Overpopulation: Population Growth and Birth Rate
Although most of us live a prosperous life with no worries, there are several issues that we are currently facing that will eventually be more and more clear as time goes on. One of these problems is most damaging, in my opinion, to our way of life if we do nothing about it. The issues I am speaking of is the problem of overpopulation. This is a developing crisis and it has plagued most of the world. An area is considered overpopulated if “its population can’t be maintained without rapidly depleting nonrenewable resources and without destroying the environment which supports the population.”(Brown,Gardner,Halweil, Beyond Malthus,19).
The problems that arise due to overpopulation could lead to a fatal epidemic that could wipe out the whole human race. So the question remains: Are we facing overpopulation here in the Middle East? And how do we tackle such problems? The answer to this question is a short simple “Yes” but the solution to this problem is much longer than a one word answer. As such, overpopulation is existent here in the Middle East and countries should identify, analyze and control it immediately.
Although I do believe we are facing the crisis of over population, one might ask what exactly can be defined as overpopulation. Through common sense, overpopulation occurs when the number of people living in a certain region, who depend on resources for survival, is significantly bigger than the amount of resources available to them. This as a result, can lead to people living poorer and unhealthier lives compared to others. Currently the world is increasing by 80 million people per year (Stefoff 16). “Population is determined by the interplay of two factors.
One is the birth rate, or the number of people being born, and the other is death rate, or the number who die. The difference between the two is called the rate of natural increase” (Stefoff 25). So let’s say the birth rate is 5 children per second, and the death rate is 2 deaths per second. The population in this case will increase by 3 per second. Overpopulation occurs when this number grows rapidly. I would like to introduce the Malthusian theories, which explains why overpopulation occurs (Stetoff 34).
Basically the theory explains that since population increases geometrically (1-2-4-8-16) and while resources can only grow arithmetically (1-2-3-4-5), overpopulation will occur. As such, any country with a geometric increase in population will eventually face this problem and that country should take drastic measures to solve this problem of overpopulation. Egypt, as example, is facing the problem of overpopulation. According to recent statistics the population of Egypt right now is 81 million, while in 1951 the population was 20 million (Mountjoy 121).
That means the population more than quadrupled over a period of just sixty 60 years. Clearly such drastic increases can’t go unseen and since it clearly shows a exponential growth one can expect the population of Egypt to increase by a larger factor in the upcoming year. Given that the country is 97% desert (Mountjoy 121), one can assume that expansion of agriculture is strictly limited. With this course of overpopulation, the country’s agricultural expanding won’t be able to catch up with such an increase of population.
The reason behind this overpopulation is not only due to lack of government enforcement on child policies, but in my opinion, also due to the Egyptian mentality that having more children will result in God rewarding them. I have come to learn this through friends who claim that the average Egyptian will have an average of 6 children. As result of this, Egypt should take steps towards resolving this overpopulation crisis as soon as possible or prepare to face such consequences. Since we can acknowledge the existence of overpopulation now, we must therefore find solutions to this problem.
At this rate, the population of earth will reach 9 billion by 2050 which is a 15% increase from the current population. If we let this problem go untouched, we will reach a point where solving overpopulation will technically be impossible. As such, tackling this problem as soon as possible, will make these solutions easier to implement. Although one such way to avoid overpopulation is do what China did: implement a one-child policy, in which the family can’t have more than one child (Engelman). Although this solution will work, this path must not be taken because it deprives a human of their rights and a solution like this isn’t practical.
One technique Robert Engelman suggested was “elevating woman’s status and increasing access to contraceptive services, so that essentially all births result from intended pregnancies”. Only 4 out of 5 pregnancies are intended (Engelman) and if a global movement was enforced to eliminate all unwanted pregnancies, any overpopulated country will see an immediate fall in population growth and within a few decade the population growth will subsequently decline. This increase of accessibility to contraceptive measures will definitely help Egypt battle their overpopulation problem.
This comes back to the question: Are we facing the problem of overpopulation in the Middle East, and I assure you, yes we are. This research paper was dedicatedly made to give awareness of the rising problem of overpopulation, especially in the Middle East. Overpopulation occurs when a country’s population is much more than their provided resources, causing resources to be depleted much faster and the inability of the country to sustain it’s population. Through research, it was concluded that Egypt is one example of a Middle Eastern country facing overpopulation at a very high rate.
Therefore, a country cannot look past this overpopulation problem and must prioritize their efforts towards finding solutions to tackle this problem. Although a bunch of solutions exist, some of them should not be approached as they contradict with human rights and human freedom. One suggested solution to this problem is to elevate woman’s status and increase their accessibility to contraceptive measures in order to avoid any unwanted pregnancies. I can conclude that the existence of overpopulation is imminent, but every problem has a solution, and countries should tackle this problem without second thought.