What is overpopulation?
Overpopulation means a noticeably high density of human population in an area. It occurs due to a remarkable increase in human population size over a relatively short period of time, which is called population explosion. Overpopulation is a burning problem all over the world particularly in the developing and underdeveloped countries. We are here going to discuss about the important causes of overpopulation.
Causes of overpopulation
Overpopulation is fundamentally due to a higher rate of birth than that of death. Although currently the rates of both birth and death are declining, the decrease in birth rate is much less in comparison to the decrease of death rate. As an effect of this, the human population is growing day by day. Moreover, application of science and technology, medicine, to increase the availability of life supporting resources has increased the carrying capacity of earth, which in turn favors population growth. The various causes of increase in human population are in brief is below.
i) Low death rate.
ii) High birth rate.
iii) Increased availability of resources
Low death rate as one of the causes of overpopulation
In the past, growth of human population was controlled due to a high death rate, particularly infant and child mortality. With the development of civilization and knowledge of science, death rate has been checked due to the following two reasons:
Protection from nature
Man has developed ways to protect himself from nature e.g., predators (wild animals), natural calamities and unfavorable effects of extreme climatic conditions such as heat, cold etc.This is one of the causes of overpopulation.
Protection from severe diseases
Different diseases like small pox, cholera, malaria, tuberculosis, plague etc., which were earlier not easily curable and were responsible for large number of deaths, have now been brought under control by discovery of newer medicines, antibiotics and vaccines. Many epidemic and endemic diseases have been eradicated. Immunization programs have checked child mortality.
High birth rate as one of the causes of overpopulation
High birth rate is due to the following socio-economic reasons:—
Universality of marriage
As a common rule of human life, everyone gets married and participates in reproduction of child.
In general woman's reproductive age is roughly from 15 to 45 years. Naturally, early marriages increase the probability of more births. So it is one of the cause of high birth rate.
Many people believe that children are gift of god and their birth should not be restricted. Moreover, most of the couples desire to have at least one son because a son is thought to be an asset for security of the parents in future. So, those having one or more daughter(s) try again to get a son. So it is also the burning problem which leads to overpopulation.
Lack of education and Low standard of living
Birth rates are generally high where standards of living and education are low such as in developing countries and rural areas. This is because large numbers of hands are needed for performing low technology everyday jobs; so poor and uneducated people do not have habits of family planning. With the advancement of a country, as the technology improves and requirement of working hands is reduced, parents realize that having more children lowers the standard of living; this realization decreases birth rate. But where the family members are uneducated and economically backward the advancement of technology is out of their touch.
Increased availability of resources as one of the causes of overpopulation
Improvement in agriculture i.e., use of fertilizers and insecticides and production of high-yield crops, fishery, dairy, poultry farming etc., and also development of way of transportation and techniques for storing food; all these facilities have supported an increase in human population.
Migration as one of the causes of overpopulation
In developing countries, the urban population has increased dramatically in few years. It is mainly due to migration of large number of people from villages to urban areas because of employment opportunities, desirability of better living standards and availability of social services like education, health, transport, entertainment etc. Immigration from neighboring countries such as entry of refugees is also an important cause of overpopulation. So, migration is considered as one of the vital causes of overpopulation.