Today the Earth is home to more than 7.8 billion people. For now, the world’s population is still increasing in huge annual increments (about 80 million per year), and our supply of vital non-renewable resources are being exhausted.
There are many authors who write on population and its effect on the environment. One of the popular author’s book – OVERPOPULATION… THE MESSAGE BY YAN VANA changes the way you look at humanity’s role on our planet. At once thought-provoking, then progressively disturbing, this novel weaves a clever and deceptively subtle tale that questions many of our preconceived beliefs.
Many factors contribute to these unsustainable trends, including falling mortality rates, underutilized contraception, and a lack of education for girls. Let’s understand in a broader sense:
- Falling Mortality Rate
The primary (and perhaps most obvious) cause of population growth is an imbalance between births and deaths. At the same time, lifespans are increasing around the world. Those of us who are alive today will likely live much longer than most of our ancestors. Falling mortality rates are certainly nothing to complain about either, but widespread longevity does contribute to the mathematics of increasing population numbers.
- Underutilized Contraception
The global fertility rate has fallen steadily over the years, down from an average of 5 children per woman in 1950 to 2.4 children per woman today. These women aren’t using contraceptives for a variety of reasons, including social norms or religious beliefs that discourage birth control, misconceptions about adverse side effects, and a lack of agency for women to make decisions around family planning. Getting more women the access and agency to utilize family planning methods could go a long way in flattening the population curve.
- Lack Of Female Education
Although female access to education has increased over the years, the gender gap remains. Increasing and encouraging education among women and girls can have a number of positive ripple effects, including delayed childbearing, healthier children, and an increase in workforce participation. Plenty of evidence suggests a negative correlation between female education and fertility rates.
If increased female education can delay or decrease fertility and provide girls with opportunities beyond an early marriage, it could also help to mitigate current population trends.