Negative Effect of Overpopulation.

1365 Words Dec 4th, 2011 6 Pages
Some observers attribute nearly all of the world 's maladies to excessive population growth. They claim that rapid population growth has at least three adverse effects on human well-being. First, it increases poverty--the number of people that are impoverished, the proportion of the community that is impoverished, and the severity of the impoverishment. Second, it increases environmental degradation--the misuse of natural resources--with adverse consequences on many dimensions of human well-being. Finally, it prevents environmental enhancement by holding back the savings and investment that would permit environmentally sustainable economic growth and retards the agricultural productivity that would
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This view is developed in models of economic growth such as the acclaimed Solow (1956) growth model. Of course, proponents of this view recognize that technological advances can accommodate population growth, but neo-Malthusians argue that the accommodation is more the exception than the rule.
It also merits noting that neo-Malthusians view poverty as more than income deprivation. Rapid population growth strains the fixed capacities for basic human services�??education, health, and nutrition. Fixed levels of basic infrastructure essential for survival and longevity are spread over greater numbers of people and hence the per capita delivery of services is reduced. In short, nonpecuniary measures of poverty also increase (Ahlburg 1994).
Some observers claim that resources are harvested at excessive rates due to population pressure. Their contention is that timber is harvested too soon in order to supply products such as wood for housing construction. This depletes forests and causes additional environmental problems. More generally, the impoverishing effects of population growth make the populace excessively dependent on natural resource-based activities such as timber production.
Deforestation can cause soil erosion, watershed instability, and loss of carbon sequestration. It can also reduce agricultural productivity. Moreover, the poor, it is said, bear a
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