Information For Action www.informaction.org
What is population?
The number of people (or animals or plants) that can be found in an area.
What is population growth?
It is when the number of people (or animals or plants) living in the world gets bigger.
Where in the world is population growth happening the most?
In the poorest countries in the world, such as those within Africa, Asia and the Middle East. This is because:
The basic resources that people in these countries need such as health care, food and clothing have gotten a little better in recent years. So, more people are willing to have babies.
Many people in these countries can’t afford education, which means they don’t know about the problems population growth causes.
Does the world population grow a lot every year?
Yes. At the moment, there are about 90 million babies born each year around the world. As the population grows, so does the need for:
Why is this a problem for humans?
If the population keeps growing as it is, it will be very hard to find jobs for everyone.
Because there won’t be enough jobs for everyone, many people will be forced to live in poverty.
Many countries will not be able to provide enough food for the people that live within them, so governments will have to spend a lot of money on buying food from richer countries. This will make poor countries even poorer.
Why is this a problem for the environment?
The earth does not have enough resources for so many people to live comfortably. The more people there are using the earth’s resources, the more the earth is damaged through:
Pollution levels become higher as more people move to cities and use more pollutants. Cities become dirtier as there is not enough space for everyone.
Huge areas of forests being cleared to make room for more houses, factories, schools, crops, farms, etc.
Plant and animal species becoming extinct due to land clearing.
Global warming increasing because of more people using fossil fuels to meet energy needs.
The world’s oceans being fished until there are no fish left.
What can you do to help?
Be very careful with the resources you are lucky enough to have, such as:
The world only has enough of the resources we need for a certain number of people.