Population comes from the Latin root populus. Populus means a group of people. A population is thus the group of people who live in any given space.
Overpopulation refers to a population that is too large and thus poses a problem. Of course, this depends on the context.
Overpopulation is a major problem in developing countries like India. It is the chief cause for many problems such as poverty, illiteracy, child-labor, child-marriage, etc.
A space may be said to be overpopulated if it is:
- Putting a strain on resources like:
- Food and
- Home to a population that is growing too fast.
- Too small for the number of people who want to live there.
The term ‘overpopulation’ is widely used in different contexts as follows:
- Household: too many people living under one roof with not enough space for everyone.
- Town: too many townspeople and not enough jobs or material resources for them all.
- Environment: humans encroaching onto the natural world.
- Country wide: mass migration, low death rates and high birth rates cause a country to become overpopulated.
- Global: the idea that the population of the planet as a whole is too high.
There is a need to control overpopulation because it:
- puts a strain on the food supply,
- puts a strain on the climate due to excessive emissions,
- strains the economy,
- exhausts supplies of fuel, and
- strains the water supply.