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Population Problem

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Two hundred old ages ago, Thomas Malthus, in An Essay on the Principle of Population, reached the decision that the figure of people in the universe will addition exponentially, while the ability to feed these people will merely addition arithmetically  . Current grounds shows that this theory may non be far from the truth. For illustration, between 1950 and 1984, the entire sum of grain produced more than doubled, much more than the addition in population in those 34 old ages. More late though, these statistics have become reversed.

From 1950 to 1984, the sum of grain increased at 3 per centum yearly. Yet, from 1984 to 1993, grain production had grown at hardly 1 per centum per twelvemonth, a lessening in grain production per individual of 12 per centum ( Brown 31 ) . Besides beef uping to Malthus’ statement is the theory that the universe population will addition to over 10 billion by 2050, two times what it was in 1990 .

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Demographers predict that 2.8 billion people were added to the universe population between 1950 and 1990, an norm of 70,000 a twelvemonth.

Between 1990 and 2030, it is estimated that another 3.6 billion will be added, an norm of 90,000 a twelvemonth ( Brown 31 ) . Furthermore, in the eighteenth century, the universe population growing was 0.34%; it increased to 0.54% in the nineteenth century and in the first half of the twentieth century to 0.84% ( Weiskel 40 ) . Neo-Malthusians base their statements on the instructions of Thomas Malthus. Of the Neo-Malthusians, Garrett Hardin is one of the most outstanding and controversial. Hardin’s essays discuss the job of overpopulation and the effects it will hold on the hereafter.

In Lifeboat Ethical motives, he concludes that uninterrupted additions in population will hold black results. Neo-Malthusian statements come under much examination by those who believe that the population detonation is merely a myth. Those who hold these beliefs province that the grounds Neo-Malthusians usage to warrant their positions is far from conclusive. Critics hold that the Neo-Malthusian call for autocratic control is much excessively extremist. Therefore, these critics belittle the theories of Neo-Malthusians on the footing that population is non a job. However extremist Hardin’s theories may be, current grounds shows that he may non be excessively far off the grade. It is barely arguable that the population has increased in the past few decennaries, for current statistics show that this really is the instance. Equally telling, is the fact that huge sums of land are being transformed into more living infinite. More people means more waste, more pollution, and more development. With this taken into consideration, it seems that Hardin’s instructions should no longer fall on deaf ears.

When discoursing the issue of population, it is of import to observe that it is one of the most controversial issues confronting the universe today. Population growing, like many other environmental issues, has two sides. One side will claim that the population detonation is merely a myth, while the other side will reason that the population detonation is world. Because of this, statistics refering this capable vary widely. But, in order to carry, it is necessary to take one side or the other. Therefore, statistics may be questioned as to their cogency, even though the statistics come from believable beginnings.

The United States is the most thickly settled state in the universe, behind lone China and India. Unlike China and India though, the United States is the fastest turning industrialised state. The United States’ population expands so rapidly because of the instability between migration and in-migration, and births and deceases. For illustration, in 1992, 4.1 million babes were born. Weighing this statistic against the figure of deceases and the figure of people who entered and left the state, the consequence was that the United States obtained 2.8 million more people than it had gotten rid of ( Douglis 12 ) .

Population additions place great strain on the American society and more peculiarly it causes enormous devastation to the natural environment. For illustration, more than half of the wetlands in the United States are gone, and of all of the original wood screen, 90 per centum has been destroyed. This depletion has caused the close extinction of over 796 single workss and animate beings. At least portion of the twelvemonth, the air that over 100 million people breathe is excessively soiled to run into federal criterions. And eventually, about 15 million people are capable to contaminated H2O supplies ( Douglis 12 ) .

It is really likely that entire devastation of the environment can take topographic point and likely will if something is non done to control the population growing. When discoursing Hardin’s essays it is necessary to face the job of in-migration. Immigration is responsible for about 40 per centum of the population growing in the United States ( Douglis 12 ) . The United States now accepts more immigrants than all other developed states combined ( Morganthau 22 ) . It is estimated that about one million immigrants from all over the universe are doing the United States their new place each twelvemonth ( Mandel 32 ) . This estimation does non include illegal in-migration, which makes this entire even greater ( McKenna 336 ) . It is obvious that immigrants have a much better life in the United States than in their old places. Immigrants come to the United States to profit from the United States’economic system, and return to thei original places with more money. Take for illustration a quote signifier a Malayan immigrant working illicitly in the United States. If you take one dollar back to Malaysia, it is dual the value. You work here to gain U.S. dollars so you can greatly better your populating criterion in Malaysia.

While immigrants benefit themselves by coming to the United States, they leave natural born Americans viing for occupations. By 2050, it is estimated that the population of the United States will be near to 383 million. Of this, about 139 million, or 36 per centum, will be immigrants and their kids. This will do Americans of European descent, which in 1960 were an 89 per centum bulk, a minority of less than 50 per centum ( Brimelow 42 ) .

Immigration airss great menaces to the national economic system, and costs taxpayers 1000000s of dollars every twelvemonth. Studies show that post-1970 immigrants, legal and illegal, used $ 50.8 billion of authorities services in 1992. Subtracting the $ 20.2 billion they paid in revenue enhancements, the difference, which American taxpayers had to do up, was $ 30.6 billion. These figures, averaged out, history for $ 1,585 for every immigrant. Over the following 10 old ages, it is estimated that an extra $ 50 billion in American revenue enhancement money will travel toward back uping immigrants ( Thomas 19 ) .

Harmonizing to Garret Hardin’s thought of Lifeboat Ethics, go oning to add to the population of the United States will make many adversities. In order to convey the population within a sensible figure, Hardin suggests population control. Like other Neo-Malthusians, he states that this can merely be accomplished under autocratic authorities. Under autocratic control, twosomes would no longer be able to have private benefits from reproduction, while they pass the costs of their birthrate on to society ( Chen 88 ) . He claims that single rights  ; peculiarly generative rights – are excessively wide. He argues that populatio control can non be achieved with birth control entirely. Birth control merely gives the individual the pick of when to hold kids and how many to hold ( Chen 90 ) .

Therefore, in order to achieve a stable population, the right to reproduce freely ca no longer be allowed. Hardin begins his statement by observing that hapless states hold a GNP of about $ 200 per twelvemonth, while rich states have a GNP of about $ 3,000 a twelvemonth. Thus, there are two lifeboats: one full of every bit rich people, the other disastrously overcrowded with hapless people. Because of the overcrowding in the hapless lifeboats, some people are forced into the H2O, trusting finally to be admitted onto a rich lifeboat where they can profit from the? dainties? on board. This is where the cardinal job of the morals of a lifeboat becomes a primary issue. What should the riders on the ric lifeboat do.

First, Hardin notes that the lifeboat has a limited transporting capacity, which he designates at 60. Fifty people are already aboard the lifeboat, go for thing room for 10 more. He besides notes that the 10 empty infinites should be left empty in order to continue the safety factor of the boat. Assuming there are 100 swimmers waiting to be taken on board, what happens following Hardin suggests three solutions. First of which is to let all 100 people to board the lifeboat. This would convey the entire riders of the lifeboat to 150. Because the boat merely has a capacity of 60, the safety factor is destroyed, and the boat becomes overcrowded. Finally the lifeboat sinks and everyone drowns. In Hardin’s words,  complete justness, complete calamity  . The 2nd solution is to let merely 10 more people on the boat, get rid ofing the safety factor, but maintaining the boat from going excessively overcrowded.

The job with this solution though is which swimmers to allow in, and what to state to the other 90 left stranded in the H2O ( Hardin 224 ) . The concluding solution is to let no 1 in the boat, therefore greatly increasing the opportunities of enduranc for the 50 riders already on board. This solution, to many of the riders, would be incorrect, for they would experience guilty about their good fortune. Hardin offers a simple response: Get out and give up your place to person else. Finally, if all of the guilt ridden people relinquish their seats, the boa would be guilt free and the morals of the lifeboat would once more be restore ( Hardin 224 ) . Hardin following argues the issue of reproduction. He notes that populations of hapless states dual every 35 old ages, while the populations of rich states dual every 87 old ages. To set it in Hardin’s perspective, see the United States a lifeboat. At the clip Hardin wrote his essay, the population of the United States was 210 million and the mean rate of addition was 0.8% per twelvemonth, that is duplicating in figure every 87 old ages ( Hardin 225 ) .

Even though the populations of rich states are outnumbered by the populations of hapless states  by two to one, consider, for illustration, that there are an equal figure of people on the exterior of the lifeboat as there are on the lifeboat ( 210 million ) . The people outside of the lifeboat addition at a rate of 3.3% per twelvemonth. Therefore, in 21 old ages this population would be doubled ( Hardin 225 ) . If the 210 million swimmers were allowed onto the lifeboat ( the United States ) , the initial ratio of Americans to Non-Americans would be one to one. But, 87 old ages subsequently, the population of? Americans? would hold doubled to 420 million, while the Non- Americans?  duplicating every 21 old ages would now hold increased to about 3.5 billion. If this were the instance, each American would hold more than 8 other people to portion with ( Hardin 225 ) .

Immigration causes more jobs than those discussed by Hardin. It causes societal clash, and the diminution of English- talking Americans ( Morganthau 22 ) . As more and more immigrants hapless into American metropolis, they jointly will experience no demand to learn the English linguistic communication. If one metropolis becomes a bulk of immigrants instead than a bulk of natural born Americans, tenseness is the consequence. This tenseness will ensue in social segregation, which will eventually take to political segregation ( James 340 ) .There are many statements that focus on the benefits of in-migration. Arguments that conclude that in-migration creates occupations, promotes a diverse civilization, and even statements that in-migration may bring forth the following Einstein. These statements, that the United States should non shut its boundary lines, come chiefly from those people who claim that the United States is a running pot.

If the United State continues to populate by the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, it is destined to make more bad than good, non merely socially and politically, but besides environmentally. Arguments for in-migration tend to lose the primary job that in-migration causes: the environmental job. Immigration means more people. More people give rise to the demand for more living infinite which in bend leads to devastation of the environment. Even though in-migration may be beneficial in some ways, the United States must protect its national individuality, and even more significantly, it must protect what land it has left. Failure to near the doors to immigrants will continually increase environmental, economic, and social jobs in America. Without proper statute law, these jobs will ne’er be solved. Although America is the land of chances, the environment must non be taken for granted. For if it is, catastrophe is inevitable.


The Book of Genesis tells the narrative of creative activity of adult male. God said to adult male,  be fruitful and increase in Numbers; make full the Earth and subdue it.  Prior to the 19th century, it was believed that God would supply for those who came into the universe ( Day 101 ) . But, in 1798, this position was shaken by Thomas Malthus ’ ; An Essay on the Principle of Population, in which he concluded that while population additions geometrically, agricultural production merely increases arithmetically. Therefore, finally, nutrient production will non be able to maintain up with an increasing figure of people. The inquiry is, which theory can be justified? Those who say the we ever have room for more people fall into the class who feel that the Bible justifies increases in population. What these people fail to understand is that when more people are added, the criterion of life lessenings. These people who say that populating infinite is near space may be right in their beliefs. The inquiry is, which is more desirable: the maximal figure of people at the lowest criterion of life – or a smaller figure of people at a comfy criterion of life ( Hardin 58 ) .

In order to foster represent how increasing population decreases the criterion of life, consideration should be given to a survey done by the National Institute of Mental Health. The survey was done to demo the negative effects of overpopulation ( Calhoun 6 ) . This survey shows what the universe has to look frontward to if Garrett Hardin and Thomas Malthus are right. Four male and four female mice were placed in an eight pes square coop. The eight mice were non capable to jobs they may hold faced in the outside universe. In two old ages the eight mice turned in to 2,200 mice. During this clip, the effects of overcrowding had become relevant, as non one newborn mouse had survived in the two twelvemonth proving period. Finally, after two old ages and three months, the concluding mouse ( a female ) died ( Calhoun 6 ) . During the experiment, assorted abnormalcies were considered related to the overcrowding. Once the transporting capacity of the coop was reached  , unusual things started to happen. Aggressiveness and cannibalism overcame some of the mice. Sexual activities became perverted. Some mice become overly active, while others became inactive blobs of living substance ( Calhoun 6 ) .

One of the experimenters stated the deductions of the survey. He noted that the mice were capable to a perfect existence, free from disease, conditions, etc. The mice progressed and took advantage of their ideal home ground, but merely until they ran out of room. The abnormalcies of the mice became so prevailing that even after the mouse population returned to its original carrying capacity  , there was nil that could be done to change their behaviour. Before a of the mice died some were taken out and placed in a new environment, left to freely reproduce once more. This resulted in failure though, as all of the offspring shortly died. In decision, the survey showed that the state of affairs of the mouse population would turn worse until the animate beings destroyed their full universe ( Calhoun 6 ) . If this experiment would keep true for the human race, it is clip ( possibly even past clip ) to do some alterations. Either manner, the Earth is non to be taken for granted. No longer can natural resources be used as if there is an infinite supply. Even if there is an infinite supply ( and one may ne’er cognize ) sustainability remains to be the best manner to wholly guarantee that natural resources are used in the most effectual mode. But if natural resources are non infinite the hereafter of human endurance is in hazard.


  1. Bongaarts, John. ? Can the Turning Population Feed Itself? ? Scientific American, March 1994, pp. 36-43.
  2. Brimelow, Peter, and Joseph E. Fallon. ? Controling our Demographic Destiny. ?
  3. National Review, 21 February 1994, p. 42. Brown, Lester R. ? The Earth is Runing Out of Room. ? USA Today Magazine, January 1995, pp. 30-32.
  4. Calhoun, John B. ? Not by Bread Alone: Overcrowding in Mice. ? Man and the Environment. Dubuque, Iowa: William C. Brown Company Publishers, 1971.
  5. Chen, Lincoln C. ? A New Modest Proposal. ? Issues in Science and Technology, November 1993, pp. 88-92.
  6. Day, Henry C. The New Morality: A Candid Criticism. London: Heath Cranton Limited, 1924.
  7. Douglis, Carole, and Gaylord Nelson. ? Images of Home. ? Wilderness, Fall 1993, pp. 10-23.
  8. Hardin, Garrett. Stalking the Wild Taboo. Los Altos, California: William Kaufmann, Inc. , 1978.
  9. Hardin, Garrett. The Limits of Altruism: An Ecologist’s View of Survival. London: Indiana University Press, 1977.
  10. James, Daniel. ? Close the Boundary lines to all Newcomers. ? Taking Sides: Clashing Positions on Controversial Political Issues. Ed. George Mckenna and Stanley Feingold. 9th erectile dysfunction. Guilford, CT: Dushkin Publishing Group, Inc. , 1995.
  11. Malthus, Thomas Robert. An Essay on the Principle of Population. Ed. Phillip Appleman. New York: W.W. Norton & A; Company, Inc. , 1976.
  12. Mandel, Michael J. , and Christopher Farrell. ? The Price of Open Arms. ? Business Week, 21 June 1993, pp. 32-35.
  13. Morganthau, Tom. ? America: Still a Melting Pot? ? Newsweek, 9 August 1993, pp. 16-23.
  14. Thomas, Rich, and Andrew Murr. ? The Economic Cost of Immigration. ? Newsweek, 9 August 1993, pp. 18-19.
  15. Weiskel, Timothy C. ? Can Humanity Survive Unrestricted Population Growth? ? USA Today Magazine, January 1995, pp. 38-41.

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Population Problem. (2018, Jun 11). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/population-problem-essay-research-paper-the-population/

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