Population Growth

Population Growth



Population Growth

1. In what ways is human population ecology similar to and different from that of other organisms? Why is it difficult to determine a carrying capacity for humans?

Humans form communities, which increase their survival capabilities. They have to compete with other organisms for their food and other resources that contribute to their sustenance. They experience periods of growth, stability, and decline. However, the human population ecology differs significantly from that of other organisms. Humans are able to manipulate and change their populations and those of other organisms. They can control their fertility and this determines how they choose to grow. Their ability to change their environment and the natural resources available to them makes it easier for them to survive. They do not have to be limited by factors such as disease, as they are in a position to find cures and prolong their lives. Determining the carrying capacity for human beings is difficult because of the constraints and consumption patterns. Technology has made it difficult to determine the carrying capacity. This is because it has enabled people to change their environmental constraints. They no longer have to survive and thrive on what the environment offers them. They can manipulate the available resources through technological innovation. They use their innovation to create more resources and to make the available resources more productive. The way people consume resources and their efficiency in use has led to the difficulty.

2. What are the environmental and social consequences of rapid population growth in rural developing countries? In urban areas?

Rapid population will have a negative impact on the environment. In the rural and developing countries, this may mean clearing forests so that people can get land for settlement and farming. This leads to loss of biodiversity of animal and plant species. It will also put a strain on the natural resources available. Water is one of the most important natural resources. It is finite and the government has to ensure that it uses the available water well. A rapid increase in population will put pressure on such a resource. On the other hand, it might have positive consequences since land will be rehabilitated and government will find use of the idle land. A rapid population in the urban areas will lead to congestion. More buildings will need to be constructed so that more people can find housing. In some urban areas, there is no room for expansion and growth and this will increase the cost of housing, which will in turn lower the standards of living, as more money will be spent on accommodation. It can lead to the growth of shantytowns. Rapid population growth will increase pressure on government institutions such as schools and hospitals. It can contribute to increased rates of crime especially in situations where the government is not able to provide jobs for the people or give them any form of assistance.

3. Compare future population projection, and their possible consequences, for developed and developing countries

The population is projected to increase in future. However, the trends are different for developing and developed countries. Most developed countries have a falling birth rate and this will decrease their estimated growth rate. However, they will have more dependents of older people. The attributed growth rate in developed countries will most likely be attributed to migration. This will change the composition of the population, as many nations will realize an increase in diversity. People are living longer in developed nations and this will increase the number of older people in the country’s population. Many developing countries will experience population growth as birth rates continue to increase.

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