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Human over population refers to a condition where the available resources are not enough to sustain the total number of people living in an area. Thus over- population is not just a matter of size or density, but it is the comparison between the total numbers of people living in a specific geographic area with the number of available resources that is necessary to sustain them. (Lynch, D. J, 2008)
Such resources include; clean water, food, shelter, infrastructural systems, education, medical facilities, and clean air, fuel and employment opportunities. In this study I have focused on China which is one of the countries mostly affected by over-population. China has suffered from the problem of over population for a long time even though the government has not been able to find an effective solution to the problem. (Lynch, D. J 2008)
The problem of overpopulation in China is very important because it affects the economy, social and political context of the economy. For instance due to poor education situation in China, science and technology is adversely affected. This in turn lowers China’s ability to compete with the rest of the world. Therefore China has it come up with sound policies to handle this problem before it escalates into a crisis.
The population of china started to grow tremendously after Second World War in 1949, when Mao advised Chinese to bear as many children as they could. The government wrongly thought that an increased population would provide enough labor to produce more food, establish a strong army, and build up a formidable communication system. After this, the population leapt to millions.
According to China Tour.Net, the approximate population of China as at 2006 is estimated at 1, 313,973,713. According to the forecast, the population will hit 1.4 billion by late 2010 with the birth rate standing at 13.45 for every 1000 people.( Beijing Hutong 2006)
As a result of over population, China is experiencing shortage of clean water with the problem being aggravated by tons of sewages that are dumped into rivers, making the water unhygienic for drinking. Environmental pollution is another problem related o the huge population. In an attempt to produce more food to support high population forests have been cut down and fertilizers have been overused to the extent of contaminating the soil .Deforestation has led to desertification which translates into loss of rainfall and drying of water reservoirs (Hongbo T. 2007)
Over population in cities has resulted into unemployment leading to increased crime rates. Unemployment has led to poor health since the unemployed people cannot afford balanced diets and medical care. Some of the unemployed people resort to crime and prostitution as a way of earning their daily bread.
To situation is further made worse by congestion in the major cities. The problem of housing, lack of adequate teachers and education facilities, drug cartels, overcrowding in public service facilities are some of the heavy burdens the town dwellers have to carry. (Lynch, D. J 2008)These problems have had further implication on the economic spheres of china. For example, the poor education situation has lowered the level of science and technology development leading to the loss of skills and man power.
The government has come up with some strategies to curb the problem of over population. The most important of these is the ‘one child policy’ where couples are required to get only one child. This policy is working even though it is leading to a population imbalance where the population is composed of older people than the young. It is also focused that the number of boys will exceed the number of girls by far in future (The New York Times). The government can also solve the problem of inadequate housing facilities by the construction of cheap houses where there are slums.
The problem of unemployment can also be solved by encouraging domestic and foreign investors to set up industries which would create more jobs. The government should also increase its budget on education so as to ensure that all students have access to high quality education.
BBC: “Chinese facing shortage of wives“, Retrieved on 21st March 2008
Beijing Hutong (2006):” China Travel Tour Guide.” http://www.china-travel-tour
Hongbo Tang (May 2007): Dilemmas of China’s modernization, population problem and the strategy of sustainable development: retrieved on 21st March from:
Lynch, David J. “Pollution Poisons China’s Progress.” USA Today. 21st March 2008.
The New York Times:”China Sticking With One-Child Policy.”, retrieved on 21st March 2008 from: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/world/asia/11china.html