The world's population is approximately 5.9 billion,
and it is still growing. It has just about doubled in the
past forty years. We are now faced with the issue of over
population. The problem is very severe, and important. It
is controversial how many people this planet can hold. Some are arguing that we have plenty of room, and we could fit
everyone on the state of Alaska, if we just put 10,000
people on each square mile. Alaska only makes up about one percent of the earth's land mass. Other people argue that
we need land to grow and supply all the resources we need, and we do not have enough for everybody. Either way the
issue is looked at though, many people are being deprived of food, shelter and clothing because of the excess of people. Many countries are reducing their population by
family planning. Family planning tries to promote the idea of using some sort of birth control such as condoms, the
pill, sterilization, IUDs, or some other method. Over the
past three decades, the global percentage of couples using some form of family planning has increased dramatically. It has changed from less than 10, to more than 50 percent. The amount of people who use family planning would increase if everyone had easy accessibility to it. In some rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, it takes an average of two hours to reach the nearest contraceptive provider. Often, people
cannot even afford some type of birth control. Also, many
governments ban or restrict important methods of
contraception. Japan, for instance, discourages the use of birth control pills over the condom. Also, 60 countries
require a husband's consent for all forms of birth control. Even though there are some conflicts with it, I think
family planning seems like the best to solve the world's
over population problem.
China's one child policy is generally denounced by a
majority of world nations. Many countries feel that it is
not right to restrict the number of children a person can
have. They believe it is a person's freedom to choose how
many kids they want. China hopes for their fertility rate
to be 1 child per woman instead of the 1.85 rate they
currently have. Even though China's policy is very
controversial, China thinks this is what they need to do in order for their population growth to drop.
Also, China and many other countries are trying to
delay childbearing. They figure, to do this they must first postpone the age of marriage. In Bangladesh, for example,
the average age of first marriage among woman went from
about 14.4 in 1951 to 18 in 1989. The age at first birth
followed the delay of the marriage. In developing
countries, according to the Population Council's Bongaarts, an average 2.5 year delay in the age when a woman bears her first child would reduce population growth by over 10
percent. This is also an effective way to slow population
There is a great need for countries to attempt to
limit expanding populations. Many people are poor, and
starving because of severe over population problems.
Disease spreads through over populated areas, and
malnutrition is a major factor in these areas. With the
population so high, resources are running low, and there is not enough for everyone to have everything they need.
Today, 1.3 billion of the world's people are living on the equivalent of a dollar a day or less. Imagine how many more would be living on that limited amount of food, and clothing if the population expands too much more. Education would be rare among the high population, and jobs scarce. Sooner or later, there will be no more room on the earth for everybody to live, and a major problem will have to be faced.
Expanding populations are dangerous things, and they need to be dealt with as soon as possible.
In the past, technology was limited, and the large
majority of people were farmers and into agriculture. Large families were desired to maintain the fields, and produce
more crop. Slaves and workers cost money, so women gave
birth to increase income, and productivity. The more
children families had, the more workers they owned, so
families made sure to have large households. Farmers gained financially by having large families.
Today, most people have children to love, and
nurture. Children are usually now not a gain financially,
but a loss. Today, technology is very advanced, and office work is more popular than agriculture. Education is very
important and parents usually provide children with money
for college, which is very expensive. There are also laws
restricting minors from working, so child labor is illegal in most places. Parents loose lots of money in having kids, but they do gain a sense of security, and happiness in their lives.
In many modern countries, people don't find it
necessary, nor ideal to have children. Both parents in many homes are often working, and children are not able to stay home alone. Hiring a person for watching a child costs a
reasonable amount of money, and the more kids you have, the more expensive child care is. Parents also have to pay for a child's food, clothing, and shelter. Not to mention the
child's activities, hobbies, and education that are desired. Single parents have an even harder time earning enough
money to care for their children. Single parents cannot
rely on another income, and have to worry about other human beings beside themselves. Parents usually don't profit in
physical material from being parents.
Today, about 5.9 billion people live on Earth. In
the year 1950, about 2.56 people lived in the world. In
1959, approximately three billion people lived on this
planet. That is about half of what it is today. So, in
about 40 years, the population of this planet doubled. In
1970, close to 3.7 billion people lived on the earth. So,
from 1960-1970, 1.2 billion more people existed on Earth.
In 1990, about 5.3 billion people were alive on Earth. In
1993, the average annual population change dropped 1.5
million people in comparison to previous years. Even though the number of people, or population is still rising, the
annual growth rate is starting to drop
The doubling rate or doubling time, is the time it
takes for a certain population to double. You can figure
out doubling time by using growth rate in a math equation. The growth rate is the percentage of population gained
yearly, or any other amount of time. The doubling rate of
countries are usually expressed in years. For example,
Rwanda's population growth rate for 1997 was 8.24%, and if Rwanda was to double at this rate, it would take 8 years to do so. The world's growth rate for 1999 is predicted to be 1.27%. The doubling rate for the world, or any place is
figured out the same way as the countries.
Over population effects are very harmful. Over
crowding of people causes sicknesses, and diseases.
Resources and food will be scarce, and conditions will not be healthy. If things continue how things are going
concerning population, we are going to encounter major
problems in the future. We are starting to feel the effects of over population today, in the future it will be a whole lot worse. The US is not too crowded compared to many other countries, and the fertility rate of North America is just a little below two. Although we haven't experienced too
much of the impact of over population compare to other
countries, we will eventually be hit hard by the
ever-growing problem of over population.