Southeast Asia Current Issues

By Ryan Oh and Benton Smith

Population Growth in Southeast Asia

China holds the title of the largest population with India coming in second. Both have a combined population of 2.7 billion people. With this amount of people it is diffucult to control such a large population. Surprisingly, both China and India are both developing a stronger middle class, closing a large income gap they once held before. The growing populations in both countries have also led to the development of their industries. As more factories are being created, the result can prove to be devastating to the local environment. In spite of their recent growth, current growth rates are slowing down and are less than before. At this rate, both countries will even out into a stage 4 population pyramid by 2050.

Pollution in the Ganges

As India's population continues to grow at an exponential rate, nearly 400 million out of the 1.2 billion people living in India reside by the river basin. As a result, more and more sewage is being dumped into the Ganges River. It has gotten to the point where fecal bacteria is 3000x's higher than what is deemed safe by the World Health Organization. The waters of the Ganges also contain high levels of chromium sulfate, arsenic cadmium, Mercury, and sulfuric acid, all of which can be deadly to humans. This is due to the fact that industrial businesses have dumped their toxic waste into the river for its accessibility. Despite their efforts to cut down on the waste polluting the river, India's effort fell short and waste is still being thrown into the river.


Outsourcing jobs to other countries can have many benefits. For instance, labor costs can be lowered, new information bases can be reached, management time is freed, and core business can be focused on. On the other hand, one can lose control of business processes, problems concerning quality may arise, sluggish responses to new emergencies, language barriers may inhibit communication, and skeptical customers and angry employee unions may have to be dealt with.


As the population in Southeast Asia continues to grow, naturally the amount of land needed to support the population must also grow. Given the location of Southeast Asia, rainforests make up a large amount of the area, therefore when people begin to clear space deforestation occurs. The effects of deforestation can prove to be devastating leaving climate change, removal of natural habitat, and potentially depriving us of undiscovered medicines all in it's wake.


Another issue Southeast Asia faces is the rising population and the urge to move to cities. This has created massive metropolitan areas that are packed with people. With this comes the need for more resources, (food, water, etc.) and a need to plan cities properly. Failure to do so will result in a massive urban sprawl which has very poor sanitation and may cause deforestation as well. On the other hand, if these cities are planned sustainably, the city can eliminate the need for an urban sprawl before one ever pops up.