Over six billion people exist on earth today and an increase of about 97 million people occurs annually (Greep 1998). A growing population leads to several environmental issues as well as social problems. An increasing population can be attributed to several variables. Within countries, we can credit the growth to increased immigration or lack of migration. Lack of education and contraceptive use and the need or desire for more children also adds to the population. In more developed countries we can attribute the population rises to better medical care, thus a longer lifespan and/or fewer deaths. As a result of this overpopulation we experience social issues such as increased rates of poverty, crime, disease, and environmental problems such as increased global warming, natural disasters, loss of habitat, pollution, and more. These threats are very necessary to be addressed, as they will affect people worldwide. It is important that we look at these problems since every human has the ability to prevent future damages and adjust their lifestyles to decelerate this increase in population.
In order to further understand such population growth and how it affects our environment, we looked at the developed country of the United States and compared it to the developing country of India. We ask, “How do the environmental impacts due to overpopulation of these two countries compare?” Although these two countries differ in their political systems, natural environments, and economic standings, they both have been experiencing rapid population growth. The reasons for the growth differ in the severity of each factor, but similar environmental impacts occur.
We predict that with an increasing population, both countries will experience much loss of forest area, loss of freshwater and high amounts of pollution. These in turn affect almost all, if not all, the other dimensions of an ecosystem.