Many people believe that that the resources of the Earth are enormous that population growth can continue and that there is no danger that we will ever run out of anything. Yet, many people had predicted that shortages of natural resources that would follow because of continued population growth. Overpopulation is like a big magnifying glass making little problems into big ones. Overpopulation is destroying the environment, lowering the standard of living, and generally degrading the quality of life.
Growth of population during 20th century was very rapid. In 1994 the total world population was estimated at about 5.6 billion people. It increased nearly by 4 billion people during past 100 years. The most significant world trend is that death rates are currently falling in poor and rich countries alike, while birthrates remain high in most poor countries and low in most rich ones. Exceptions are the generally higher death rates of Africa and the high birthrates of the rich oil-producing countries. .
Population control is also a question of individual rights. Many argue that it is up to an individual to determine the number of children they wish to have. Although everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, we need to look at the big picture. The well being of the human species is more important than that of an individual. .
To control rapid population growth, the Chinese government launched a massive campaign in the mid-seventies to encourage young people to marry late and to have few children. In the 1980's, the government called for a target family size of three, and introduced many laws to limit number of children to one, in special circumstances, two. These measures helped to slow population growth dramatically. Nonetheless, China continues to have about 18 million more new mouths to feed each year. .
For of thousands of years, the human population grew at a slow but steady increasing rate.