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The exponential increase of the population at a global level is an alarming reality that merits the attention not only of those countries which are most struggling with the burden of a heightened population increase, but the worldwide community. Thomas Malthus qualified survival as, “The perpetual struggle for room and food” and hypothesized that because the human population grows exponentially, and food production grows linearly, there will be a point where the food produced by the earth’s people will simply not be enough to keep those same people alive. Malthus’ hypothesis, though proven to be right in some regions of the world, has yet to be proved on a global scale because, whenever things have looked bleak, technology has provided a solution. However, we have no way of identifying if this convenient mutualism will prevail over the years.
Today, the rate of population growth has slowed in wealthy, industrialized nations, but has continued to grow rapidly in less developed nations, which only supports the assumption that worldwide efforts are needed. Both science and values are involved in such an issue because, for example, every single person in the world could be fed it the most industrialized countries lowered their standard of living. Unrealistic as this expectation is, more appropriate methods, such as the expansion of education and family planning, should be brought to the forefront of the necessary action.
It is also important to note that as the education provided and the standard of living of a population both increase, the population tends to move into what is denoted in the demographic transition model as “Stage III,” a change that can in turn be strengthened by the use of family planning methods. This third stage can be described as a period of stability, when birth rates drop closer to the death rates and the growth rate decreases. This setting is idyllic however, because some of the globe’s most populated countries are unable to lower their birthrate; the ultimate result: they cannot reach the final level of stability. Families in countries such as India find it difficult to give up century-old traditions for the amorphous promises of an improved economic well-being and heightened availability of resources; they do not see that the world’s population is heading towards a self-induced catastrophes.
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