Rabail Khan, Munaza Bibi and Faryal Zaheer
Overpopulation refers to the exceeding of certain threshold limits of population density when the environmental resources fail to meet the requirements of individual organism . In human biology, the total number of people living in a given area (such as a country or the entire world) is constantly changing due to both increases and decreases in deaths and migrations. The terms “overpopulation” and “population explosion” are used to describe the idea of a growing population with dwindling resources.
Pakistan’s total population is 177.1 million, up from 173.5 million the previous year, according to the Pakistan Economic Survey 2010-11. Pakistan ranks sixth among the world’s most populous countries, with a population growth rate of 2.1 percent. Now let’s discuss the main causes of overpopulation in Pakistan.
Overpopulation is one of the most critical problems humanity is facing today. We call our planet “the Mother Earth” but overpopulation is ruining the treasure of Mother Earth. The earth has to suffer from the adverse effects of overpopulation. Even the future of the planet is at risk due to the tremendous effects of overpopulation.
Causes of Overpopulation
Lack of Education
Lack of education and poverty are major causes of human overpopulation. Therefore, the poverty-stricken areas are observed having a dense population. If a country has a limited population, it is quite easy to fulfill the demand. As a result, the country gets a good scope to develop, unlike overpopulated countries.
The UN has predicted that the 48 poorest countries worldwide are majorly contributing to human overpopulation. The UN has estimated that in future, these countries will contribute to almost 1.7 billion population growth by 2050.
Lack of Family Planning
There are a huge number of illiterate people that belong to different developing countries and live below the poverty line. These people have a lack of knowledge about family planning. They prefer to marry their children at an early age. As a result, it increases the chances of conceiving more pregnancies.
These people do not understand the impacts of overpopulation and do not even think about family planning on serious notes. Hence, this is one of the leading causes of human overpopulation.
Low Income Per Capita
Per capita income is calculated by dividing national income by the total population. Low per capita income indicates population growth. Pakistan’s per capita income is $ 1254.
It is a term used to describe the state of being unemployed. Unemployment is also seen as a sign of overcrowding. It is difficult to adjust economic activities to accommodate such a large population. Pakistan has a 5.6 percent unemployment rate.
Extremely Rapid Population Growth ; The birth rate is extremely high, indicating that our country is overcrowded. Pakistan has a population growth rate of 2.1 percent.
More Earning Hands Are Required: In developing countries like Pakistan, a single person cannot support his large family. He believes that having more children will provide him with more earning potential.
Afghan Refugees: The influx of refugees from India, particularly Afghanistan, has resulted in an increase in population.
Relatively Low Death Rate: Another cause of overpopulation is a decrease in the death rate. In 1951, the death rate was 2.8 percent, but in 2010-11, it was only 0.73 percent.
Low Living Standards :It has been observed that low-income Pakistanis have more children. It is difficult to provide for such a large family. As a result, the population’s living standards are low.
Warm Weather: Because of the warm climate, youth and maturity come early in life. It also has the effect of causing rapid population growth.
Family Planning Isn’t Available: In Pakistan, there is no effective family planning. The methods of family planning are unfamiliar to most people. They are hesitant to seek medical advice.
Joint Family System :In a joint family system, there is competition among family members based on the size of the family. It is also a factor in children’s rapid growth.
Early Marriages :In Pakistan, marriages usually take place between the ages of 16 and 22. The time it takes to re-productivity is extremely long.
Problems Associated With Human Overpopulation
Various Health Issues: Any kind of changes, whether it is an environmental issue or overpopulation, eventually cause several health problems. Overpopulation, especially in impoverished areas, is more likely to get infections. It happens mainly due to unhygienic conditions, malnutrition, inadequate healthcare services, etc.
The chances of the emergence of new pandemics and epidemics are quite high in these kinds of densely populated areas. The scarcity of resources may also cause famine in these less-developed areas. All this may lead to poor health conditions of the people living in these areas.
We can link the use of natural resources with the world population. The capacity of the earth is limited to fulfill our needs, like food, water, etc. The supply of necessary aids is becoming very tough year by year with the increasing rate of the world population.
From the past few decades, researchers observed the increased misuse of the natural resources of the earth to fulfil our never-ending needs. The major cause of this exploitation is the overpopulation on the planet. We have ended up causing many environmental issues (like , pollution, global warming, ozone depletion , etc.) that are very tough to control, almost impossible.
Low Growth of Agriculture Sector: Very fast growth rate of population is a pressure on land. It caused to use of agricultural products at domestic level, increase in the landless workers and shortage of food. Growth rate of agriculture sector is 1.2%.
Low Saving and Low Investment: The rapidly increasing population increases the expenditure of government. It reduces the saving and investment. Low level of saving & investment means economic backwardness. Domestic savings are 9.5% of GDP and total investment is 13.4% of GDP during 2010-11.
High Rate of Inflation
There is more demand for goods due to more population. More demand results in more prices and inflation in the country. Rate of inflation is 14.1 % in Pakistan.
Pollution: There is not any effective system to control the pollution. Capitalists install industries with billion dollars of resources but do not install treatment plants of million rupees. The rapid growth of population creates pollution, unplanned colonies and environment problems.
Backward Social Infrastructure: Rapidly growing population creates economic and social problems such as housing, education, health, transport, water, power etc.
Vicious Circle of Poverty: Very high rate of population growth lowers the per capita income, which caused in low saving and low investment that result in low rate of capital formation. All this forms the vicious circle of poverty.
- Control the Birth Rate: The high birth rate i. e., 2.1% should be discouraged to reduce the population size. Effective and successful family planning should be introduced.
2.Use of Medicines : More contraceptive medicines should be introduced to people. By using these medicines; people will control the birth rate.
3..Late Marriages: Marriages should take place in late age to control the rapidly rising population. It will be helpful to control the over population.
- Health Centers: Government should open the health clinics in all the regions of the country. These clinics will be useful for reducing the high birth rate.
5.High Literacy Rate: Government should provide the more educational facilities to the backward population. This will provide the true picture of the economy, resources and population growth rate. Literacy rate is 57.7% in Pakistan.
6.Women Employment: Only 29 % women take an active part in the economic activities in Pakistan. They live full time at home and have no opportunity cost to have a baby
7.Family Planning: Government should introduce the family planning to the population to control the high growth rate of population.
8.Increase in Employment: More employment opportunities must be provided to the young, talented, trained and educated population. It will be helpful to decrease the fast birth rate
9.Provision of Credit Facilities: Government should provide the easy credit facilities to population to adjust the existing population in economic activities. It will lead to reduce the population explosion.
1 0.Growth of small scale and cottage industries: Growth and development of small-scale and cottage industries is also necessary to reduce the pressure on land. It will provide more jobs to men and also to women.
Conclusions: High growth rate of population creates unfavourable effects on the economic development in the developing countries like Pakistan. High rate of population growth in Pakistan means poverty, illiteracy, low living standard, absence of prosperity and vicious circle of poverty.
Environmental Degradation: Environmental degradation is one of the major impacts of overpopulation. Excessive fossile fuels like coal, oil, and natural gases has shown serious implications on the environment. There has been a massive change in the environmental conditions after the industrial revolution.
The exponential rise in the number of badly by causing pollution. Further, the increased number of vehicles results in the emission of CO2 in the air, which leads to global warming and climate change.
The writers of this Article is student of Islamic International University Islamabad [IIUI]