Overpopulation is a function of the number of individuals compared to the relevant resources, such as the water and essential nutrients they need to survive.

It can result from an increase in births, a decline in mortality rates, an increase in immigration, or an unsustainable biome and depletion of resources.

Overpopulation is a situation where people in a particular country are many in relation to the available resources; it is also a situation whereby the population of a country is above the optimum population.

This situation will force people to compete for the available resources and due to shortages of resources; there will be a general decline in the standard of living.

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Positive effects of Overpopulation


Large Population makes it possible to mobilize enough people to defend the integrity of the country in times of war and any other emergencies. 

Increase in Labor Market

Increasing population ensures an increase in the labor force.

Lack of growth in the labor force will make a country static, retarded, and gets to equilibrium at less than full employment level of the economy.

Large Market

Investors would like to invest in a country with a large population.

As the population continues to grow so will be the growth in demand for food, shelter, clothing etc.

Negative Effects of Overpopulation


As a result of overpopulation, the available resources would not be able to do round and this will result to poverty in the country.


Overpopulation leads to unemployment, this is as a result of the number of people looking for job outruns available resources.

Social Problems

Overpopulation brings about social problems such as bribery, prostitution, armed robbery etc.

A decrease in the standard of living

Overpopulation leads to a fall in the standard of living. As a result of increased number of people, demand for essential commodities becomes highly competitive and it is those that are rich that would be able to afford them, thereby bringing a fall in the standard of living. Brain drain

Increase in Government expenses

Possible increase in dependency ratio

Low Per capita income if production level does not increase

Increase in imports, which will result to balance of payments deficit

Shortage of food

Difficulty in educating the children 

Under utilization of Labor


Food security is when people at all times need to have physical and economic access to food to meet their dietary needs fo an active and healthy life.

this is opposite to food insecurity which is when someone is unsure when they might next eat

factors affecting food security

human factors affecting food security

  • poverty prevent people affording food and farmers buying modern equipment
  • poor infrastructure makes food difficult to transport
  • conflict disrupt farming and prevent supplies
  • food waste due to poor transport and storage
  • climate change is affecting rainfall pattern making food production difficult

physical factors affecting food security

  • temperature need to be ideal for certain crops to grow
  • the quality of soil is important to ensure crops have the necessary nutrients
  • water supply need to be reliable to allow food to grow
  • pest diseases and parasites can destroy vast amounts of crops that are necessary to feed large population
  • extreme weather events can demage crops for example floods

malthus and boserup’s theories about food supply

malthus theory

Malthus believed that population would increase faster than food supply

this would lead to a shortage of food

Malthus believed this would cause large scale famine, illness, and war

this would occur until the population returned to a level that can be supported by available food

boserup theory

boserup believed that however big the population grew, people would find ways to manage

if food supplies became limited, people would find new ways to increase production

these solutions would often involve creating new technologies