If you’ve seen a Western cowboy film, you’d hear the saying, “This town ain’t big enough for the two of us.” But is the Earth big enough for all of us? These alarming overpopulation facts will show how life is for the marginalized, as well as other interesting facts on the Earth’s human and animal population.
- Overpopulation in humans is also known as a population overshoot.
- A census is the procedure of systematically gathering and recording data about the members of a given population.
- A country is overpopulated when it cannot provide for its population and consumes more resources than it is producing.
- Around 8000 BCE, at the beginning of agriculture, the human population of the world was approximately 5 million.
- The population steadily increased through the next millennia.
- Rapid growth in population began in 1000 BCE.
- About 36% of the world lived in extreme poverty in 1990.
- As of 2010, 77 out of over 130 countries were said to be overpopulated.
- Around 17% of the world is uneducated.
- In animals, invasive species are foreign species that overpopulate in an environment that they end up harming.
- Many scientists believe that the Earth has a maximum capacity of 9 billion to 10 billion people.
- Uganda had the biggest population growth in 2019 at a 3.6% increase.
- There are an estimated 78.3 million Americans who were born in the post-war baby boom.
- A ban on abortion and contraception caused a baby boom in Romania.
- China’s Han Dynasty has the oldest surviving census data – recording a population of 57.7 million people in 12.4 million households.
The first ever census wasn’t for measuring human population.
The Babylonian Empire conducted the first known census in 3800 BCE. However, it was only for counting livestock and reserves of butter, honey, wool, milk, and vegetables.
Life span contributes to overpopulation.
Women in Japan have an average life expectancy of 86.8 years. In the United States, the average is 79 years for women and 74 years for men. All in all, a 35-year increase has been observed over 100 years. More people living longer adds bulk to the population.
The world ratio for sex is 101 males to 100 females.
However, between 0.1% and 1.7% of live births are intersex.
It took 12 years for a billion people to be born.
The world population reached a billion between 1999 and 2011. One of the saddest overpopulation facts is that developing countries had experienced the most growth, yet still have the fewest resources to support it.
There were over 125 million births in 2014.
With the same fertility rate, another 625 million people will be born by the time those babies go to school.
Japan has an aging population.
Prior to its reputation as an aging country, Japan actually had a post-war baby boom in 1947-1949. However, access to birth control as well as low fertility rates caused the population to slowly decline. As of 2012, the elderly people in Japan (65 or older) totaled 35.57 million, which was 28.1% of the Japanese population. Today, the elderly population is still at a record-high of 28.4%.
Qatar has the wealthiest population.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, Qatar has the wealthiest overall population. This is based on per capita income, or the total of how much each individual earns.
1 out of 7 people do not have sufficient food.
Around 795 million people in the world don’t have enough food to live a healthy life. Additionally, the vast majority of the world’s hungry people are from developing countries, wherein 12.9% of the population is undernourished.
1 in 3 people don’t have access to clean water
An estimated 790 million people (11% of the world’s population) don’t have access to a clean water supply. Similarly, around 1.8 billion people (25% of the world’s population) don’t have access to adequate sanitation. This makes this part of the population vulnerable to diseases and illnesses that are extremely debilitating and could be easily avoided if provided with the right resources.
Poverty has decreased significantly over the years.
In 2015, 10% of the world’s population lived on less than US$1.90 a day.
Compared to 11% in 2013, it decreased gradually. However, compared to 36% in 1990, one can see the significant decrease.
Environment, education, and livelihood greatly impact a person’s socioeconomic status.
A majority of the world population in poverty live in rural areas, are poorly educated, work for the agricultural sector, and are under 18 years old.
Since 2007, more people have lived in urban areas than rural areas.
The UN predicts that 66% of the global population will be living in cities by 2050.
In India, monkeys are an invasive species.
Orange or gray monkeys have become one of the most dreaded pests in India, biting 1,000 people a day nationwide and overrunning city streets. This is largely due to overpopulation of the monkeys in concentrated areas. As such, the Indian government are looking to birth control as a possible solution.
Similarly, the Bahamas is facing a lionfish invasion.
When an aquarium tank was smashed by the 1992 Hurricane Andrew in Florida, lionfish were released into local waters. Originally from the Indian and the Pacific Ocean, these lionfish made their way into Caribbean waters. By 2007, lionfish became so overpopulated that they were causing a decline in local fish.
In fact, studies showed that lionfish can actually kill ¾ of a reef’s population in five weeks. Currently, marine experts are gradually trying to extract these lionfish from their local waters – in hopes to save the ecosystem and the local fishing and research industries.
Kangaroos are actually pests in Australia.
Kangaroos have come a long way from being Australia’s icon. They say you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain, and this seems to be the case with these athletic marsupials.
According to Australia’s insurance industry, kangaroos are involved in over 80% of the 20,000-plus vehicle-animal collisions reported every year. Their overpopulation also caused them to break into homes and damage local property.
As an effort to curb the kangaroo population, Australia started commercializing kangaroo meat and hide. In the last 10 years, Australia has culled 31.5 million kangaroos.
Andorra had the biggest population decrease of all time.
This small, mountainous country between France and Spain only had a population of 77,821 people to begin with. Between 2010-2015, the United Nations reported that Andorra had the biggest population decline in the world at -3.61%. However, the country’s life expectancy is among the world’s longest. The population only decreases due to low fertility rates.
Population growth increases energy consumption.
For instance, there was a 41.7% increase in the nation’s population between 1974 and 2007 (210,839,000 to 301,621,000), according to a Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) report. During this time, energy consumption increased 37.1%. This led to a rise in fuel spills and greenhouse gases.
The United Nations thinks humanity will stop at its highest population of 16.5 billion.
According to the U.N., the global population will plateau when it reaches 11 billion at the end of the 21st century. Alternatively, a greater decline in fertility could trigger a population decline to 7 billion. Finally, less of a fertility decline can make the global population peak at 16.5 billion.
In the 20th century, the U.S. population tripled.
However, this fast population growth came with a 17-fold increase in raw material consumption. Every twenty minutes, the number of people in the country continues to grow by 3,000 people.
At the current rate, the population of the United States will double in 100 years.
At 329.45 million people, it only means this economic giant will have more human resources to expect. However, it would also increase raw materials and energy consumption.