The United States has been rated as the most populous country after China and India and is estimated to have a population exceeding 265 million. Further, statistics indicate that the country’s population is growing at 2.5 million people per year; hence the United States is one of the world’s fastest-growing industrialized nations. For instance, in 1994, there were approximately 3.95 million births versus 2.29 million deaths in the United States, resulting in a net natural increase of nearly 1.7 million. Net immigration therefore stood at approximately 816,000 people. By 2050, the country’s population is projected to increase by approximately 130 million people whom critics place as the equivalent of adding another four states the size of California. However, for such an industrialized country, it experiences one of the largest cases of unintended teenage pregnancies indicated by 60 percent of pregnancies and 40 percent of births. The world’s population is currently approximated to be growing at 74 million people every year and projections put forward by the United States indicate that the world’s population shall hit the 9.0 billion mark by the year 2050 assuming the projected decline in fertility rate of 2.65 children per woman shall decline to 2.05. This decline is projected under a comparative analysis since the 1950’s was double this rate at 5 children per woman. The less developed countries such as Uganda, Nigeria and Pakistan are expected to account for the largest quota of 5.3 billion with a world’s population of 7.8 billion. The United States however is an exception to this since it’s expected to grow by 44% from a population of 305 million in the year 2008 to 439 million in 2050. Global life expectancy has also increased from 46 years in 1955 to 65 years in 2000-2005 and is projected to rise to 75 years in 2045-2050. Population increase in more developed countries will further be boosted by high immigration rates whereby the net immigration rate is projected at 98 million. Further, deaths are projected to exceed births in developed nations by 73 million by 2050; international immigration shall play a key factor in the net population increase. By 2100, the Unite States population is expected to be at 3,145,049,297. This essay therefore endeavors to show that overpopulation is a major problem in the United States and further discusses its social, economic, political and environmental impact.
There are various merits and challenges of overpopulation. The resultant advantages are however few and it has largely been detrimental to various aspects such as the environment. The large population has largely driven consumption and demand for various goods and services higher. This therefore has created a vibrant market which has boosted the country’s economy. Already, demand for beef and grain has reached staggering levels. In fact, the per capita grain consumption in the United States is four times higher than that in less developed nations.
Rapid population increase has prompted the growth of megacities and rapid urbanization. By 1800, only 3% of the world’s population lived in cities. 47 percent of the world’s population had already migrated into cities by the twentieth century. In 1950, there were already 83 cities with a combined population exceeding 1 million. In 2007, this had risen to 468 agglomerations. In 2000, there were 18 megacities and conurbations such as New York City with populations exceeding 100 million. Greater Tokyo already has a population of 35 million which exceeds Canada’s entire population. By the year 2025, Asia alone shall have over 10 hyper cities each with a population exceeding 20million such as Jakarta with 24.9 million. Currently, cities the world over hold 3.2 billion of the population which is expected to rise to 5 billion by the year 2030 whereby 3 out of every 5 people are expected to live in cities. In the next 25 years, most melodramatic changes are expected to take place in developing countries. This however may not be positive in its totality since cities encourage the rise of shanty towns which are breeding sites for drug addiction, crime, alcoholism coupled with problems such as high unemployment rates, poverty resulting in high child and infant mortality rates and diseases due to poor sanitation, malnutrition and poor basic health care. Currently, one billion people, which is one-sixth of the world’s population and a representative of one-third of the overall urban population, lives in shanty towns and is expected to rise as urbanization and the consequent industrialization sets in.
There are however multiple challenges resulting from overpopulation. The greatest challenge of them all is the unavailability of adequate fresh water for domestic purposes as well as sewage treatment and effluent discharge. This has prompted nations such as Saudi Arabia to use highly energy-intensive desalination to solve water shortages. The world over, 1 billion people cannot access a clean glass of water every day. This has resulted in the starvation to death of 10 million children and 8 million adults. These water shortages have not been limited to other nations only. Contrary to popular belief of immunity to this critical problem by the United States citizens, various states have experienced water shortages. Atlanta, Georgia has exceeded its water carrying capacity in the past 4 years yet its population is expected to double from the current 8.2 million to 16.4 million. In Florida, wells have been sunk resulting to the environmental hazard of sunk holes. Yet, homes and malls are rapidly being built and the population is expected to double from 18 million to 36 million by the year 2050. This is truly absurd and uncalled for. In Colorado, 11.5 billion gallon annual shortfall is estimated in contrast to a projected population growth of 5-6 million by 2050. Therefore, Colorado’s water resources shall not only be unable to support humans but also animals and crops. In Denver, 2 million
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