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What is the best way to address the issue of exponential population growth occurring...

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lcowan6 | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted December 11, 2012 at 12:42 AM via web

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What is the best way to address the issue of exponential population growth occurring around the world?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 11, 2012 at 1:03 AM (Answer #1)

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The best way to address the issue of excessive population growth is through helping places that have high population growth to become more prosperous.  Most of the countries and regions of the world with really high birth rates are poor countries.  Countries’ birth rates drop dramatically as they get richer.  It appears that this is because children are not an economic benefit to families in rich countries.  In poor countries, families with more children have more members who can work to help the family.  Parents with many children have more chances to have someone who will take care of them when they are old.  In rich countries, children do not work and, instead, cost a lot of money to educate.  Pensions take care of the elderly so their children do not have to.  Therefore, people in wealthy countries have less of an incentive to have many children. 

Of course, helping poor countries to become prosperous is not easy.  In the meantime, we might want to try to educate people about contraception and encourage them to use it.  However, this is not easy either.  The most “natural” way to get people to have fewer children is to make them wealthier.

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