Causes of Overpopulation

Overpopulation is one of the most serious threats to mankind. It's high time we identify what's causing it and take concrete steps to stop the overgrowth of population.
Causes of overpopulation
By definition, overpopulation is a condition where the number of organisms exceeds the carrying capacity of their habitat. The world population has crossed 7 billion and we are having to deal with the adverse effects of this excessive growth. Overpopulation leads to scarcity of resources and economic inflation. The day is not far when we won't be left with sufficient resources to meet life's basic needs. Overpopulation is a serious issue, more serious than it seems to be. To nip it in the bud, we need to understand its root causes. The main factors contributing to excessive growth of population are:
  • Increased birth rate
  • Increased longevity
  • Reduced infant mortality
  • Decreased death rate
  • Lack of education
  • Cultural influences
  • Immigration/Emigration
Another reason behind growth in human population is that there is no particular breeding season in human beings. They can mate and have children any time of the year, unlike other animals whose mating season is restricted to only a particular period of the year. Also, developments in the medical field have increased the average lifespan of human beings, thereby boosting population growth. Let's take a closer look at the different causes of overpopulation.

Decline in the Death Rate: Reduced mortality rate is one of the leading causes of overpopulation. Due to medical advancements, many of the once incurable diseases have cures today. Owing to advances in both preventive and curative medicine, diseases have either been eradicated or have more effective treatments now. There are effective ways to control epidemics and there are better measures to treat critical health ailments, thus leading to a drop in death rates. Developments in medicine have led to reduced mortality and increase in the average life expectancy of humans. Infant mortality rates are very low and cases of deaths during childbirth are less frequent. Good prenatal care has improved the chances of survival for both the mother and the baby.

Rise in the Birth Rate: Once again owing to advances in medicine, the average birth rate has gone up. Due to various fertility treatments available today, there are effective solutions to infertility problems, which increases chances of conception. Due to modern medicine, pregnancies are safer. In case of conception after a fertility treatment, there are chances of a multiple pregnancy, further contributing to increasing birth rates. In addition to this, there is a social pressure to have children. This further contributes to overpopulation. Early marriages also contribute to population growth as getting married at an early age increases the chances of having more children. And especially so with the uneducated class where family planning is not adopted.

Lack of Education: Illiteracy is another important factor that contributes to overpopulation. Those lacking education fail to understand the need to curb population growth. Modern methods of birth control and family planning don't reach the illiterate sections of society. Furthermore, due to lack of awareness there is resistance in adopting such methods. The illiterate are unable to understand what impact overpopulation can have. The educated class can make more responsible decisions about marriage and childbirth. Thus education is an effective tool to curb overpopulation.

Cultural Influences: The concept of birth control is not widely accepted. Adopting birth control measures is considered taboo in certain cultures. Some cultures foster beliefs where marrying at a certain age or having a certain number of children is considered to be ideal. In some cultures male children are preferred. This indirectly forces couples to produce children till a child of the preferred gender is conceived. Plus, there is a pressure from the family and society to have children. Social norms influence decisions of starting and extending one's family. In cultures where a woman's role is considered to be that of a child-bearer, large families become the norm.

Migration: Immigration is a problem in some parts of the world. If the inhabitants of various countries migrate to a particular part of the world and settle in that region, the area has to face the negative effects of overpopulation. If the rates of emigration from and immigration to a country do not match, it results in increased population density in that country. The area becomes thickly populated. People inhabiting the area experience scarcity of resources. This leads to uneven distribution of natural resources which is a direct consequence of overpopulation. Though migration of people between regions does not affect the world population figure, it does lead to something that can qualify as localized overpopulation.

Increase in population is an increase in the number of human resources which means more working hands. But we cannot ignore the fact that an increase in the number of producers implies an increase in the number of consumers too. We need to strike a balance between population growth and resource consumption. Resources are limited, population growth needs to be controlled. We need to take steps, now.
Last Updated: July 11, 2012
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that is so nice now i know the meaning of overpopulation - francis [August 13, 2014]
your explanation is very good. becoz it makes me more understood. Thank you - Uamwakin [August 6, 2014]
We must stop overpopulation in S.A ,so that we can live healthy and long. - Legodi Obed L [July 19, 2014]
Extraordinary problems need strong extraordinary measures. China is the only country to have adopted strong measures - Som [July 18, 2014]
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I think a wonderful solution to overpopulation is the Hunger Games. - President Snow [January 26, 2014]
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GOOD COMMENTS - BIBS [November 22, 2013]
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awesome article loved reading it...! - Sourav [November 9, 2013]
Great article highlighting the underlying causes of overpopulation. Nice One mate - John [September 13, 2013]
Heya... Guys Iam Saksham Chaturvedi. The Unfortunate part is that I have taken birth in India. So this is not my problem. The reasons behind job career in india the reason is population right from 2007. The Death rate and birh rate increases and decreases like a temprature. - saksham [August 3, 2013]
what are the population explotions - moffat [July 3, 2013]
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this website is awesome... while reading this document i was really vry pleased... thanks a lottttt. - bushra [May 28, 2013]
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Its wonderful and amazing when i was reading this document Kenya as a country has to come up with a bill of birth rate control. it should borrow a leaf from the country of Israel where parents are entitled to marry and have only two children just to avoid this happen. - peter kengia [November 15, 2012]
This write up has realy help me in knowing the causes of overpopulation.thamk u very much author - Stephaine Willi [May 10, 2012]
there is no over population in the world. i dont believe - Uzair ul Hassan [May 2, 2012]
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it is wonderful - meghna [April 15, 2012]
pls lts try to reduce high birth rates! - kambonde.matias [April 14, 2012]
Good topic - nripen kalita [March 14, 2012]
i think the birth control and use condoms are right to avoid over population or if you dont like, just create a family planning :))
if you want to stop to have a many child of coures its also stoping to speading poverty to our planet earth :)) i want to stop poverty. because if i going to be a president to my beloved country philipines i will create a way to stop the poverty to my country :)) to become my kababayan be proud to me :))
- Christine F. [March 4, 2012]
wow thats alot of intresting information u people got there... anyway keep up the good work (*_*)simle - RAVENA SINGH [March 2, 2012]
thank you - shayann reid [February 16, 2012]
what can i do as resident to solve over population - shayann reid [February 16, 2012]
Thank you so much. I was writing an essay about overpopulation and it helped me a lot! - Jimmy [February 2, 2012]
This really herlped me out with my essay. - Eliza [January 19, 2012]
I think that realy it is a serious topic to discuss. I think every one should be aware of this and should do some think to stop this because overpopulation does'nt mean more worker it means more unemployment. So think about. Thank you. - shazia [December 30, 2011]
it was the nice article. I hope after reading this people will learn something and this problem will definatly solved. Thank you so much. - shazia [December 30, 2011]
thankyou - rafia [November 13, 2011] helps me alot...! - twinkle handa [October 21, 2011]
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this is the very corect explanation - muskan khan [August 16, 2011]
more information please! - mhine [July 25, 2011]
perfect - yanzi [July 25, 2011]
but why the government is not taking as serious matter? - priyanka [July 9, 2011]
it is the good way - priyanka [July 9, 2011]
these uses of overpopulation are very useful ..thanks ! - agrima juneja [July 8, 2011]
Overpopulation is disgusting. Why aren't the governements doing anything about it? - Bobby [June 13, 2011]
Overpopulation is a serious probem that our country is facing today. In india the number of people overpowers the resources. We face a lot of problems. to meet the needs of ever growing population millions and millions of trees are cut every year and there is a shortage of fresh air, as trees help to purify the air as a result our environment gets polluted. Many birds and animals extinct due to the loss of habitat,the forests.We suffer a lot!
So we should help to overcome the problem and protect our environment and also protect ourselves bcoz if there is no environment there are no human beings
- Pooja Shah [June 7, 2011]
you know there must be existing law like that of china to controll bith rate if not there would be kayos - ama,ghana [May 12, 2011]
GOOD - ALLU [April 30, 2011]
these are very good information - Shannay C. [April 26, 2011]
About a year and a half ago Science Daily noted that overpopulation was the biggest threat to our world. Global warming was second. Obviously overpopulation increases the use of the irreplaceable natural resources; increases the waste and pollutants that affect our air, water and land; reduces the amount of water for drinking and farming; reduces the amount of arable land available for each person; increases famines and poverty; and increases illegal immigration to escape these problems. Uninformed people criticize Malthus, but what he said is true. His Britain is a net importer of food today. For skeptics, rather than saying that the facts are not true and hoping you are right, it would be wise to look at the evidence and criticize it with evidence rather than with hope. I suggest that you read Book 1, especially the sections on skeptics, in "In Search of Utopia" It is authoritative, documented, and free.
- ProfBob [April 22, 2011]
i dont think this helps at all with the stuff im looking for.. haha jk i love this article. MUCHO BUENO. - russianchick [April 18, 2011]
need to no what it means. - Bob [April 18, 2011]
i think is really hard for people living with a lot of people and it causes overpoplution - ray-quan martin [April 14, 2011]
it every hard to believe that there is a lot of people die or sufuring of overpopulation - destiny j. [April 14, 2011]
Great! ((: - Hailey [March 14, 2011]
Thanks so much for all this information. It's really helped me with some of my work. However, it would be even better if it had a more expanded introduction to the topic. Thanks again though! - Lex Luthor [March 7, 2011]
now i understand about overpopulation...
thanks for the info.. :)
- animelover23 [March 1, 2011]
By definition, overpopulation is the condition where the number of organisms exceeds the carrying capacity of their habitat. We are facing the effects of overpopulation in our daily lives. Overpopulation has impacted the life of common man and has proved to be one of the gravest difficulties that have to be fought. Overpopulation implies scarcity of resources and economic inflation; these are the monsters which can make life miserable. Living through the negative effects of overpopulation have made us realize serious problems associated with it. It is high time we wake up and find the causes of overpopulation and work on them - dhruv mathur [March 1, 2011]
If this keeps up, this planet will become a giant wasteland. Like Mars or worse. - Die human race [February 16, 2011]
Wouldn't it be ironic that the human race self destroyed itsel for reproducing too much?

It is happening here, and now. Humans do not adapt to their environment, humans adapt the environment for their twisted needs of survival. We are like a virus, destroying our ecosystem until there is no more, and then we move to, another country or ecosystem to it. Every human being needs enough terrain to cultivate and be independent, but is that space available?

The answer is NO! And if we do not do something, we will all going to suffer, and it will be too late!
- Mr. X [February 16, 2011]
Another factor of overpopulation is welfare. Welfare should have limitations so that the baby making machines that are the welfare leeches stop overpopulating us with criminals and lazy, useless human Check the overpopulation solutions of this website and read the comments. - Welfare [February 16, 2011]
very nice.. concrete.. :) thanks po for the info.. - jocel [February 13, 2011]
this is helpful hank u - Jack Mehoff [February 8, 2011]
Games - Mohsin [February 6, 2011]
What is population - Mohsin [February 6, 2011]
BUT before we swallow the little red pill thats prescribed by the Medicare Panel maybe we should debate the truth about fertility in the world, close the gaps in this Link and study the rates around the world , w w w .cia. gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2127rank. html , what countries are REALLY Needing a reality Check about population sustainability before we forfeit our right to FREEDOM of Choice , FREEDOM period , just because of the Agenda that seems to be lacking in evidence that America is over populating the world !
If we had immigration law enforcement in the USA we would have zero Population growth so the capitalist self reliance model that the USA uses for its Economic system is working great , as the fertility charts and Census reports show .
- Tony N [January 29, 2011]
its the people on the otherside of the world - Mat [January 20, 2011]
pls post the solution. - ikekpeazu emma [January 19, 2011]
your description is marvellous and readable all should read and avoid further production as we are growing day by day - ramakant chhata [January 19, 2011]
i think over population is a natural thing.people will have children their children will have children it goes on like that.but i agree it causes problem so people must actually do something - muskaan [January 17, 2011]
good.need more information - niki [January 17, 2011]
i am very thankfull to this hepled me a lot in getting information and completing my project..! - santarina [December 28, 2010]
joint family - ankush [December 2, 2010]
brilliant - felix [November 28, 2010]
we should take overpopulation seriously because its happing right know people believe it! - UNKnown [October 27, 2010]
I think that overpopulation is a VERY big problem in the worldwe live in! - unknown [October 27, 2010]
I really doubt that IVF-strategies are a major cause of overpopulation. - hawthorne [September 12, 2010]
I like this Essay...So nice in terms of choice of words and easy to understand.. - Sarath [September 9, 2010]
i think that over population also produce illeteracy - shubham [August 18, 2010]
good information ! - mahima [August 11, 2010]
I find in reading those sites that say that population problems are a myth that their evidence is very sparse and inconclusive. Recently I read Book 1 of the free e-book series "In Search of Utopia" (, it blasts their lack of evidence relative to their calling overpopulation a myth. The book, actually the last half of the book, takes on the skeptics in global warming, overpopulation, lack of fresh water, lack of food, and other areas where people deny the evidence. I strongly suggest that anyone wanting to see the whole picture read the book, at least the last half. - ProfBob [July 6, 2010]
yar ye clear ans nhe hai ab mai pper mai kia likhu? - ashi [June 16, 2010]
thankyou for d infor - blavladfdf [June 12, 2010]
It's really serious problems for big cities ! - hqduc91 [May 7, 2010]
crazy prophylactics. - Anthony Stank [April 19, 2010]
more info - bibi [March 31, 2010]
THEY REALLY NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS THE birthcontrol and abortion stuff seriously it SHOULDNT HAVE TO COST BECAUSE ITS people who cant afford to pay for it everyday when i walk in the school its always someone walkin around pregnant the goverment really need to set they focus on us kids in detroit michigan the drop out rates its sky rockin and im tied of hearin everyday on the news that some one has jus been killed,or some one has jus beeen robbed by a teennager ...yall people need to choose a goverment that actually cares and focuses on every aspect in every day life - nicole g. [March 30, 2010]
MAN OVERPOPULATION its gettn insaine plus all these buissnesses need to step they game in the teachers in schools need to be more strict on the students in detroit... - nicole g. [March 30, 2010]
It has helped me a lot and now i will be telling others about this topic. - Sunandan [March 18, 2010]
I really liked it. It contained all the info that i needed. It was straight forward. Keep it up. Superb information and also very correct. - Debjani S. [March 6, 2010]
I honestly want to thank you for taking the time to publish this article about the causes of overpopulation. Its really helped me a lot with my homework!

- Joe S [March 4, 2010]
an educative piece of article.good. - emma bockle [February 23, 2010]
I think this is a great idea for providing first hand and authentic informations.
Good job!
- Kingsley O. Oke [February 19, 2010]
The overpupulation problem will not be fixed itself unless the majority people begin to have fewer kids, otherwise, let the future generation go to another planet. - jolie [February 12, 2010]
hahaha... - QGC [December 28, 2009]
I think overpopulatinn is a real treat to us - Imoleayo [December 16, 2009]
Well, I think that overpopulation is a crisis and this is a lovely piece of writing that pretty much shows it. - Eden [December 14, 2009]
I think the population are over becuse they have many people are poverty that lives in the world.I suggest that the goverment give her attention & also work. - Ma.Leonora [December 13, 2009]
i am planning to bear not more then 2 children after having sex with my wife. After either I will use or say my wife to use any means of family planning before having sexual intercourse. - Atom [November 28, 2009]
This information is good ,but there should be more points ... - ayesha [November 7, 2009]
what are some problems caused by overpopulation - Sam [October 17, 2009]
S.Henderson makes some good points. We need to get at the root of the problem. I agree with Derrick Jensen when he wrote in Endgame about Civilized humans deifying themselves, seeing themselves as gods having domain over all the cosmos. This creates a separation from reality placing Civilized humans at top, as we try our best to impose this worldview onto non-civilized humans. The things you mention are symptoms of this worldview: Modern Med= Immortal gods. Even science subscribes to this worldview. If anyone is interested in understanding the causes of the Human-god complex read Columbus and other Cannibals by Jack D. Forbes. And to anyone who believes Over-population is not a problem: Whenever a species that has dwindled down to a population small enough for them to decide they should place them on some extinction list, they (civilized people) often take them off that list as soon as they see the population go up a few measly thousand… Yet here we are over 7 billion. Almost all civilized people own cars, we require food, that food often comes from factory farms- more land, malls, roads, factories, landfills, houses, cities, airports… As the population grows so do our conflicts, our problems, the stress of traffic, finding jobs, walking down the street… In this case, Less would be more. Less people would mean a higher quality of life for those living, as tribal peoples used to enjoy until civilization comes along. Civilization is another symptom of the god-worldview, but it’s getting very top-heavy and will topple soon. The sooner the better. By no means am I saying tribal life is utopia, just the other day I saw on the news something about witch doctors in some tribe telling people to kill albinos so they can get their magical powers… But is that very different then a civilized person killing another civilized person for money? Civilized people like to think our ways are so much better and lead to less suffering, but tell that to the animals on extinction lists, the tribes we force off their lands, cancer patients, people driven insane by the stress of living in civilization, anyone killed so that corporations can thrive… Most people hate their jobs and are Wage Slaves. Again Henderson made some good points and so do you, but population is not the root of this, it’s a symptom. I suggest you read Endgame by Derrick Jensen. - T Bolha [October 9, 2009]
it's just because of knowing the birth control method. - Mark [October 8, 2009]
I think one of the most important factors that have led to overpopulation is over excessive food production. The world is constantly producing food to feed drastically more than what our population needs -yet there are stil starving people all over the bizarre. As long as people have food, as long as they can maintain this basic need, they can continue to populate the earth and will continue to do so. - Evon [October 1, 2009]
gwapa c aiko - junjun [September 10, 2009]
this is a very good article. the teenagers must read this article - nabiki onahi [September 9, 2009]
because of reproduction our population grow bigger and bigger. you must control your self - suzukia izumi [September 9, 2009]
these article is very useful to many people especially many youths - Maria Lorraina [September 9, 2009]
i liked this articl. i had to do a report for high school on overpopulation and this gave me some great info - PDS [September 1, 2009]
please controle...over population in india ... - sayed noorul ai [August 28, 2009]
can you gave answer the what will you do if it has a overpopulation... - jessa serrano [July 27, 2009]
provide more info - goutham [July 18, 2009]
when the population will continue to grow, certainly we will be facing more demands of foods and products. i think if that happens, there will be possibility that our necessities will also be facing extinction. - nica [June 30, 2009]
I choose to not have kids so I am doing my part to control overpopulation. - Pablo Diablo [June 19, 2009]
this is a great website - jerilyn myers [May 5, 2009]
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- Mr$. R3yN0ld$ [April 28, 2009]
i am in love with derrick soares's big monkey man nips - buut. M [April 20, 2009]
i think this website is really informational. - joie [April 15, 2009]
This article has one thing right. Overpopulation is the gravest difficulty we now face. As for the rest, it is completely contradictory and is merely referring to the the drastic increase in the RATE of growth for the total global population. Advances in medicine and standards of living in the last 150 years are the cause of sudden, MASSIVE population expansion. This does not allow for the fact that since the advent of totalitarian agriculture, some 12,000 years ago, and the accompanying culture in which almost all of us now are part of, population growth has increased steadily, unceasingly and exponentially, except for the years of the Black Plague, which caused a very slight and short lived dip in the growth curve. I am so tired of reading short sighted articles that deny the truth - the human population has been increasing for thousands of years, almost without stopping, and we need to find the cause of THAT and solve it, now, today. Lack of education? Come ON! Seriously? Do you really believe that the majority of people in the 1600's were better educated than us? How on Earth then, did they manage to keep their populations from growing as fast as it has in the last FORTY years, given that their level of education and access to family planning (er, that's ZERO access) were so much less developed than ours? Perhaps you will attempt to explain this away by trotting out the old standby, high death rates. But then, the populations of the poorest nations on the planet (I assume that's who you are referring to when you mention the 'ignorant, unable to understand, 'illiterate lot of the world') should be doing just fine, given that AIDS is ravaging these suffering nations like no other disease of our time? One final gripe that I simply must mention - this article also makes it sound as though we have somehow cured people of death! All we have succeeded in doing is improving longevity and creating aging populations - as wonderful as a long life is, it is not the cause of overpopulation. Overall a pathetic article; guaranteed to spread misinformation, confusion, xenophobia and apportion blame where none is necessary. - S Henderson [April 14, 2009]
This is a totally a really coolio website... Thank You for all this information... It got me an A+ on my project of Overpopulation... I am going to use this website when every i need too... YOU GUESS ROCK... Hope more people think this is a cool website... I am going to tell all of my friends about this website... so when every they need to do a big project they can use this website.

Thank You
- Victoria [February 23, 2009]
Coolio this is so awsome! - Karla [February 23, 2009]
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really good .exctly wat i had been looking for - anushka [February 17, 2009]
this is really great info! - Not Telling [January 27, 2009]
I never would have guessed that education had something to do with the overpopulation that was going on in this economy these days. - Britny [January 8, 2009]
A very good article. Overpopulation is defined in a great way!Thank you! - Valerie Lee [January 2, 2009]
A great article. Helped me answer my questions.Thank you. - Valerie [January 2, 2009]
i think that it ia a grate information to all young people who are growing up they need to know about they country an it population,its is a good information it tearches me a lot. - Monique Hamilto [September 11, 2008]
Over population: Exposing the Myth

Kenya population 37.9m
Japan population: 127.3m
UK population: 60.9m

Kenya total land: 569,250 sq km
Japan total land: 374,744 sq km
UK total land: 241,590 sq km

Kenya population density 59 people per square km
Japan population density: 339 people per square km
UK population density: 246 people per square km

With the highest population density Japans GDP is twice that of the UK and Kenya put together. If Japan’s population were to drop to that of Kenya could it maintain its economic strength? In which country are the people most likely to suffer from lack of the basic necessities of life and which have the highest standard of living? Which country has the highest and lowest literacy rating? Note also that while most of Japan is impenetrable mountain the UK and Kenya are to a larger extent undulating plains or fertile valleys.

Exposing the myth of overpopulation will challenge the most literate and educated among us. It will demand of you a more investigative and analytical mind which will not just accept and echo perceived notions but will ask questions of those who put forward these ideas. Who is putting it forward? What are their objectives? Who is it directed at and what are the outcomes? Which of my three nations has active policies to increase or decrease their population?
- Tambo Mkutengo [August 3, 2008]
The biggest disaster that humans face now,is the out of control human population,that will destroy the very fabric of the human civilization.The earth has its limits to what it can provide,and this population that reaps that demand from the earth has stepped over that line of an irriversible disaster that now no one can stop,due to the arrogance of the world system,that is driven by money.
Theirs only one answer to the saviour of our exsistence.To abolish the monatary system,and to replace it with a system,where the world will be united as one.The monartary system,segragates people.A system of unity will intergrate people that will be in harmony with the surroundings.
- Bob Giles [July 29, 2008]