Population Growth and Why It’s Frightening

Today there are an estimated 7 billion people alive on Earth. One person is born every 8 seconds and one person dies every 13 seconds. The United States has a population of about 319,053,429; far behind the bigger countries in the world like China, who has a population of 1,355,692,576. With numbers as large as these, it can be even more startling to think about how much the population is continuing to grow.

Scientists estimate that by the year 2100, the population will have risen to somewhere near 12 billion. If the sheer number of people in existence is not enough to frighten someone, the number of negative impacts the population growth will have on our world is sure to horrify. To begin, the impacts on the environment are staggering. 783 million people do not have access to clean drinking water and 870 million people were undernourished in 2012. We as a society struggle to maintain the health and well being of our current population, let alone 5 billion more people.

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Third world countries suffer the most, with a lack of industrialization and resources creating issues with their supplies of food and water, as well as damaging their economies. Another by-product of a large population is waste. Even in developed nations, there is struggle to get rid of the garbage and waste that humans create in a way without harming humans or poisoning the environment. Somewhere around 2.5 billion people do not have access to proper sanitation, which leads to poor health and overall lower quality of life.

Political and social unrest can also be linked to population growth. Half of the population of less developed countries is under the age of 20 years old and even in prosperous places, the economies of the countries are unable to keep up and offer employment opportunities. Competition for the few jobs that remain lead to low wages and the high number of unemployed leads to crime and violence. People cannot afford to buy things and the gap between the rich and the poor rises even further, causing anger and disputes. The more people alive, the less resources there are available for each person.

In a world where people already go without food and water, only time will tell how our society reacts and whether or not we will recover from the horror of a growing population.