What is overpopulation? It is generally considered to be a planetary condition where the number of humans exceeds the carrying capacity Earth happens to have. As people live longer and lead safer lives, then population numbers will only continue to grow.
Or will they? Data from the World Health Organization suggests that when families are living with adequate resources, including health care, then they have fewer children. In the United States, the average family size as of 2014 was 3.13 people. In comparison, the average family size in Nambia, one of the poorest in the world, is 4.5 people.
That means the most effective solution to overpopulation would be to eliminate hunger and poverty. Then we could implement these additional solutions as well.
1. Alter our resource distribution systems.
Oxfam Canada reports that the Earth is producing 17% more food annually than is required by the current existing population. This means there is a lot of waste within the current distribution systems. If we can alter these systems, upgrade them, and eliminate the waste, then we can reduce the effects of overpopulation on the planet.
2. Eliminate propaganda from sex education.
Many sex education programs have religious or spiritual political agendas to them. Instead of focusing on this form of propaganda, having programs that offer students a meaningful sex education can reduce unintended pregnancies. This would also lessen the issue of overpopulation over time.
3. Offer subsidies on family planning products.
By educating people about healthy sexual habits and then offering subsidies on family planning products, even those in poverty can manage their family size more effectively. Offering incentives to keep families at lower numbers may also help to encourage the use of family planning products.
4. Improve child-related healthcare access.
Many families have multiple children simply because they’re unsure that all of their kids are going to survive. By improving healthcare access to families, there would be more confidence that all children would survive and this could lead to a lower birth rate.
5. Encourage adoption.
There are hundreds of thousands of children right now who are waiting for a loving home. Promoting adoption as an alternative can still create loving families without the need to add more lives into the equation.
Overpopulation could be a very real problem that we face in the future. Most estimates place the planetary load at 4-16 billion people, so we could be at the brink of failure right now. By implementing solutions like these, we can keep our families and our planet healthy.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.