By Georgia Velli (A Class)

How much do you really know about one of the most pressing global issues the world is currently facing?


Today I am going to share with you some important information about one of the most pressing global issues widely-known as the phenomenon of Overpopulation.

On October 31, 2011 the arrival of seven billion humans was marked on planet Earth. From then on, we are averaged to grow by approximately a billion every 12 years, even to reach 9 billion by 2050.

In a more scientific approach, overpopulation is the undesirable condition where the number of existing human population exceeds the carrying capacity of Earth. People continue wanting infinite growth on a finite planet.

Needless to say, the world is currently in the midst of the greatest demographic upheaval of our history, with the increase of population concentrated in the developing parts of the world. In the history of our species, the birth and death rate have always been able to balance and maintained a population growth rate that is sustainable.

Since the 1400’s, when the Bubonic Plague occurred, our population has been on a constant increase. Although more than 6 centuries and hundreds and thousands of wars, diseases, natural calamities and man-made hazards have befallen, none of these has made a dent on the population. Developing nations face the problem more than developed countries, but it affects most of the Earth as now.

But when we talk about overpopulation, we ought to first understand its causes.



So, moving on, I am going to talk comprehensively about the most common ones:

  • Firstly, the root of this problem is the difference between the overall birth and mortality rate. Many children are born every day but because of bigger life expectancy, less people die daily, which causes an imbalance. If these numbers ever equal, our population will hopefully stabilize.
  • Moreover, the growing advances made in technology after the Industrial Revolution  resulted in better medical treatment and the ability to save more lives in comparison with earlier times.
  • Technological advancements however also occurred in fertility treatments. This led to safer pregnancies and creation of new medicines and treatment methods increasing the number of births.


The aforementioned are the starting points of the phenomenon of overpopulation.


  • Researchers also mention the increase in immigration as a cause, although it does not really affect all countries at the same level and the population remains the same.
  • Last but surely not least, we have the lack of family planning, mostly affecting the developing nations which consist of many illiterate people who live below poverty and have little or no knowledge about contraception and reproduction. To add on in various countries girls tend to marry at a young age and that results in more kids being brought in the world.


I am not going to get into detail as it would require a lot of time for me to make every point clear.



To continue, I am going to mention epigrammatically some of the most pressing environmental, economic and social repercussions originated from human overpopulation, like:


  • Depletion of natural resources such as loss of fresh water
  • Degradation of the environment, species extinction and phenomena like global warming or climate change
  • High cost of living
  • Rise in unemployment
  • Starvation and poverty in more and more regions around the world
  • Increased emergence of new epidemics and pandemics which occur in combination with environmental degradation
  • Unsustainable debt-based Economies
  • Conflicts and an elevation in crime rate as people are in desperate need of food to feed their families


Also I would like to add that according to a Harvard study there will be lower life expectancy in the fastest growing countries, as mentioned in the study over the next 40 years, nearly all 97% of the 2.3 billion-projected increase will be in the less developed regions with nearly half in Africa.




So far I have talked about the effects and causes, so it is high time I gave some solutions too. In this case though, solution really means maintenance of our current population.

I would like to make clear that I am referring to humanely possible remedial actions only.

  • First of all, we ought to make people aware of the problem and then help them realize that it is solvable.
  • After all, everything grows out of education. That is the reason why on the top of my list of solutions I have education and empowerment. We shall educate people with programmes aimed at spreading awareness in order to curb ignorance mostly to the poorer parts of the world. Educating the masses helps them understand the need to have 1 or 2 children at the most.
  • Another great alternative is to have governments come with various policies revolving around: poverty, environmental concerns, access to reproductive health and agriculture, or even tax concessions such as waiving of income tax for married couples with 1-2 children or ending all policies that reward parents financially based on their number of kids.
  • Some more efficient explications could be allowing universal access to safe and effective contraceptive options which would be vital to the cause and educate people about family planning and efficient birth control in order to reduce births below an average of 2 per family.


In conclusion, if we want to overcome some of our major problems as a planet we have to solve the problem of increased human growth. Overpopulation raises many compelling concerns about social, economical and environmental problems in an ecosystem that is complex and appears to be increasingly delicate. In other words, we shall bear in our minds that the first step towards a compromise between population and earth needs to be taken soon. Time is running out as we talk.


Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess.”

                                                                                   Martin Luther King




  • http://www.care2.com/greenliving/overpopulation-the-facts-and-solutions.html