• Question: How do we solve the population problem?

    Asked by VladimirT to Ceri, Marikka, Matt, Rob, Sally on 18 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Sally Cutler

      Sally Cutler answered on 18 Nov 2014:

      This is a complicated one. My opinion is that all we can do is try to educate and make methods available to let people control their family sizes. It raises all kinds of issues such as religious and cultural beliefs. I don’t think the China model was too successful, forcing people may not be the moral route to take.

    • Photo: Robert Hampson

      Robert Hampson answered on 18 Nov 2014:

      Ironically, if you can reduce the infant mortality rate (stop young kids dying), women generally have fewr babies as they feel more secure that thier kids will survive to adulthood. They have fewer kids and invest more in the fewer children they have. This dramatically reduces population growth. This is why the West has a fairly small population in comparison to India or China who had very high infant mortality and fertility rates up until fairly recently.

    • Photo: Marikka Beecroft

      Marikka Beecroft answered on 18 Nov 2014:

      One way to is to make sure people get a living wage. A living wage is basically the amount of money you need for a normal standard of living. In the UK we have a minimum wage (the minimum amount you can pay someone) but it’s no where near the living wage!

      This can help solve population problems as people who feel financially secure have less children: in the UK we have a family size of 1.8 children, in Africa they have an average of 4.7! This is because of a number of reasons like culture, religion, child death rates (more children means mroe chance one of them will survive) etc.

    • Photo: Ceri Dare

      Ceri Dare answered on 18 Nov 2014:

      Why is population a problem? The amount of resources which each person uses is more of a problem.

      If babies are less likely to die, women have good education, everybody has access to contraception, and people have security in their old age, people don’t tend to have such big families – and these are all good things to do in their own right, regardless of any ‘population problem’.