One of the main reasons as for why certain parts of the world face famine situation periodically can be attributed to population growth. Let’s put it in perspective, shall we? Recently, scientists at the UN and UNESCO calculated that the global population had stood at one billion people (approx) two hundred years ago and today, it currently stands at 7 billion people based on the census data provided by member countries. That’s a jump by a factor of 7 and at the current rate, it is estimated that the world population would double in a matter of 40 to 50 years. As it stands, our resources are finite and unchecked global population would soon push us all to the edge. Check below to review some of the positive and negative effects of population growth.
Positive impact of population growth:
- Manpower: One of the benefits of a surging population growth means that the country can conscript more people into its armed forces and should be in a better position to protect itself. On the other hand, the nation can put the extra manpower to good use, from using them to develop and build infrastructure to ensuring that they all pay tax on time, thereby ensuring that they get more in terms of tax receipts.
- Labor market: with more skilled manpower being available, there should be no shortage of essential manpower across various industries. More to the point, the government would be able to utilize this ready-made manpower across various industry verticals. With cheap labor being available, companies should be able to save big by hiring the same.
- Large market: Companies would be more keen to invest in a market with a large population; a large enough population means a brand new market and what’s more, most of the funds that these companies invest are often used for local infra projects
Negative impact of population growth:
- Essential supplies: With the population set to increase further over the next few years and even double in 50 years, it is expected that several nations would face widespread famine. Furthermore, the current supply would come under additional pressure as demand outstrips the supply. This is going to lead to chaos, riots and even an acute shortage of essential food supplies.
- Resources: Ever since the earth came into being, our resources have been limited. We do not have infinite resources and even the supply of fish in the oceanfront are falling drastically given how most fishing companies use trawlers and fish large amounts of the same without a thought to how to replenish the ocean. And at the current rate of growth, it is but a matter of time before we run out of resources.
- Living conditions: with real estate selling at a premium today, prime real estate properties are hard to come by. Most of the prime real estate has already been snapped up by others and with the population set to increase further, this too will become next to impossible. In simple terms, real estate prices will shoot up as a result of overpopulation. Soon people will be forced to live in extremely unsanitary conditions and some already do anyway. So you can expect more health outbreaks, poor nutrition and extremely bad living conditions.
- Poverty: As a result of overpopulation, there are going to be more homeless and unemployed people than before. This is going to result in more citizens being affected by poverty and no longer having access to even the most basic of facilities such as clean drinking water.
- Water shortage: As mentioned earlier, our resources are limited and that includes water. As it is already scarce in many parts of the world, you can expect even wars to break out over access to clean drinking water. Water wars may well happen, given the current rate of population growth.
These are some of the positive and negative impacts of population growth; this is exactly why governments must re-educate their people and provide them with basic facilities as well as help them understand why it is important to regulate population growth, in both the near term and long term as well.