World Population Essay, Research Paper
World population, or overpopulation, is becoming an increasingly important issue. With the number of people steadily increasing, and the availability of natural resources decreasing, we are in the wake of a population explosion. What is the capacity of the earth, and how long until we reach it?
The increase in human population can be defined by a logarithmic function. However, we must consider both the birth rate and death rate. Currently, there are 4.2 people born each second, while only 1.7 die. This amounts to an increase of 2.5 per second. The latest UN report, covering the years 1990 to 1995, shows an annual increase of 1.48% per year, down from the formally predicted 1.57%. However, this still means that the population of the earth will double in 48.6 years, or by the year 2046. The report also showed that the number of children born to each woman had dropped to 2.96 from the 3.1 projected in the last report.
A main issue concerning the population of the world is family planning. Governments encourage small families by offering financial assistance to those couples who have only one or two children, and by offering various forms of birth control. However, less than half of the women in the world have access to contraceptive devices. The United States government is currently funding many hospitals and clinics in the developing countries that specialize in birth control. However, the people of these countries are forced into procedures they do not want. Many women are not told that Tubal Ligation is a permanent procedure, and now wander from hospital to hospital, looking for a reversal operation. But none exists. Others are given pills, without being told of possible side effects. Malaria remains a leading cause of death in these countries, yet the new hospitals and clinics there are unable to help the people. Instead of having useful medications and surgical facilities, they are stockpiled with contraceptives.
The money used to fund these birth control methods would be better used in educating people about basic hygiene, proper diet, and better farming methods. Often, the reason for having many children is the increasingly high rate of infant mortality. If you increase the standard of living, and educate people, they will be better able to see the benefits of having small families.
We have to realize that the values and systems of the Industrialized World do not necessarily apply to the rest of the world. Twenty percent of the population of the world controls seventy-five percent of the world’s wealth; three percent of the population dies each year due to lack of food. The numbers do not add up. I think the earth is able to support an increasing population. But not until we stop denying others of the basic necessities of fresh, clean water, food, and education.