Population Growth and Standard of Living
Recently, the human population on this planet surpassed an amazing milestone. In the year 2000 it hit 6 billion, and without a sign of slowing down, continue to increase at an unprecedented pace. After taking nearly 3 million years to reach our first 1 billion, it has taken us only 11 years to raise our population the most recent billion (from 5 to 6). This rate of growth can be graphically interpreted as a J-shape pattern. If the past is any indication of the future, this means that while our rate of growth is high right now (a net increase of almost 87 million annually), it will continue increase to no end.
Population Growth is the Result of a Balance Between Biotic Potential and Environmental Resistance
Population growth may be defined as the increase in the number of individuals in a population. In general a population will tend to increase in number when the available resources are greater than that required by the members of the population present at that particular time. As long as resources are available, every population has the tendency to grow exponentially.
The term biotic potential refers to the highest rate of reproduction possible for a population under ideal conditions, (conditions where birth rate reaches its theoretical maximum).
Population growth affects the earth just as much as it does the people. With the population continuously growing at an alarming rate, earth can’t keep up with the resources needed to survive. Eventually we will run out of oil, land to build houses, and air. The reasoning behind running out of air is if the world is covered in houses, there is no room for trees – which supplies our oxygen. The factors effecting population growth are: fertility rates, life expectancy, migration, and death rates. More and more people are migrating to North America because of the high life expectancy, average fertility rates, low mortality rates, and of course, job opportunity. Even though population growth isn’t as high as it used to be, overpopulation can still
Birth rate is the overall number of births occurring per every 1,000 people in a year. It is often a times referred to as crude birth rate and is gives an impression of the ratio of total births to the total population in a certain region over a one year period. It is calculated by through ways such as; getting live births statistics from a universal system of births registration, statistics of deaths, and population size from census, marriages and also estimation by means of specialized techniques- estimation techniques. Death rate on the other hand is the number of deaths per a 1,000 subset of a population- also called fatality rate or mortality rate or crude mortality rate; when it gives a general overview of the deaths across the whole population without narrowing down to causes the same or the age brackets or life stages of the victims. Crude death and birth rates are used to calculate the size of populations. Lastly, fertility rate is the total number of children that a woman may give birth to over her lifetime. This however is premised upon the assumption that the woman survives through to end of her reproductive life and that she bears the children in tandem with the schedule of age-specific rates of fertility.
1. Demography is a discipline in Ecology that deals with population measures such as, age, size and overall structure are critical to demographic work. Demography is used to help understand a populations growth pattern, although not all individuals are the same age and size or have the same survival and birth rates. Demography allows for greater depth and detail of a populations structure to be characterized and analyzed.
Population growth is a common element seen in the history of the 19th and 20th centuries. Increasing population is followed by the shrinkage of resources and space that later impact the political and social history of the region. Political impact is characterized by the introduction of new policies and regulation, while social impact ranges anywhere between changes in class structure and values. 19th century Europe with Britain at its focus is one of the three regions that exemplify this idea. The two other regions that also experience the effects of rapid population growth are the United States and India in the 20th century.
Demographic transition is the transformation from high birth rates and high death rates to low birth rates and low death rates as a country industrializes. The demographic transition occurs in phases. First, there is a high birth rate and a high death rate. There are very few elders, and there is a high infant mortality rate. Secondly, the population transitions into a lower death rate due to better health conditions. During this second phase, the birth rate remains the same because people have not culturally adjusted to limiting their children. Eventually, people start limiting the number of children, and the birth rate goes down. The result of the demographic transition is a population with higher life expectancies.
The growing concerns of population are not limited to environmental degradation such as losses of biodiversity, soil depletion, and toxic rivers and oceans. It goes further through the risks it imposes of “epidemics, resource war, terrorism, and deaths from violent climatic events” (Ehrlich and Ehrlich 2012). Malthus argued that, people growth respond to wage or income that correlate negatively with the size of population (Lee 2011). On the other hand, climate change correlates positively with increase population. The pollutants such as greenhouse gas emissions from industry, transportation, agricultural activities, deforestation, and desertification are all associated with massive population growth. Thus, overpopulation is major contributor to environmental deterioration (Ehrlich and Ehrlich 2012). Further implication to overpopulation harm humans themselves, each individual added to population will consume food, water, and energy. The pressure from population will require more energy to secure their needs (Ehrlich and Ehrlich 2012). This will result in inequity between people through the scarcity of resources that lead to hunger and poverty. The degradation in human life causes diseases transferring from animals and cause lethal epidemics (Ehrlich and Ehrlich 2012). It’s agreed that, economy, social, and political factors are overlap in term of population growth. To supply the demand of growing population, the agricultural production must be increased “70-100 % by 2050”. This increase will be associated with increasing energy consumption and demands on the free market based economy. Agriculture requires more fossil fuel and lands for farming. Some rich countries such as “China, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa” purchase lands in ...
The first consequences for the overpopulation is the over consumption of the global resources and this includes the Earth’s fresh water, fossil fuels, food, arable land, energy, and frontier forests. According to Norwich University (n.d.), by 2050 and 2030, the world will experience water, food, and energy supplies, which means 66% of the global population will live with a lack of water so they need more water, more food, and more energy (p. 2). The deficiency of resources will lead to competitions between countries for natural sources, which is a reason for having wars. Another effect by overpopulation is that expensive life which leads to poverty and unemployment people. As Norwich University (n.d.) noted, “If the threats of overpopulation are not solved 3 billion people will be living in poverty” (p.
2. Infant mortality rate: the number of death of an infant in a year per 1,000 live birth in the same year.