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Overpopulation and the Economi

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Overpopulation and the Economi

Overpopulation and the Economical Effects


Currently there are more than 6 billion people living in the world and this number is expected to double in a short period of time. Many researchers and theorists feel that the world does not have a carrying capacity for this amount of people. The overpopulation of the world, brings a fear of overcrowding and an apprehension that the resource base will become to low, perhaps even non-existent. In 1900, the world population was 1.6 billion people. Compared to the 6.1 billion that it is today, that population is miniscule. The population is projected to reach 16.4, more than double today's population by the year 2060. Right now there are only about 30 million people in Canada, itself, whereas a country like China is home to 1.2 billion people. As it is seen, China has a very large proportion of the world's population within it's own boundaries and this has created many problems throughout the country. It is possible, that with the knowledge of the problem, with an education, infrastructure, and some sort of work skills this problem can be turned around.

Developing Countries

The developing countries, are the main concerns for overcrowding. 1996 statistics show that 75% of the worlds population live in both Africa (13%) and Asia (63%). The overpopulation in these continents, is so much higher for many different reasons. The main reason being culture. When comparing a continent like Africa, to a continent like North America, there are many different, noticeable, differences. An example of this being the fertility rate. In Africa's particular culture, having many children equals high fertility rates and this, they believe, is a great blessing from God. Also, here women are not educated, as well as the developed countries, and there is no or very little knowledge of contraceptives.

(John L.Seitz Global Issues, an Introduction. Pg. 14)

The developing countries effect both the global and local economics. It effects the local economics, for simple reasons as, food shortages, housing, or education. Food shortages are also a major problem. Thomas Malthus, a theorist, believes that the world's population doubles every 25 years, whereas the agriculture in one area takes much longer than this to grow back. Therefore, he believes, that as the population grows, there is a less means of subsistence being produced. Food shortages, could effect the economy a great deal, as disease and malnutrition would take place.

(John L. Seitz. Global Issues, an Introduction. Pg. 31)

Along with disease, there is the problem of sewage, in these overpopulated countries. The sewage could be means of garbage, or even of waste. The waste could cause a great deal of problems, such as disease, rats, contamination of water, and so on. This could also cause a great amount of death in the urban centers.

(John L.Seitz. Global Issues, an Introduction. Pg.25)

Another problem in the less developed countries is housing. As the population density is quite high in the third-world, there are many problems with housing. These problems are that the quantity and quality of housing for urban people, vary. The average density of a developed country lies between 3 600 and 7 200 people per km2, while the density in Calcutta is 160 000 people per km2. In general, 30% of the less developed countries population consists of squatters. Squatters are illegal occupiers of land, and they live in areas called squatter settlements. The squatters, hurt the economy as they are not paying for any type of housing at all. There are also occupying land that does not belong to themselves, which in not allowing people to use this land. Most of the time, this land could be used for much better sources, such as agriculture, new housing, factories, and even extending the urban centers limits.

(Anne and Paul Erlich. The Population Explosion. Pg. 36)

In the less developed countries there is an unskilled labor force, leaving the country with a very little income, and this is where overpopulation becomes a problem. This creates some major obstacles of the provision for adequate housing. On account of the low incomes, there is usually only enough money for essentials and therefore are unable to afford better housing. The less developed countries face a lack of capital, and therefore they are unable to provide better housing, but either, the price of land exceeds the cost of the house, or the speculators will not sell land. Last of all, there is the added amount of red tape which discourages and the inexperienced legal systems slow down the process to have anything done. The squatters pay no taxes, therefore the quality of the city, in regards to services such as fire, sewage, education, and so on, drop dramatically.

(Anne and Paul Ehrlich. The Population Explosion. Pg. 37-42)

The less developed countries hurt the global economy as the United Nations, feels they are obligated or compelled to help these countries out. Through many of their services, the United Nations provides the country's with water, food, resources, and money towards capital and so on. This hurts the developed countries, as money from the federal government is going toward contributing to the services and aid that the United Nations provides.

Another effect that the less developed countries have on the global economy is that large factories are longing to establish themselves here. The companies, or factories come into these countries, build on cheap land, receive resources at a decreased price, and pay employees at a fraction of the price that they would be paying an employee in a developed country. This also helps the less developed country because with the factory, there is a source of labor, employees are receiving skills and an income.

Last of all, the less developed countries effect the global economy as they are unable to afford mass communication, which is much of our technology. This hurts the global economy as products that are produced within North America are unable to be exported to these countries. With the high population unable to buy these products, the cost of such technology as computers and television, remain at an inflated price.

(Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, pg42)


In Asia, over 50% of the population are currently living in a one-room dwelling. In a country like China, which is very overpopulated, yet very secure economically, it is hard to see where the economy is hurt.

(Clive Ponting. A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations. Pg. 132)

Prices are currently very high in China, which does hurt the country in the tourist economy. With no opposing currency coming into the county, the country's currency, and dollar does not move. This ...

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Keywords: overpopulation and the economy, overpopulation and economic growth, overpopulation and economic development, overpopulation economic problems, overpopulation economics, overpopulation economic crisis, overpopulation economic definition, overpopulation economic theories

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