Current events · Global Affairs · Global Education · Global People

What in the World Wednesday: Overpopulation

Welcome to our very first “What in the World Wednesday!” What is it, you ask? Well, on Wednesdays we pick a current global issue and find sources representing differing views. We believe it’s important to know what is going on in our world, so this is mainly just to increase awareness of some of the problems we face – and we’d love to hear what you think!

Crowd in Turkey
Istanbul, photo by Jules Clement

Global Issue: Overpopulation

In 1950, the world population was around 2.5 billion. Since then, that number has tripled, reaching the current world population of over 7.5 billion. By the year 2050, the population is estimated to be anywhere between 9 and 11 billionIt’s undoubtedly a fact that the world population is growing, but is it an immediate crisis?

Cold, hard facts: What do we know to be true about our population? Here’s some key points to remember when considering this issue:


  • China and India are the most populated countries.
  • Africa is the fastest growing continent.
  • A few countries (mostly in Europe) are actually expected to shrink in population.
  • There are many factors that influence overpopulation including: fertility rates, increased life expectancy, and international migration.

Some people say… Yes, of course overpopulation is a key issue! Read this detailed explanation of why human overpopulation is an immediate problem:

Tl;dr: Human overpopulation could possibly induce harmful effects such as: loss of fresh water, species extinction, lower life expectancy, natural resource depletion, less freedom & stricter regulations, habitat loss, etc. These effects are harmful and potentially dangerous.

Others say… The more the merrier! Check out the reasoning behind this idea:

Tl;dr: Opportunity is the focus here- if the world has more people, there is more opportunity for great minds, great artists, scientific and technological advances, and more specialized work. These are things everyone can benefit from.

So, what do you think? Is overpopulation something that needs our immediate attention? Or will a greater population reap greater potential?

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