Friday, June 6, 2014

Overpopulation Isn't as Big a Problem as a Shrinking Population

Overpopulation is not the problem we should be concerned about. Birthrates in much of the world have sunk below the roughly 2.1 children per woman that is considered replacement level. Even in the developing world, where birthrates remain high, they are shrinking. As a result, the world is headed for a period in which populations will be graying, followed by a time when the world’s population may begin to shrink.

A thriving population is necessary to sustain and to improve the world’s standard of living. For example, human ingenuity has been the key to reversing the trend on global poverty. Since the 1980s, the number of people in extreme poverty has dropped by half.

Population growth leads to innovation, invention, and conservation—things a shrinking population may not be able to enjoy.

What can the world do about this trend? The best solutions involve policies that encourage marriage and families.

Read “Overpopulation isn't the world's concern — the problem is too few births

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