democracy by demography
- The above-said method is also used to encourage the growth of the population of their sect.
- This is seen in a few instances where the ratio of children to parents is very high in some communities.
- Though it is not appropriate to mention them here. Recent news of ethnic cleansing etc., throw light on how the population was manipulated to get dominance.
- It was reported that girls of very low age were a mother to two or more kids.
Even you can notice politicians argue against and in support of immigrants of a particular religion or group specifically.
9. Immigration/ migration
- The population of a state or country would rise not only due to an enhanced birth rate or decline in death rate but also due to enhanced migration.
- In the recent past, we have noticed many people migrate to other countries for survival.
- This way, the host country’s population goes up. Even these immigrants tend to enhance their community population by having more children.
- In a few countries, politicians intentionally encourage such illegal migration for vote banks.
They give them shelter and also provide identity cards to enjoy the economic benefits as natural citizens.
9. The desire for social support
- A man who has more children considers having better strength socially. Even if he wishes to take up work or contract, he would involve all his children and get it done.
- Also, since he has a big family with more children and their families, he could dominate others with less familial strength or support.
- I have seen one person who had 8 kids and was a poor person with a meager half a hectare of land.
- He was relying on his children as it was easy to earn food for the entire family if he sent them for some minor work.
- After a decade, when I came across him, he was well settled. All of his kids were married having children.
- Each of them had their own house and sufficient land to cultivate.
- When I inquired, I was told he had got a vast land for lease from an owner who did not have the manpower to work on it.
So having more children is an intention to have better social support or dominance.
10. Region-based variation in perception
- We can notice that western countries like Europe have fewer populations than the eastern countries of the world.
- This is thought to be due to a lack of intent to get married and take the responsibility of raising kids.
- While in the east, children and family are considered an asset, and therefore, people are ready to take responsibility.
- Above are the major causes of population growth, but there are very governments that are determined to curb this problem.
The reason is fear of backlash from the voters in a democratic setup.