Overpopulation and the environment.

Natural resources such as land, water, energy, and ecosystems take a direct hit when populations grow. Remember that overpopulation is not so much about the number of people but about what the natural resources can support.

Land resources:

Large areas of land will be needed to meet the housing, agricultural, and other infrastructural needs of a growing population. This means peripheral forest lands may be exploited to make space for such needs and also to supply wood for the people. Additionally, the land is degraded as a result of continuous construction and land pollution.

Water resources:

Water pollution, water shortage, and water stress are often a characteristic of overpopulated regions. This is usually caused by the combination of poor sanitation, waste disposal, and excessive dependence on freshwater systems.

Energy resources:

People require energy to power their vehicles, run their industries, keep their homes warm, and provide heat for various purposes. This energy is obtained from a variety of sources including fossil fuels, hydroelectricity, wood, and other forms. With overpopulation, there is an increased demand for energy, and the use of these sources has a direct negative impact on the environment.


Ecosystem structure, function, integrity, and composition, supported by land and water resources directly take a hit when populations grow. Habitat and food chains are destroyed as humans encroach on the living spaces of biodiversity. Animals are forced away to find new habitats, many more die and some species have become extinct as a result.