Point of View

Depopulation is far greater threat than Overpopulation

Human beings themselves are immensely valuable resources

The society often has gone into stagnation with fewer people around to work, innovate, create and build

Raza Muhammad Suhriyani

Considering depopulation as a threat one needs to first see why most of the world came to believe that overpopulation is the problem. The idea is that there are simply too many people in the world. The popular view dates back over 200 years ago, Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) economist and demographer. For Malthus, this fear of overpopulation lead to him detesting the poor, As a result, he proposed various solutions to what he thought was an imminent overpopulation crisis, with nearly all of them involving killing off much of Britain’s poorer population. Malthus even went so far as publicly call for the return of the plague (Pandemic) to achieve his goal. Paul Ehrlich (1932-Present) American biologist, had Many of Malthus’s original thoughts in his book “the population bond “.

In the 1980s, China implemented a one-child policy based on many of the arguments Ehrlich put forward. Even to the present day, there has been a nearly endless stream of claims from individuals, governments, and international organizations like the World Economic Forum arguing that the world is overcrowded.

Analyzing fairly, there was a population boom between 1800 and today. The population went up from 1 billion in 1800 to over 8 billion today. But far from driving humanity to the brink of starvation. The poverty rates have been slashed, in 1800 over 80% of their 1 billion people were living in complete poverty, but today with 07 billion more people, the number is less the 20% poverty worldwide. Virtually every prediction Ehrlich had brought in is completely disproved, in some instances with laughable results. However, the Chinese government went from imposing a one-child policy to finalizing the axing of all population controls in 2021.

In January 2022, Fumio Kishida Prime Minister of Japan. He gave a speech where he warned that Japan’s population is shrinking so fast that the country was “on the cusp of whether it can maintain its societal functions”. It sounds hyperbolic but considering this 2022 marked the lowest recorded number of births in the history of Japan. Major cities like Tokyo continue to grow, and the rest of the country is in rapid decline. Moreover, current projections indicate that Japan is expected to shrink by over 30 million people in less than 3 decades.

When one looks at places where the population has already taken place, one finds shrinking economies, fewer jobs, and declining living standards, compared to places with healthy and stable population growth. The reason is that human beings themselves are immensely valuable resources, not just another mouth to feed. And with fewer people around to work, innovate, create, build, and probably society can and often has gone into stagnation.


Raza Muhammad Suhriyani hailing from Kandhkot, Sindh, is pursuing his graduation in defense and strategic studies from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad.


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