Humans are populating the planet like never before. With more than 7 billion people living on this world and no decrease in sight, the resources that are available will become ever more scarce. That’s why knowing the statistics on human overpopulation is so important right now.
Between 1999-2013, the world’s population increased by a net amount of 1 billion people.
In the lat 60 years, in fact, the world’s population has grown by over 4.5 billion people. By the time the year 2050 rolls around, there could be as many as 10 billion people living and working on the planet. That’s 10 billion mouths to feed. 10 billion people who need water to drink. By addressing these issues now, we’ll be ready to address the issues that many will face in their lifetime.
- The world’s human population has a net gain of one person every 13 seconds.
- There is one birth occurring every 8 seconds on the planet, while there is one death happening every 12 seconds.
- Only 57.4% of women aged 15-49 who are married or in a union are using modern contraception.
- 31%. That’s the percentage of people who are using contraceptives in the least developed of the world’s countries.
- The population of Africa is expected to more than double by mid-century, increasing from today’s 1.1 billion and potentially reaching 4.2 billion by 2100.
- In the country of Niger, the average women through her reproductive age will have an average of 8 children.
- 80 million unintended pregnancies occur every year in developing countries.
- The percentage of live births that occur from unintended pregnancies: 20%.
The reason why the human population is growing so fast is two-fold: more humans means more potential births and less contraceptive use means more unintended pregnancies. We don’t need to encourage women to have abortions or abstinence in order to reduce birthing rates so that they approach a more normal number. We need to encourage the use of contraceptives so that safer sexual practices can be implemented everywhere. It isn’t just a developing country problem. 1 in 3 teens in the United States doesn’t know how to use or have access to reliable contraceptives either.
How Would Human Populations Benefits From Contraception?
- 118,000 maternal deaths would be averted by current modern contraceptive use, including the estimated 79,000 women die because of an unintended pregnancy.
- Modern contraceptive use would avert up to 54 million unintended pregnancies.
- Expanded contraceptive use would avert a potential of 26 million abortions annually.
- There are an estimated 222 million women in developing countries with an unmet need for modern contraception, but want to have it.
- Without expanded contraception, the worldwide human population expands by 1.5 million people per week, which is about the size of the city of Phoenix.
- The FAO estimates that by 2020, 135 million people may lose their land as a result of soil degradation.
- The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, however, estimates the Earth has the capacity to grow food for some 33 billion people.
Is there too much life on Earth right now? With 218,000 new mouths to feed every day, it’s easy to see how this could be possible. There’s also the fact that the world is currently producing up to 17% more calories in food products than needed right now. If the total food resources are calculated against the current population base, the average person is able to consume 2,000 calories per day without issue. Right now, the problem with human overpopulation isn’t one of provision. It’s one of politics. People are already hording resources and not distributing them to the world’s hungry. Up to 1 in 5 kids in the United States doesn’t get enough to eat every week and the US is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Contraception is certainly a factor, but so is the food distribution network that we currently have.
Are We Causing Our Own Destruction?
- The number of people who do not have access to safe drinking water right now: 1 billion.
- Hundreds of thousands of people died in 2010-2011 because they lived on floodplains in Pakistan or by the tsunami-prone coasts of Japan, which are regions that were barely populated just 30 years ago.
- Urban sprawl destroys 2.2 million acres of usable land every year in the United States.
- The average American spends over 2,000 hours per year stuck in traffic, wasting fossil fuels and contributing exhaust to the global warming cycle while doing so.
- The lifestyle of the average American and European requires a total land footprint that is up to 20 acres per person.
Is it already too late? Have we already set a course for our own destruction? Some scientists estimate that the world can only support a maximum of 5 billion people. By 2050, that would mean that people would only be able to consume half of what they really need. Wealthier, more developed nations would have the most access to supplies and always take the first pick, meaning that the least developed nations would be left to fight wars over what was left. Instead of facing a potential extinction of our race, what we need to be is more responsible. As life spans increase and medical care continues to improve, the population numbers are just going to expand even more. Improvements in agricultural technologies will improve yields, but will it be enough? Right now we’re hoarding our land. If we were to use out arable lands for the greater good of mankind, overpopulation might still need to be a conversation to have one day, but far into the future.
The original source of this infographic is located at norwich.edu.