Overpopulation refers to a population which exceeds its sustainable size within a particular environment or habitat. Overpopulation results from an increased birth rate, decreased death rate, the immigration to a new ecological niche with fewer predators, or the sudden decline in available resources. Therefore, overpopulation describes a situation in which a population in a given ecosystem limit the resources available for survival.
When we use the term “overpopulation,” we specifically mean a situation in which the Earth cannot regenerate the resources used by the world’s population each year. Experts say this has been the case every year since 1970, with each successive year becoming more and more damaging. To help temper this wildly unsustainable situation, we need to understand what’s contributing to overpopulation and overconsumption and how these trends are affecting everything from climate change to sociopolitical unrest.