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Overpopulation And The Environment Essay

2154 words - 9 pages

Humans have greatly impacted the global environment. Throughout the course of history, human populations have rapidly increased. Especially in Africa, these numbers have reached extraordinary proportions. Out of all the continents in the world, Africa’s population is increasing the most. The type of growth here is exponential. “Overpopulation is a condition when an organisms numbers exceeds the carrying of its ecological niche.” The growth rate of a population is equal to the birth rate minus the death rate. Therefore, for overpopulation to occur, the birth rate must surpass the death rate (Wiley). The current population of Nigeria is estimated to be 155,215,573. Most of the population consists of the younger generation. More specifically, 41% of the population is between the ages of 0-14. 56% of the population is between the ages of 15-64. However, only 3.1% of the population is 65 and over. This age group represents a very small part of the population. (CIA)
Overpopulation drastically affects the standard of living of the people. Not only does it affect the standard of living, it affects the environment as well. The environment has a certain carrying capacity of humans that it can support. When this carrying capacity is exceeded, the environment starts to deteriorate. With a large amount of people, land that can be used as valuable farmland is wasted. Also, with a great amount of humans, there is more waste produced. This waste contaminates local water and spreads disease, eventually leading to the destruction of wildlife. Animals as well as humans have a limited use of water because of the microorganisms and fecal matter in the water. Many ideas have been debated upon to help improve these conditions for both animals and people in Nigeria (Effects of Overpopulation).

As the Nigerian population continues to grow out of hand, the citizens’ demands for resources are increasing. Because the population is continually growing, forests are being torn down to provide the people with their ever-growing needs. As a result of deforestation, plant and animal species are losing their homes and over time, if this trend continues, they are going to be extinct ("Effects of Overpopulation"). Additionally, a large number of people excrete wastes and dump pollutants that flow into water sources, polluting the water and destroying animal habitats ("Effects of Overpopulation"). As a result, prices of edible animals are increasing because the majority of the big fish are gone ("Causes and Consequences of Overpopulation").
The United Nations estimated that by 2015, the population of Lagos, Nigeria will grow to 20 million, putting it in spot to be the third largest city in the world ("Lagos Plans To Solve Traffic, Overpopulation Problems With Development"). As the number of cars increase the demand for gasoline exceeds the availability of natural resources ("Causes and Consequences of Overpopulation"). As urban areas, the air and water around them is being...

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