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Overpopulation in Africa

Background Information

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What is overpopulation?

I suppose we should start with the most obvious question.  That is, of course, what is overpopulation?  Overpopulation is something that occurs when the population of a species exceeds the land’s ability to support them.  While that is the true definition, most of the time overpopulation refers only to the relationship between humans and the Earth.   In the context of humans, overpopulation occurs when the population density is so great that it actually impairs the quality of life of the people, causes environmental damage, or long term shortages of essential resources.  These essential resources included are clean air and water, food, shelter, warmth, or anything else needed to survive in the given area.  Overpopulation can be written as a ratio.  This ratio is population over resources.  Many things are capable of causing overpopulation such as increases in births, decline in morality rates, or depletion of resources.


When did overpopulation begin in Africa?

Overpopulation has always existed, but it has become a more serious problem only recently.  Overpopulation started to worsen after the industrial revolution.  The reason for this is simple.  Before the industrial revolution, there were not very many kinds of medicines and while there were a lot of births, a large number of people starved to death or died of diseases.  However with the arrival of the industrial revolution, people in the developing world started to import medicine.  Their many children now had chances of surviving.  This has caused the population to grow very quickly.  The world's population increases at a rate of 1.6% per year.  Between 1960 and 2000 the world's population doubled to 6 billion.  By 2025 the world's population is estimated at 8 billion.                

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