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Human overpopulation

Related Terms

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Background

  • Experts define overpopulation, also called overinhabitation, as the presence of excessive numbers of a species, which are then unable to be sustained by the space and resources available.
  • The carrying capacity refers to the maximum number of organisms in a given species that an ecosystem can support. In overpopulation, the environment is unable to support the numbers of humans or animals within its space.
  • Environmental degradation, natural disasters, civil war, and forced resettlement may cause population increases in other locations. Internal displacement of large numbers of people, as well as undocumented migration across borders, may turn a region able to carry its original inhabitants into an overpopulated one.
  • According to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and the United Nations (UN), it was not until the 1800s that the earth's population reached one billion people. In 1930, the population reached two billion people. In 1960, the world's population reached three billion. As of October 2009, the global population is estimated to be 6.78 billion. It is projected that by 2013, the world population may reach seven billion people, an increase of 77 million people per year over these four years. This increase in population, when displayed graphically, follows a J-shaped curve.
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Technique

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Theory/Evidence

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Health Impact/Safety

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Future Research or Applications

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.