Overpopulation – The Human Explosion Explained

Overpopulation – The Human Explosion Explained


Never before in history, have there been so many people on Earth as right now. Our numbers have skyrocketed, from 1 billion in 1800, to 2.3 billion in 1940, 3.7 billion in 1970, and 7.4 billion in 2016. The world population increased fourfold in the last century, so what can we expect for the next century? And what does population growth mean for our future? Will there be mass-migration? Overcrowded slums and megacities covering continents? Diseases and pollution? Chaos and violence over energy, water, and food? And a human species focused only on sustaining itself? Will population growth destroy our way of life? Or is this prophecy just ungrounded panic? In the 1960s population growth reached an unprecedented rate. Which lead to apocalyptic prophecies. The poor would pro-create endlessly and overrun the developed world. The legend of overpopulation was born. But it turns out high birth rates and the population explosion are not permanent features of some cultures or countries, But rather a part of a four step process the whole world is going through, The demographic transition. Most developed countries have already made the transition, while other countries are doing it right now. Let’s go back to the 18th century, when the entire world, including Europe, was in the first stage of the demographic transition. By today’s standards, Europe was worse off, than a developing region, suffering from poor sanitation, poor diets, and poor medicine. A lot of people were born, but lots of them died just as fast, so the population hardly grew. Women had between 4 and 6 children, but only 2 of them would reach adulthood. Then the industrial revolution happened in the UK and bought the greatest change in human living conditions since the agricultural revolution. People went from being peasants to workers. Manufactured goods were mass produced and became widely available. The sciences flourished and advanced transportation, communication, and medicine. The role of women in society shifted and created the conditions for their emancipation. Slowly this economic progress not only formed a middle class, but also raised standards of living and health care for the poor working population. The second transition stage started. Better food supplies, hygiene and medicine, meant people stopped dying all the time, especially so, at a very young age. The result was a population explosion. Doubling the UK’s population between 1750 and 1850. The main reasons families used to have lots of children was that only a few of them were likely to survive. Now that had changed, so the third stage of transition was set in motion. Fewer babies were conceived, and population growth slowed down. Eventually a balance emerged, fewer people were dying and fewer children were born, so the death rate and birth rate became stable. Britain had reached the fourth stage of the demographic transition. This didn’t only happen in the UK, more and more countries went through the four stages. First, many births and many deaths due to bad living conditions. Second, better living conditions leading to fewer deaths and a population explosion. Third, fewer deaths resulting in fewer births, and population growth came to an end. But if birth rates have dropped so much, why is the population still growing so fast? Well, the children born in the population explosion of the 70s and 80s are having kids themselves now. Leading to a noticeable spike in overall population. But they are having far fewer children on average than their parents. The average today is 2.5, it was 5, 40 years ago. So as this generation gets older, and fertility declines further, the rate of population growth will keep on slowing. This is true for every country. In the west, we tend to overlook progress in other regions of the world. But actually most of the world’s countries have made it to the fourth stage. Just look at Bangladesh. In 1971, the average woman had 7 kids, but 25% of them would die before the age of 5. In 2015, the mortality rate was down to 3.8% and women had only 2.2 kids on average. This is the rule, not an exception, we’re not special, we just had a head start. It took developed countries about 80 years to reduce fertility from more than 6 children, to less than 3. Others are catching up fast. Malaysia and South Africa did it in only 34 years; Bangladesh took just 20. Iran managed it in 10 years. All these countries that are catching up didn’t have to start from scratch and the more support they get, the faster they catch up. This is why programs that help lower child mortality or help poor nations develop, are so important, No matter what your motivation is, whether you dream of a world where all people live in freedom and wealth, or you just want fewer refugees coming into your country, The simple truth is, that it’s beneficial to you personally if people on the other side of the globe can live a good life. And we are getting there, the percentage of people living in extreme poverty has never been as low as today. So the future of global population growth is not an apocalyptic prophecy, it’s a promise! Population growth will come to an end. The UN forecasts that the 12th billionth human will never be born at all. And as the development level of the world rises, the number of people a higher education will increase tenfold. Countries who used to be a need, will help advance development instead. More people is going to mean more people able to advance our species. This video was a collaboration with Max Roser and ourworldindata, where he explores the progress of humanity through research and data visualisation. Make sure to check it out! In 2016 we were able to make more and better content than ever before, because of your support on Patreon.com. Thank you so much and we will be back in the year 12,017.

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100 thoughts on “Overpopulation – The Human Explosion Explained”

  • Dreamer Music's Stuff says:

    The problem is that the current population size is already only barely sustainable on the planet if everyone lowers his unnecessary emissions completely at once.

  • सारे धरम पर लागु होना चाहीये. तब भारत देश महान होगा.🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳हम 2 हमारे 2

  • Khalifah Iskandar says:

    the ONLY problem is those 'country line' and rules that bind people. also, we can't just build our house in a soil like all mankind used to do. we have permits to get, we have to pay, we have to pay taxes every year for the soil we bought already. SEE AROUND, there's canyon, there's savanna, there's a lot of forest, there's a mountain, and there's a lot of unused Lot. so … take my word. even after uncontrolled birth and death in 700 years later. this earth still suffice to contain ALL human inside of it. BUT again, you have to have a money to buy a land, who own the Earth? God . God give earth to human to live in FREE. and crazy people with power take over and Monetized ALL. and THAT'S the problem, not the earth is 'not big enough to live in' . see history of Tsamud. a civilization in a long time ago, they built their city by carving stone-mountain slope.

  • The main premise of this video is flawed. It states that world population growth will slow as more underdeveloped countries transition to become developed countries. The problem is that each person in a developed country has much more of an impact on the Earth’s environment than each person in an underdeveloped or developing country. People in developed countries live much longer, consume much more of the Earth’s resources, pollute more, add more to climate change and contribute more to the displacement / extinction of other species. As an example, in North America each person on average uses 100 times more water than a person in Africa. So even if the world population does level off, that increasingly affluent population will still have an ever increasing impact on the Earth’s environment. The size of the Human population will still be a problem.

  • Thank you for making this video, I show this to people every time some one makes ridiculous or just horrible suggestions for this supposed problem of overpopulation.

  • I do not believe this video accurately describes what will happen in the future…it is too optimistic…Just the population growth in Africa and India alone will surpass the optimism in this video of a stable world population…also religious, racial, and governmental differences will cause humans to compete over population and resources…

  • This is a joke, is some nations reach the last stage than the lesser nations will indefinitely be be held down by them due to their lack of power. This means population will increase until there is a collapse. What this leads to is the lower stage nations having more births than the higher stage nations which leads to a whole new set of population issues.

  • We may not get to 12 billion, but 11.5 billion will be very crowded, that is 4 billion more than we have now. The good thing is that it is the best time in history for women. You can have kids if you want, but if you choose not to, there is no guilt in the decision, stay in University, have a busy career and travel. India will become more crowded and polluted , almost unlivable. Japan will still be a very wealthy country in 50 years, they will drop down to 100 million people , but still have great education and old age care.

  • Some thoughts:
    1. There are hundreds of countries that are completely falling apart because they are too poor for birth control medicine. Many places in Africa, for example, are overrun with children and no adults to take care of them. There are also still hundreds of countries in extreme poverty that you can't find out about in a National Geographic magazine.
    2. Big family's are wonderful things and are very underrated. Something I have frequently seen (and there definitely are exceptions) is that small families are not very close, they have created the 'average' sibling rivalry that adults in this age expect. When there are more people living together for long periods of time, they have to get close, or they will murder each other. Yes, some will get along better than others, but there is rarely a complete hatred from one person to another.
    3. When you think about population control, you have to consider that it's not just numbers, these are people we're talking about. Even with abortion (which has sadly commonly become a modern Molech), you have to think about the repercussions of the death of that person. Even if it isn't a person (of which I strongly disagree), the fetus will grow into one, and it will most likely have kids and a family, and their kids will have kids and get a family, and so in the death of that 'shrimp like tissue', an abortion ini verdantly kills millions of people.
    4. We need to watch out that the government does not start limiting our freedom when it comes to how kids we are allowed to have (in an up-to sort of way). Getting a policy like China's is extremely unethical not to mention the devastation it causes to millions of potential mothers.

  • And here comes Bernie Sanders saying we need to fund more fertility facilities to carry out more abortions due to overpopulation and climate change. SMH

  • Except we’re bucking the 4th stage globally. There’s no stability just decline. Look at Japan and South Korea, Russia, China, America, Europe, etc. Overpopulation is a pure myth. We’re facing mass underpopulation! This generation is not creating the next generation in enough numbers to stabilize the populations of 1st and 2nd world countries. You need a birth rate of 2.1 for a stable population and almost no 1st and 2nd world nation has that. We’re facing a population bust!

  • I personally fear of an upcoming major war, never before in human history has been such peace for such a long time. I hope that we can keep this up.

  • Recreational Account says:

    Maybe, but our current number and quality of life is nowhere near sustainable unless we start cultivating the Earth specifically with us in mind, and ceasing pollution- that'll be hard to manage and having a population of less than a billion humans with machines doing the work would be the better option IMO.

  • leftists want a global extermination
    Anyway, the only way to solve it is through science and progress, not by going back to the caves. If we go back to the caves like the leftists want us, human population will be back at 400 million people at most. Perhaps this is what they want

    Ironically, my father have mentioned overpopulation problem in his college research paper 40 years ago and he was called almost a "fascist". Today leftists are openly discussing the overpopulation problem…

  • This doesn’t make any sense at all . How can the population be balanced because of education and less poor class? The human population will continue to explode due to these reasons and that fact the mortality rate is low and people live longer. Humans want to downplay the fact that we are spreading and multiplying like a cancer. One day governments will need to find ways to control and reduce the population. Especially in urbanized cities which are like cancerous tumors on earth.

  • We just have a head start, is that right? Why didn't you compare & contrast IQs of different nations? Are Africans going to have the same IQs as Asians in 10 years? Because you left that question unanswered

  • Stop having children this is not sustainable for Planet to all this people have this consumerist Life standards. Less people will be better for Planet.

  • The wage disparity is a bit of an issue and distribution of wealth. Soon there will be only rich people left to eat🤮

  • So if everybody's having "2.5" children, how is the population going to *decrease*? Am I the only one seeing a problem here?

  • Afrika Joins the chat.
    if they find a cure to ebola and aids, afrika's population will not only skyrocket, it will just penetrate the top like a black meteor… these people have no idea how to use kondoms and reproduce faster than ants 😓

  • Einigkeit&Recht&Freiheit says:

    You forget to mention, that 50 years from now on maybe africa will have reached 4 stage. With none of us remaining in peace 🙂

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