Overpopulation is a temporary state in pro-coenopopulations cenosis or biocenosis, in which the number of individuals in the population exceeds the value corresponding to the conditions of a normal existence. Consequently, overpopulation is always accompanied by intensive destruction of the individuals, which results in the increased biocenotic selection and stabilization of the balance.
Human overpopulation is a type of demographic crisis, which is characterized by an excess of the population resource (lack of resources to maintain the hygiene of life) due to the lack of livelihoods for a part of society. Overpopulation is a relative value, depending on the resource base of the territory of residence of the population, and also includes an assessment of the development and renewal of the sources of livelihoods.
Overpopulation is evaluated through various methods:
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- Simple evaluation: the ratio of the measured population to the land area (including surface soil volume) in which it resides;
- Regenerative score: the pace of resource consumption of a given population to the rate of renewal of these same resources minus the amount of resources that is needed to maintain ecosystem and regenerative system of nature;
- Based on extensibility: the pace of population growth to the rate of development (economic, social, etc.), which provides the possibility of new sources and the potential to expand the resource base.
Types of overpopulation differ due to a lack of livelihood by different factors:
- Absolute – the level of science and technology.
- Relative – the lack of coordination of social mechanisms, labor surplus.
Large cities consume considerable amount of water, food and fuel, and instead emit a huge amount of gaseous, liquid and solid waste. In addition, the huge mass of the city, concentrated in a small area, puts considerable pressure on the earth’s crust, causing the displacement of its layers, micro-earthquakes.
While maintaining the existing population growth and its concentration in major industrial cities in the coming decades, we can anticipate an increase in the consumption of energy and material resources. This will necessitate the development of new principles of development of natural resources, including through the use of deposits in seas and oceans. Human intervention in natural processes will increase dramatically and can contribute to the change of the ground and groundwater composition, soil structure, climate change, etc.
Another important problem is the uneven distribution of population across the globe. Currently, about half of its population lives in just six countries. More than 90 % of the population is concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere. The process of urbanization is urban population growth. In 1950, in the world there were only 5 cities with a population of over 5 million people each, in 1980 there were 26 such cities, and in 2000 – about 50. We can see the emergence of giant cities with a population of 25-30 million people.
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