Population Growth

By- Alexis Whetsel, Justin Kuehner, Courtney Rodriguez

Background information

The world population is now over 6 billion and is increasing by 90 million a year. It is increasing by 90 million a year. Human numbers are expected to grow to between 8 and 11 billion before leveling off later in the 21st century. Population growth has leveled off in the highly developed countries over the past few decades; but these states are now supporting the maximum numbers that can be sustained in the short term, and the citizens consume around 30 times as much energy and resources as those of the Third World.

For example, the 120 million Japanese have a greater damaging impact on world resources than the whole of the population of India and China put together. The space that is available to us are 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by water and 29% is therefore dry land - of which, 20% of the land surface is too dry for agriculture, 20% of the land surface is too cold for agriculture, 20% of the land surface is too mountainous for agriculture, 20% of the land surface is forested or marshy. 20% of the Earth's land surface is left available for growing food and all the other crops that we need for our ever-increasing population. By maintaining the earth’s ability to support life. When dealing with the first of these priorities we can consider 3 main areas; agricultural systems, forests and coastal and freshwater systems.

How the 21st century issue is related to The Tragedy of the Commons

Commons are un-owned or commonly-held "pool" resources that are "free," or not allocated by markets.

Such actors will exploit commons (have more babies, add more cattle to pastures, pollute the air) as long as they believe the costs to them individually are less than the benefits.



The system of welfare insulates individuals from bearing the full costs of over-reproducing.

When every individual believes and behaves in this manner, commons are quickly filled, degraded, and ruined along with their erst-while exploiters.

A laissez-faire system (letting individuals choose as they like) will not "as if by an invisible hand" solve over-population



Possible solution to keep the issue from becoming a tragedy

The 21st century is not yet a dozen years old, and there are already 1 billion more people than in October 1999. The outlook for future energy and food supplies looking bleaker than it has for decades. It took humanity until the early 19th century to gain its first billion people. Then another 1.5 billion followed over the next century and a half.

In just the last 60 years the world’s population has gained yet another 4.5 billion.

Never before have so many animals of one species anything like our size inhabited the planet. Yet another argument often advanced to wave off population is the assertion that all of us could fit into Los Angeles with room to wiggle our shoulders. The image may comfort some. But space, of course, has never been the issue. The impacts of our needs, greed’s, and wants are

Who the “key players” are within the issue

Population growth rates are also influenced by the rates of in-migration and out migration. Throughout much of PEI’s history, migration has played the dominant role in shaping its population, throughout the inflows of the 1800s and the outflows of the early 1900s. migration has played a smaller role in population growth; however, it has had significant impacts on the cultural and demographic characteristics of the population. Now and in the future, with the declining and eventually negative effects of natural increase described above, migration patterns can be expected to play a growing role in determining population and demographic trends.