What is Overpopulation, and Why Should We Take It Seriously?

Published on March 8th, 2023

What Is Overpopulation, And Why Should We Take It Seriously?

This past November, Earth’s population officially hit eight billion people. This monumental occasion was met with some modest media attention and a few reports from academic and activist organizations.

In general though, it came and went with the average person completely unaware of the significance of this event and its impact on the future of life on this planet. In this article we will break down the definition of overpopulation, why we should take this issue seriously, and what you can do to advocate for a more sustainable world population.

Overpopulation Defined

To put it simply, overpopulation is when the population of a species exceeds the natural resources that can sustain it. In nature, the overpopulation of a species leads to increased competition over resources. This inevitably leads to a mass die off and a population collapse. 

Often, a species overpopulates due to a change in the ecosystem. An example would be the extinction of a natural predator that kept populations in check, or the sudden elimination of a staple food resource.

Human beings are rather resourceful and have been remarkably adaptable and innovative. We have grown at a rapid level due to our ability to manipulate the environment around us. Despite this, the laws of nature still apply and we cannot let our hubris blind us to the realities of human overpopulation.

An Overpopulated World

Global population has been rapidly increasing for several decades. A report published in Newsweek last fall revealed that global human population has risen 300% since 1950, when global population was at 2.5 billion people. Global population is expected to continue to increase in the decades ahead. It will reach a peak around the 2080’s when the world hits 10.4 billion people.

Humanity has yet to see truly catastrophic events such as a mass die off due to human overpopulation. With that said, there’s still many problems occurring due to human overpopulation.

The most obvious example is the impact on our environment, which cannot be understated. Global warming is directly linked with the rise in human population. Fueling an ever growing population in an industrial society necessitates a constant need to produce and consume more natural resources.

This directly correlates with the increased output of CO2 into our atmosphere, which causes climate change. Climate change has resulted in dangerous weather phenomena like intense storms, floods, and wildfires all around the world.

It’s not just the environment though, as human overpopulation has a knock-on effect in relation to a number of other incredibly important issues. The extinction of plant and animal species, food scarcity, housing shortages, and global mass migration are just a few of the many problems aggravated by a world that’s grown beyond its sustainable capacity.

At its core, an overpopulated world means a reduction in the quality of life for all living beings on this planet. Its a chaotic world where both the natural and social ecosystems start to fall apart.

 What You Can Do

The key to mitigating the effects of human overpopulation is decelerating growth levels and switching to a more sustainable lifestyle and global economy. This might seem like a tall order, but there’s other simple things that every individual can do.

First, you can educate yourself on the issue at hand. Everyone from prominent world-renowned academics like David Attenborough, to religious leaders like the Dalai Lama, have spoken about this issue. You can also check out this useful infographic we created several years ago, which still contains relevant information about human overpopulation.

Second, you can advocate for the environment, reduced immigration, and other public policies at both the state and local level that mitigate the effects of human overpopulation. You can also call on your local, state, and federal officials to advocate on behalf of more sustainable policies.

Finally, you can support organizations like CAPS and other population control groups with a generous donation.

The Future

It’s not too late to mitigate the effects of human overpopulation. Sacrifices will have to be made by every single person on this planet.

As we blogged about this past fall in anticipation of hitting the eight billion person mark, it’s time to get serious about human overpopulation. The future of our world depends on how we tackle this existential issue. Hopefully, that’s something all eight billion of us can agree upon.

You are donating to :

How much would you like to donate?
$10 $20 $30
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note