Overpopulation and its consequences
The overcrowding or overpopulation occurs when the high population density produces a worsening environment, a decrease in quality of life or famine and conflict.
The world population has been growing slowly until the beginning of the XIX century, but since then, its growth has been exponential, producing a demographic explosion. But this growth has not been uniform in all countries, but has been much higher in developing countries.
The main cause of population growth has been the decrease in mortality, which has been due to:
- Health improvements. Advances in health have prevented epidemics. Medications, antibiotics, etc., allow people to live longer.
- Feeding improvements. More and better food is produced.
- Hygiene improvements. The sanitary measures and toilet, plus the arrival of drinking water to households, has made diminish some diseases.
The main effects of the high population growth are:
- Growth in demand for food.
- Deforestation of forests and jungles to create areas for agriculture, livestock, wood industry, paper, etc.
- The grazing causes depletion of grass and vegetation preventing regeneration.
- The uncontrolled hunting of animals for zoos, pets, ornaments, footwear, etc., can cause the disappearance of these species.
- Overfishing can lead to the depletion of fishing grounds.
- High consumption of natural resources, such as water, fossil fuels for energy, minerals and rocks for construction materials and other uses. They can lead to your exhaustion.
- Construction of buildings and infrastructures in places where it can affect the soil and the ecosystem.
- Important migratory flows of people from countries with fewer resources to more developed ones with better living conditions.
- Depopulation of rural areas and excessive growth of large cities, with the appearance of slums and other social problems.
- Worsening of people's quality of life.
- Increase in waste and related diseases.
Aglomeración de gente en Jaca (Huesca)
Solutions to avoid overcrowding problems:
- Birth control. Sex education campaigns that inform about the different contraceptive methods and facilitate their access.
- Educational improvements. The longer the schooling lasts, the more the childbearing age will be delayed, in addition, logically, to the benefits that education brings to the person.
- Reduce energy and resource consumption in the most developed countries.
- Rational and equitable distribution of resources worldwide. There is currently a large and growing gap between the resources available to rich and poor countries. The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer.
- Development aid program that allow the best and most sustainable technology in developing countries so that they do not make the mistakes made by developed countries.
- Fair trade that allows the development of countries and the fight against poverty, respecting the environmental and cultural environment.
Curiosity: World population counter.
Interactive video: The ecological footprint.