Image for 5 possible solutions to overpopulation

5 possible solutions to overpopulation

If population growth is unsustainable, are there humane ways to limit it?

If population growth is unsustainable, are there humane ways to limit it?

1. Empower women

Studies show that women with access to reproductive health services find it easier to break out of poverty, while those who work are more likely to use birth control. The United Nations Population Fund aims to tackle both issues at once, running microcredit projects to turn young women into advocates for reproductive health.

2. Promote family planning

Simply educating men and women about contraception can have a big impact. When Iran introduced a national family planning programme in 1989, its fertility rate fell from 5.6 births per woman to 2.6 in a decade. A similar effort in Rwanda saw a threefold increase in contraception usage in just five years.

Image: Flickr user Tomizak

Get the Positive News weekly email Uplift your inbox every Saturday morning with our newsletter. Positive News editors select the week’s top stories of progress, bringing you the essential briefing about what's going right in the world. Sign up

3. Make education entertaining

The US-based Population Media Center gets creative to reach women. Its radio soap operas, which feature culturally specific stories about reproductive issues, have been heard by as many as 500 million people in 50 countries. In Ethiopia, 63 per cent of women seeking reproductive health services reported tuning in.

4. Government incentives

Those at UK charity Population Matters believe there should be a senior government official responsible for addressing population-related issues. They urge governments to promote “responsible parenthood” and say subsidies should be limited to the first two children unless the family is living in poverty.

5) One-child legislation

During China’s high controversial one-child policy, fertility fell from six births per woman in the 1960s to 1.5 in 2014. However, Amnesty International reports that the policy led to coerced or forced abortions and sterilisations. It also disrupted traditional support structures for the elderly and led to a gender imbalance.

Related articles

Help us continue to break the bad news bias

Positive News is helping more people than ever to get a balanced view of the world – one that supports their wellbeing and empowers them to make a difference towards a better future. And as our audience and impact grows, we’re showing the rest of the media that good news matters.

But the UK’s cost of living crisis is hitting us hard, with fewer people able to commit to a magazine subscription – which has traditionally been our main source of funding. Plus, paper and printing costs keep rising.

We don’t want to put a paywall on our website, because we believe everyone should have the chance to benefit from good news. But we won’t be able to continue funding our online reporting without your help.

If you value what we do and can afford to, please consider making a small, regular contribution as a Positive News supporter. We need 1,000 readers to contribute just £3 per month to get us through this challenging time.

And remember, as a not-for-profit, we work only in service to you, and all funds go towards our journalism.

SUPPORT POSITIVE NEWS NOW

Give a Positive News magazine gift subscription this Christmas

Each issue features informative, inspiring articles about what’s going right in the world, brought together in a beautifully designed and certified carbon neutral magazine.

Just £30 (UK)