Overpopulation And The Economical Effects Essay, Research Paper
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.
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 does hurt the economy because the Chinese currency is leaving the country, but there is very little coming back in.
(Clive Ponting. A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations. Pg. 123)
It can be predicted that the Chinese economy in the future will be in distress as the dependency load begins to shift. With the law of only having one child per family at the moment, and the population becoming older, there will be a problem with the work force, as the current generation begins to retire. The working people will be paying higher taxes, to support the retired people with their pensions, retirement homes, and so on. A great amount of the income one is bringing in, will be going towards paying to support elder relatives.
(Clive Ponting. A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations. Pg. 143)
A developed country, such as Canada, helps out the less developed countries, with the overpopulation problems. Money is raised and sent to these countries through Red Cross, Unicef, World Vision, and many more organizations. Money is easily acquired by the developed countries, because of mass communication. Commercials and documentary s show the developed countries, the condition the people live in, the malnutrition that children in the less developed countries suffer, the shacks, which they call home, and just the lack of resources they receive. When people in the developed countries see these things, there is the feeling of obligation and guilt. Guilt, because of the things that are taken for granted, such as food, good soil, water, and because here, everything and the majority of people seem to be so much better off.
Another problem that occurs in the developed countries because of overpopulation is immigration. Due to the horrible conditions, many of the less developed countries have, people immigrate to Canada to receive a better life. With immigration the taxes for the country influx. The taxes increase because there are now a greater population, that is unemployed, need schooling, and so on. It is not being assumed that immigrants come to Canada with the premonition of not working, but for the first few months, the immigrants do not have a job, and it may take awhile for them to settle in and find a job.
Also, with the increase in immigration, there is the loss of jobs for original citizens. This occurs for many reasons. These people are willing to work at a lower starting rate, there are sometimes very skilled in one area, they are consuming many of the jobs that are less acknowledged by the average worker, and so on. With the loss of jobs in the economy, it is making it harder for people to find a well-paying job, a job in a factory and even the average part-time job.
If a developed country was to reach the saturation point, unemployment will increase and be very high. There will also be food shortages, because of the high consumption rate, and the low agricultural rate. Homelessness will also become very rampant, the country would be completely chaotic.
The less developed country has not built the infrastructure to allow for a prosperous economy. They have to build the infrastructure before any economic gains can be made. If the amount of infrastructure is increased, there will be an increase in the saturation point.
The infrastructure can be improved by, increasing schooling; drawing foreign businesses or company s; and providing programs to increase the skills of the work force. The three things, alone will increase the knowledge, and the opportunity for having a job, and creating an income. Some other improvements that can be made to infrastructure are, new roads; airports and anything that will attract foreign investments to a country that has nothing.
The business s or company s that come into the country s could be company s that teach employees useful skills. The third world country s do not have that great of an effect on the global economy, unless there is a major incident, a war, or anything to that extent. The only thing that would really effect the world economy would be a developed country reaching its population saturation point.
Some up and coming technologies, like genetics, could also increase the saturation point. Genetics create a greater quantity and quality of food. Other technologies could increase education, employment, jobs, and so on. Last of all there will be the increasing need for skilled labor.
The less developed countries are home to people who are usually illiterate; uneducated; unaware of any type of family planning or contraceptives; unemployed, and the male is still very dominant and holds more power than the woman. This means that this country has an unskilled labor force, with very little income coming in and the overpopulation in the urban centers tends to be a very large problem. If the country was more developed, perhaps had a stronger infrastructure, and a skilled labor force, than country can probably have a higher population saturation point.
The developing countries have a very negative effect on the local economy. The country has not built the infrastructure to allow for a prosperous economy. In order for the country to have a positive effect on the local economy, it will have to build the infrastructure that is needed, for any economic gains to be made.
In conclusion, the world, if the growth rate remains at the pace it is, will become over-populated. The world population, will be double today s population in the year 2060. With the amount of people that are already residing and the problems that have been caused, it is hard to imagine what life will be like in only 60 years. Hopefully, the less developed countries will be given an education and gain knowledge in the problem and the world as a whole will be able to turn the problem around. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the less developed country s will be able to transfer to our way of thinking. With the beliefs and traditions, that many of these country s do have, the likeliness becomes more of an unreality.
At the end of this project, the world population had reached
6 027 116 296
Wednesday, November 24, 1999
Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. W.W. Norton, Los Angeles, 1994
Ehrlich, Anne and Paul. Healing the Planet. Simon and Schuster, New York, 1994
Ehrlich, Anne and Paul. The Population Explosion. Simon and Schuster, New York, 1996
Ehrlich, Anne and Paul. The Stork and the Plow. Gretchen Daily, Grosset/Putnam, 1998.
Hardin, Garrett. Living with Limits. Oxford University Press, New York, 1996
Ponting, Clive. A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations. Penguin, Toronto, 1994.
Seitz, John L. Global Issues, an Introduction. Blackwell, Toronto, 1997
Wackernagel, Matt and Rees, William. Our Ecological Footprint. New Societies Publishers, New York, 1995.
Weatherford, Givers. Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World. Fawcett Columbine, Denver, 1991.
*World Population # found at www.facingthefuture.org