Over the last half century the population of the world has exploded. At the time of writing there are seven billion people on theplanet and this number is projected to grow in a short period of time.Of all of the environmental challenges facing the planet today overpopulation is one that sometimes slips under the radar. Issues like pollution, climate change and water shortages all seem to take precedence, but overpopulation is one of the main contributors to many other environmental issues.
Overpopulation will place great demands on resources and land, leading to widespread environmental issues in addition to impacting global economies and standards of living. The issue is compounded by the difficulty in providing solutions for this problem and misunderstanding of the causes and effects of overpopulation.
Decline in Death Rate
At the root of overpopulation is the difference between the overall birth rate and death rate in populations. If the number of children born each year equals the number of adults that die, then the population will stabilize. Talking about overpopulation shows that while there are many factors that can increase the death rate for short periods of time, the ones that increase the birth rate do so over a long period of time. The discovery of agriculture by our ancestors was one factor that provided them with the ability to sustain their nutrition without hunting. This created the first imbalance between the two rates.
Poverty is believed to be the leading cause of overpopulation. A lack of educational resources, coupled with high death rates leading to higher birth rates, result in impoverished areas seeing large booms in population.The effect is so extensive that the UN has predicted that the forty-eight poorest countries in the world are also likely to be the biggest contributors to population growth. Their estimates state that the combined population of these countries is likely to balloon to 1.7 billion in 2050, from 850 million in 2010.
Technology is on skyrocket
Technological advancement was perhaps the biggest reason why the balance has been permanently disturbed. Science was able to produce better means of producing food, which allowed families to feed more mouths. Medical science made many discoveries thanks to which they were able to defeat a whole range of diseases. Illnesses that had claimed thousands of lives till now were cured because of the invention of vaccines. Combining the increase in food supply with fewer means of mortality tipped the balance and became the starting point of overpopulation.
These are just some of the reasons why overpopulation is prevalent in this day and age. Many of the reasons can be controlled but some are not especially with almost no education and poor knowledge. People will continue on doing what they want that can lead to the loss of biodiversity.