Right now, there are 7.594 billion people on planet Earth. The chances are high that there are even more now while you’re reading this, as new people are born all around the globe.
Concern as to human overpopulation is nothing new. Overpopulation – the biggest threat we face. Experts expect that if something doesn’t change, we could see 9.7 billion people by 2050 and 11 billion by 2100. While birth and growth might sound like a positive thing on paper, there is an upper limit.
Overpopulation has a number of different causes, and not all of them are negative. In fact, many of the things that cause overpopulation are seen as milestones in modern development. When you improve medical knowledge and understanding, you extend the average lifespan. When people stop dying early, the population explodes. When agriculture advances, and it becomes easier to feed the population, it continues to grow.
On the other side of the coin, you’ve got the negative causes of overpopulation. Countries with high levels of poverty — especially those that offer welfare subsidies for large families — tend to experience more overpopulation. Not only are these families relying on those subsidies to survive, but the adults also tend to live with their grown children, perpetuating the cycle. In developing countries, having large families is also essential for working farmland and keeping food on the table.
Religion is also a concern. Some religions believe that it is a sin to use contraceptives, and take their holy texts’ mandates to “be fruitful and multiply” very literally.
Finally, a lack of family planning education — or the focus on abstinence-only education — can lead to unplanned pregnancies and overpopulation.