Population size It's no surprise that as the world population continues to grow, the limits of essential global resources such as potable water, fertile land, forests and fisheries are becoming more obvious.
Yet cities and localities have limited ability to slow growth through zoning and planning. With 10 times the population, the United States consumes times more resources than Kenya does.
Focusing solely on population number obscures the multifaceted relationship between us humans and our environment, and makes it easier for us to lay the blame at the feet of others, such as those in developing countries, rather than looking at how our own behaviour may be negatively affecting the planet.
While this is a triumph for mankind, and certainly a good thing for the individual, from the planet's point of view it is just another body that is continuing to consume resources and produce waste for around 40 per cent longer than in the past.
Dramatic population increases in these less developed areas will lead to a higher mortality rate and a lower life expectancy because of problems with infrastructure, food, water and housing. Overpopulation is usually seen as a problem that puts future generations at risk. Their suffering may include a shortage of food, limited access to healthcare and other public services, overcrowding, and high unemployment.