- Area: Humanities
- Program: English
- Type of Writing: Essay (Analytical, Interpretive)
- Course Level: 2000
- English Speaking Nativeness: Non-Native
- Year: 2019
- Paper ID: H.E.E.2.N.2.1.1489
Human Overpopulation Crisis
Writing Project: Human Overpopulation Crisis
Salt Lake Community College
Earth has been home to humans for nearly 200,000 years. Human population has been developing and increasing since that time. This paper talks about how and why the human population growth is dangerous to life on Earth. The focus of this writing will be on the population of countries such as China, Nigeria, and the United States of America (US). This essay will present reasons as to why each of these countries’ population is growing. This paper will give examples of the hardships overpopulation is causing, and it will offer solutions to these issues.
Keywords: overpopulation, crisis, food shortage, danger
Humans are fascinating creatures and like to be surrounded by each other, but if the population of the world continues to grow a time will come when the population has excessively grown and we become surrounded by people without choosing to be. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary overpopulation is the condition of having a population so dense that it causes environmental deterioration, impaired quality of life, or a population crash (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Overpopulation is an issue because it leads to a weakened quality of life and it is especially dangerous in areas where resources are low. In order to be informed and inform others of the global population issues we must understand the concept of overpopulation and explain questions such as why is the population in Nigeria rapidly growing? What is causing the great migrations to the United States? How likely is it for China’s population to increase?
To understand what overpopulation is and how it occurs dictionary definitions were sought and content from the Yale website was reviewed to gain background knowledge on this topic. For this research paper, population data of countries such as China, Nigeria, and the US were studied from online sources. These countries are different from one another in the sense of cultures, lifestyles, wealth and health levels, yet the population of these countries is all growing rapidly. The U.S. Census Bureau collects and displays population data of many countries of the world, which are useful information when comparing different nations and their population measurements. Reports from a Nigerian news outlet on Nigeria’s population growth were examined to have a better insight into the Nigerian nation and to understand how they feel about the expansion of their population. The Foundation for Aids Research provided valuable information about HIV/AIDS reports in China and the United States that are used in this paper. Other online resources were employed to provide beneficial information in this piece.
During the entire course of human life, it took until 1804 for the population to reach 1 billion. About 123 years later in 1927, the human population reached 2 billion. By the year 2000, just seventy-three years later, the world population reached over 6 billion. Based on the United States Census Bureau the current world population is about 7.55 billion people. This number continues to increase every second. In fact, there is at least 1 birth every eight seconds, outpacing the average 1 death per ten seconds (U.S. Census Bureau, 2019).
China has a population of 1.4 billion people and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) reportings are 18,810. The United States has a population of 328 million and over 1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV/AIDS. In 2016, thirty-nine thousand new HIV diagnoses were made in the United States, which is more than twice as much as all the reporting of HIV/AIDS in China (Census Bureau, 2014). Research from (amfAR), the Foundation for AIDS Research, shows that although African Americans and Hispanics represent 30% of the U.S. population they account for 78% of women living with HIV/AIDS in the United States (amfAR, 2019). This is due to the fact that lower-class women in these races have a harder time getting access to clean water and sanitation resources. Research shows that Hispanics and African Americans have lower incomes and face more difficulties than other race groups.
The U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that China’s land area is 3.705 million mi² and the current population is 1.4 billion. There are currently one-hundred forty-nine people per square kilometer in China. Nigeria’s land area is 356,667 mi² and the population is 208.7 million. There are currently two hundred and twenty-nine people per square kilometer in Nigeria. Based on this data, Nigeria has more people than China per square kilometer. By 2100, Nigeria will compete with China as the second most populated country in the world, with India being the first (Mirkin, 2014). The average woman in China has 1.6 children, while in Nigeria the average woman has 4.8 children. China is a communist nation and has rules and restrictions for the amount of children women can have, while in Nigeria there is no limitation to how many children a woman can birth. In fact, in Nigerian culture, it is encouraged for men to have several wives and many children. Another factor that affects the population growth in Nigeria and similar countries is that male infants are preferred rather than female infants, so if a woman has female infants, her husband and she will attempt again and again until they have a male infant (Nenge, 2018).
During the past 10 years, the world’s food production has increased by twenty-four percent, outgrowing the world population growth (Kinder, 2018). While the food production rates seem to be more than enough for us, the food is not being distributed properly. In Africa, food production has decreased while the human population continues to increase. The same conditions exist around the world in Asia and the United States. The problem is not a food shortage, the problem is that poverty and lack of money prevent people from being able to purchase the food they need to survive. In the 1980s a baby born in Iceland was thirty-two times more likely to survive to the age of one-year-old as a baby born in Afghanistan (Kinder, 2018).
This was and still is due to the fact that people in poorer countries do not have access to health and education amenities, clean water, and nutrition to provide for the baby and mother.
This paper’s attempt was to inform people of the current population and how they will change in the near future, what dangers the population growths will bring, and what actions can be taken to prevent or slow down the population growth. Throughout human history, we have learned new and creative ways to solve problems. Sanitation and clean water are major tools for humans to stay clean and have lower risks of getting diseases that are preventable. In some countries and parts of the world it is not an issue to have access to these things, but in countries with poor economies, fewer resources, and insufficient technology it is difficult to keep people healthy. People with technological and economic advantages should do their best efforts to create opportunities for people with fewer advantages. It would be beneficial for governments to work together to provide their people with the best resources, useful technologies, healthy foods, sanitation, and clean water.
In countries where education is difficult to obtain and not highly encouraged people are more likely to have poor sanitation habits, bigger families, and weaker health. The reason that many cultures encourage bigger families is that they believe when people have more children it becomes easier for the elderly to take care of themselves and their family. More children can mean a faster and easier agricultural and farming business for families. However, having bigger families means more resources are needed to support the family, and people need to be informed about how to find such resources or how to create a better family life.
Currently, most data and statistics of overpopulation are estimations of what could be worse or better than we predict. Further research and investigation must be done to help us be appropriately prepared for global population growths. It is the responsibility of intellectuals and resourceful communities to help others with less knowledge on the dangers of overpopulation and to help people everywhere have a better life by being aware and accountable for their decisions.
Kinder, C. (2018). The Population Explosion: Causes and Consequences. Retrieved from http://teachersinstitute.yale.edu/curriculum/units/1998/7/98.07.02.x.html
Mirkin, B. (2014, April 03). World Population Trends Signal Dangers Ahead. Retrieved from https://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/world-population-trends-signal-dangers-ahead
Nenge, K. (2018, October 10). Factors affecting population growth in Nigeria. Retrieved from https://www.legit.ng/1195869-factors-affecting-population-growth-nigeria.html
“Overpopulation.” Merriam-Webster, (2019). Retrieved February 5, 2019, from www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overpopulation
The United States. (2018, September). Retrieved from https://www.amfar.org/about-hiv-and-aids/facts-and-stats/statistics–united-states/
U.S. and World Population Clock. Retrieved February 2, 2019, from https://www.census.gov/popclock/
World Population by Year. Retrieved February 2, 2019, from http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/world-population-by-year/