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Is it an issue?

What is to be done?

What do you think of couples who have large families?


I think the quality of life would be better in many countries if they had fewer people. I think for some the issue lies with education and women not having control over their reproduction. I think the population is going to keep growing and put such a large strain on resources which will create higher tensions in domestic and international politics. I don't see anything positive from this.


What's your opinion?



Yes, it's a huge issue, and I don't think enough people realize how bad it is. I'm studying to be a wildlife biologist; the state of wildlife around the world is extremely sad. The most common field of research in some areas now appears to be how to deal with habitats that are too small and fragmented to support viable populations of animals.

Animals notwithstanding, it's a concern that we will overstep our carrying capacity (a finite number of beings that can survive in an area). I study caribou, and caribou can reproduce very quickly (just like humans). When caribou are introduced to small islands with limited resources and no predators (just like humans on the island that is Earth), they reproduce very quickly, like we have seen with our own population. Soon, as the population begins to grow, animals in some areas may not be able to find enough food to survive and they begin dying. Animals become very closely packed together, and diseases start spreading faster. They become small, sickly, and very thin. They start to fight over who gets the scarce patches of food. Soon, they've literally eaten themselves out of house and home, and the entire population dies because there is not a single bite of food left.

Of course caribou aren't people - we have technology, communication and cooperation, etc... But the similarities are still close enough to frighten me at times.


What do you think the solution could be? I think in developed countries birthrates are falling so maybe as people become more developed and educated they realise the problems of large families.


What about the chinese one child policy? How do people feel about that?

I don't know what the solution could be, someone far smarter than I should tackle this problem. Although birth rates are falling in developed countries, the population is still growing. There are still so many people reproducing (even albeit at a slower rate) that the population will continute to grow unless the number of deaths and emigration is exactly the same as the number of births and immigration.

I think in the long-term scheme of things, we might have to look at starting up colonies outside of Earth. We will have do this eventually, as the sun itself is a finite source and not predicted to burn forever, but who knows if we will even be around or what our species will have evolved into by that time?

I'm not sure how I feel about the Chinese one-child policy. In theory, it could reduce overpopulation and let people live higher-quality lives. On the other, I hear a lot about male children being more valued so female children are aborted or abandoned, which is not good either. I'm not quite sure what to think about it.

it will not be a problem centries later. there is not anyway but on the sense of the whole nation. China is a good example, the pepole increased dramatically at the age of Chairmanmao ,because all the people were told " the more people, the better ",

my grandma has 9children thanks to the education, later, people started to relise it is bad for both children and parents in a big family. my monther has 3 children and my old sister has only one.child.

in my age, almost every couple just wants one child.

The sustainability of a culture or society requires a fertility rate of 2.11. This means each couple on average must have 2.11 children or 2 children with every tenth couple having 3 childrens. Almost all of Europe has a fertility rate much smaller than that, around 1.5. This means the European civiization will become extinct within the century. 

The Total Fertility rate of the planet is 2.36. The only region of the world that exceeds a fertlity rate of 2.11 is Sub Saharan Africa, which also experiences a higher the average mortality rate.

With Current fertility rates, many cultures and ethnicities will cease to exist in the next 100 years.

So No, I have absolutely no concerns about overpopulation. I'm concerned that we have culturallly evolved in ways that will cause our own extinction.

Here is a website that gives global statistic on Total Fertility Rates.

Here is a webpage that talks about concerns of global population sustainability


Isn't it remarkable that that the everybody who favors population control are those who have already been born?


To Steve:  You generally seem like a nice guy that anyone would like to have a beer with.  But your statements in favor of forced sterilization here and on few other discussion threads reveal a bit of a fascistic streak in you.  Are you really the type of guy who wants to dictate other peoples' reproductive lives, and subject them to forced medical procedures?  I'm hoping you will ponder this and backtrack from what you wrote.

Neil that statement sounds sort of interesting when you first read it but if you think about it's nonsense. I would not have wanted to have been born into a world where I was going to die at 5 of starvation because we didn't have enough resources. I am not so arrogant to believe me being born should have come at the expense of anyone's misery. Also if people are educated and have fewer children then who does that hurt? There's not some other realm with the unborn waiting to come into this world.


Surely people who are concerned about overpopulation value human life as they want human's to live the best life they can. I do agree with your point on sterilization though - that's a horrible situation and could only come from an authoritarian government. And I also agree on forced medical procedures, no one should be forcing women to have or not children that's their decision. 

*opps! of course I meant 'at the expense of someone's happiness'

'the final solution' - that makes me think of Nazis which is perhaps quite suiting. Think of the reality of the situation. 


For a start there will be divide between the rich and the poor. There's not going to be rich people being sterilised against their will. Also what about doctors who are prejudice against a certain race? They would be able to abuse that. Also in terms of personal freedom it would limit it a lot. Is the state going to be monitoring its citizens on such a matter? Also what about people who refuse to be sterilized? Are the police going to arrest them and hold them down to have an unnecessary operation? On all other areas people have the right to refuse medical care even if it's in their best interest. 


I mean I don't like reading stories of large families who are being supported by the state and who carry on having 10+ children, but of course these cases are very rare. I think equality, education (including sex ed) and universal free medical care are the key to a healthy population.

On the one child policy. There are many problems with it. Girls are left in orphanages and on the streets as it's better to have a boy. There are women who have been forced to have abortions. I think this year or last there was a case of a 7-8 month pregnant woman who was forced to have an abortion.

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