Questions Choice and Concern

Why does the human population continue to grow exponentially?


Meghana Chauhan

Trust the timing of your life

The growth of human population is around 75 million every year and is expected to keep growing. There have been different opinions on whether it will continue to grow or it will saturate after some time. The growth rate has seen quite a decrease in different regions of the globe in recent years.

Many of the current environmental issues can be attributed to the population growth as with more and more people on earth; the renewable resources are diminishing faster. However what causes this explosion in population?

Before delving further into the population growth, let us first understand what exponential growth means and how it differs from the linear growth.

Linear and Exponential growth

We often consider growth as a linear factor where a constant amount gets added to the existing amount over some time. In this growth process, there is no influence of the existing number on the new addition.

This is not the case with the exponential growth though. In the case of exponential growth, the increase in number is proportional and related to the existing amount. Multiple factors govern the growth in population, and hence it is not just an increase in number or doubling of the existing amount. There are factors like fertility rates, mortality rates, etc. which have a bearing on the population figures.

Factors causing the growth of population

  • From the time man discovered agriculture for sustenance and stopped hunting, there has been an imbalance between the death and birth rates, which causes a steady increase in population.
  • Thanks to technology, science, and medical facilities have grown so well that there are a cure and vaccine for every disease, a direct impact on the death rate.
  • The fertility treatment options are also another cause which resulted in an increasing birth rate, making pregnancies much safer.
  • Lack of proper family planning, the illiteracy percentage in the population is another reason for the growing population.
  • If you look at the population growth over the years, you will find that while the birth rate has been considerably low, the population has continued to increase rapidly. This is due to the lower death rate, which was constantly reducing even more than the birth rate. In recent years though, especially after 1965, the birth rate has been decreasing rapidly too. 

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