Over-population is considered to be one of the most complex problems faced by the world today because the world population is increasing at a terribly fast rate. Some idea of this high rate may be formed hy the facts that upto 1830, the total world population was only one billion; it increased to two billions, in 1960 it was three billions; in 1975, it went up to about 4 billions; by the end of this century, it will almost certainly shoot upto 8 billions if it continues increasing at this rate!
But just what is over, population? If a country is thickly populated but it is, so well developed economically that its resources are fully utilized to satisfy the basic wants of its people, it cannot be termed overpopulation, it will be inevitable termed as overpopulated. Most countries of the world, especially the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, are overpopulated. This has made the problem very serious; so serious, indeed, that the economists often refer to it as the population bomb or the population explosion.
The one most important reason of over-population is, of course, the fact that human breeding and multiplying themselves so fast that the economic growth of countries has lagged far behind. But there is another reason also. This is the falling death rate without a corresponding decline in the birth-rate. The governments have undertaken a number of measures to prevent epidemics, use of life saving drugs, extensive medical facilities, etc. The result is that the growing population virtually eats up whatever economic progress the countries make. If the present high rate of birth continues, the population may increase and multiply at even a faster rate in future.
The problem of arresting the population growth has received serious attention of governments. The idea of planned parenthood is being advanced as a kind of a panacea for checking the birth-rate. This, of course, is going to prove a very effective step and has, therefore, become a part of governmental polices. If could result in a favourable balance between the numbers and resources.
All the mineral, power, agricultural, and industrial resources should also be tapped. When all these resources are exploited, and wealth is equitably distributed, the population bomb will be diffused. It has been rightly said that the population problem is not one of mere size of a family, but also of efficient production and equitable distribution.