Tell Me > Earth > Is the world too crowded?

Is the world too crowded?

 



Well, that's a hard question to answer. It's all a matter of perspective. In Montana, you might drive for a mile in any direction and not see another living being. In a Portuguese province called Macao, an average of 60,000 people live in every square mile! 



What is true is that the world's population doesn't stay the same. It has been increasing at a very fast rate. That's in part because in each generation there are more people who then have children than in the previous generation. 



Five hundred years ago, the population of the world was approximately 460 million. In 1900, the world's population was under 2 billion. Right now it is doubling every 40 years. That means, if this rate of growth continues, when you are a parent there will be twice as many people on earth as there are now. Wow! Now that's a whole lot of people! 



Soon the world's population will reach 6 billion. Some people worry about that! But there is a lot of disagreement about just how many people on earth equals too many people. But everyone agrees that the more people there are, the more resources the world needs to feed, house and take care of all of them, and the more need there is to think carefully about how we live and use the earth's resources.