The 10 Most Overpopulated Cites In The World 
Overpopulation begets poverty. When a city is overpopulated, the ratio of available resources to the number of people sharply decreases. There simply is not enough to go around, because there are too many people for whom goods, services and economies such as food, water, shelter, health care and opportunities are available.

Below is a list of the 10 most overpopulated cities in the world. This list was compiled according to Demographia World Urban Areas and is based upon a study of 1,758 urban areas.

The 10 Most Overpopulated Cites In The World

10. Malegaon, India

Population: 720,000. Population density per square kilometer: 23,200. Malegaon is a city and Municipal Corporation in the Indian state of Maharashtra, nestled within the Nashik District. A series of bombings shook the land in 2006, but the country has since been able to retain peace in the land.

9. Vijayawada, India

Population: 1,900,000. Population density per square kilometer: 23,700. Vijayawada, which translates to “the Place of Victory,” is a city of nearly two million people located on the banks of the Krishna River. It is considered a major transportation hub and is known for being a significant location for Buddhist and Hindu ritual.

8. Tshikapa, The Democratic Republic of the Congo

Population: 810,000. Population density per square kilometer: 24,100. A city of Tshikapa is located roughly 30 miles north of the border with Angola. It is perhaps best known as a terrain fertile for diamonds. Since the first diamond was discovered on the land in 1907, diamond mining and exploitation have been the focus of the Tshikapa economy.

7. Hong Kong, China

Population: 7,380,000. Population density per square kilometer: 25,900. Being the Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong is the seventh most overpopulated city in the world, and perhaps one of the most familiar on the list. This is one of the most economically powerful cities in the world and it seemingly has something for everyone.

6. Macau, China

Population: 675,000- Population density per square kilometer: 26,100. Under Chinese sovereignty for 20 years, Macau was formerly under Portuguese control from 1557 up to 1999. Now a Special Administrative Region of China, Macau is known for its elaborate entertainment industry, so much so that it has come to be dubbed the “Las Vegas of Asia.”

5. Mumbai, India

Population: 23,260,000 million. Population density per square kilometer: 26,400. India’s largest city Mumbai is often considered among the major cities of the world. It is at the heart of India’s financial and commercial interests, built upon the site of an ancient settlement. Mumbai, formerly Bombay, also has the distinction of being the home of Bollywood.

4. Surat, India

Population: 6,200,000. Population density per square kilometer: 26,600. The eighth largest city in India and one of the world’s most rapidly growing cities, Surat plays a key role in the country’s textile industry.

3. Al-Raqqa, Syria

Population: 845,000. Population density per square kilometer: 27,200. Al-Raqqa, nestled along the Euphrates River, was an important city even in distant past, during the Abbasid dynasty (786-908 CE). Of recent, the city was prominence as the de facto headquarters of ISIS in their brief conquest of the land, but with ISIS overthrown, so too was this notoriety.

2. Mogadishu, Somalia

Population: 2,600,000. Population density per square kilometer: 28,600. The capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, has been considered one of the foremost ports of the world for thousands of years.

1. Dhaka, Bangladesh

Population: 17,400,000. Population density per square kilometer: 47,400. Dhaka, the most overpopulated city in the world and the capital of Bangladesh is known for its culture and education. It is also known for ornate architecture from its history as a prominent region in Muslim rule during the 17th century

These 10 most overpopulated cities in the world share many challenges, including a lack of resources and high poverty levels. However, with the unrelenting work of the international community, overpopulation is a problem predicted to end (with the current projections of global population peak in 2070 followed by a long-term decrease).

Lacy Rab
Photo: Flickr

Overpopulation in IndiaAccording to recent studies, India is set to surpass China as the world’s most populous nation by as early as 2024. In a country where 25 percent of the population is already living on less than $2 a day, many fear the growing population will only make the poverty situation worse.

Although rapid population growth does not necessarily cause poverty, there is a clear connection between high fertility rates and poverty. In developing countries with high fertility rates, life expectancy and per capita income (two important indicators of well being) typically remain low.

The good news is that fertility rates in India have dropped significantly as of late, down to 2.2 births per woman. Yet the population is still growing at the world’s fastest rate at nearly 15 million people per year. Whatever measures are taken to combat overpopulation in India, it remains clear that overpopulation is a pressing issue with far-reaching implications on the environment, poverty and health. The following are 10 facts regarding overpopulation in India.

10 Facts About Overpopulation in India

  1. According to U.N. estimates, India’s current population of 1.32 billion is projected to reach 1.8 billion by 2050.
  2. Indians account for nearly one-sixth of the global population and one in three people living in global poverty, according to statistics from Yale University.
  3. The fertility rate of Indian women has more than halved over the last 40 years, down to 2.2 births per woman. Falling fertility rates are important in that they typically correspond with rising life expectancy and quality of life.
  4. Around 31 percent of Indians currently live in urban areas, but that number is projected to climb to near 50 percent (830 million people) by 2050.
  5. Currently, India is home to five megacities; this number is slated to increase to seven by 2030. A megacity is a city of more than 10 million people.
  6. Delhi is projected to remain the second most populous city in the world in 2030, adding 9.6 million inhabitants in that time.
  7. While only 300,000 men agreed to vasectomies in 2008-09, more than 5.5 million women agreed to use an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCDs) to avoid pregnancy. These procedures are sponsored by the government to promote population control.
  8. The number of married women who regularly use contraceptives has gone up from 13 percent in 1970 to 48 percent in 2009.
  9. Indians have added almost a decade to their life expectancy in the past 25 years, with average life expectancy up to 69 years.
  10. India registered 90,000 fewer infant deaths in 2016 as compared to 2015.

Although the statistics can appear staggering, there is still reason to be optimistic. In India, trends in women’s education, fertility rates and quality of life have all shown improvements in recent history. This is important since improvements in these areas all correspond to decreasing poverty and population levels.

Furthermore, since countries with higher levels of income, education and access to health care typically have lower birth rates, experts are beginning to urge the government to focus on the development of these areas. Others are advocating for a government enforced family planning strategy, much like China’s one-child policy.

There is certainly overpopulation in India, but with awareness of the issue and sustained efforts to combat it, both poverty and population can be brought under control.

– Taylor Pace
Photo: Flickr

Overpopulation and PovertyThere has been a longstanding notion that overpopulation and poverty are related. The belief is that overpopulation causes poverty. While it is true that many of the poor nations around the world are overpopulated, research has shown that overpopulation is not the prime reason for poverty.

Experts believe that blaming overpopulation for the financial struggle of a nation could be an oversimplification of the problem. Here are the three main myths when it comes to overpopulation and poverty.

Three Myths About OverPopulation and Poverty

  1. Improving healthcare in poor nations contributes to overpopulation: Couples in poor nations on an average have four children, double the average of their counterparts in a developed nation. It is not a coincidence that the same nations also have the highest infant mortality rate and the worst healthcare facilities in the world. The reason for this is that parents are hoping to make sure that at least two of their children live long enough to take care of them when they are old.When medical facilities are improved, the infant mortality rate drops. As a result, children are less affected by fatal diseases and live longer healthier lives. Gradually, parents start to have smaller families due to a confidence that their existing offspring shall live and thrive and the overall population growth rate starts to drop.Therefore, poor health care conditions are actually what contribute to overpopulation and poverty. Conversely, improving healthcare facilities helps reduce the population.
  2. Foreign aid to poor countries leads to overpopulation: The U.S. contributes less than one percent of its GDP toward foreign aid. The funding reaches the poorest of nations around the world, helping them fulfill the basic needs of their populations like providing grains at subsidized rates, providing clean drinking water and building toilets, among others. This, in turn, reduces the risk of fatal diseases like typhoid and diarrhoea.Foreign aid also supports education, specifically girls’ education. Educating a female child is still considered an unnecessary financial burden or even taboo in many societies. Girls’ education is often discontinued to fund their brothers’ education.Girls’ education is a key factor to resolve overpopulation and poverty. Research and data in the past decades have shown that improving girls’ education has a direct and profound impact on population control. Therefore, foreign aid does not cause overpopulation; rather, it helps uplift nations out of poverty, giving them basic amenities and education.
  3. Overpopulation cannot be solved in this lifetime: Controlling the constantly rising population is a daunting task. Based on the current population growth rate, the world population is projected to swell to 11 billion people in the year 2100. Nevertheless, by reaping the benefits of persistent efforts toward improving global medical facilities, equality in education and birth control awareness overpopulation and poverty can be resolved. More importantly, it is possible in this lifetime.By bringing down the average number of children per couple to 1.5, total world population would decline to about six billion by 2100–less than half the projected rise! Fewer people means more resources, subsequently leading to a greater number of self-sufficient and prosperous nations.

These myths about overpopulation and poverty have persisted for years and still continue to stand in the way of poverty eradication. If the world is to move toward a brighter, healthier, more equal future for all, these myths must be eradicated as well.

– Himja Sethi
Photo: Flickr

most overpopulated citiesAs the population of the world keeps growing, the Earth’s resources are shrinking and being unevenly distributed. This overpopulation leads to a declining ratio of food producers to food consumers.

There are not enough resources or available land for many struggling individuals to survive. Thus, they must flock to urban areas where there is rapid growth in the world economy. In cities, people can specialize in different fields within the industrial and service sectors. However, there are too many people trying to fill these small confines of city life.

As cited on the National Geographic website, “in cities, two of the most pressing problems facing the world today also come together: poverty and environmental degradation.” This is due to the vast degradation of resources in urban settings and the exacerbation of poverty. This is especially prominent in an analysis of the most overpopulated cities in the world.

The Five Most Overpopulated Cities and Their Populations

  1. Sao Paulo, Brazil: 21,297,000
  2. Mumbai, India: 21,357,000
  3. Shanghai, China: 24,484,000
  4. Delhi, India: 26,454,000
  5. Tokyo, Japan: 38,140,000

The most overpopulated cities tend to be in developing countries where poverty is rampant due to this overcrowding. Even in developed countries, the cities listed deal with intense smog and pollution problems that exacerbate health and poverty issues.

In less developed regions, there is a higher death rate for children and adolescents. Unsanitary living conditions threaten survival rates. This is especially evident in urban areas where crowding is so common that slums have grown rapidly.

In order to combat poverty in the most overpopulated cities, education and economic growth are critical. By engaging the government to work with its community, the government will better understand which challenges should be addressed first. Therefore, education, paired with improved living conditions in cities, will help ensure children are surviving into adulthood.

These are the key ingredients to overcoming poverty and environmental pollution in overpopulated urban areas.

– Caysi Simpson

Photo: Flickr

World Hunger's Causes and Effects
The causes of world hunger are directly related to those of poverty. Close to 795 million, or one in nine, people living in the world today do not have enough food. Ending world hunger requires an understanding of the causes and effects.

  1. War causes communities which are dealing with crumbling infrastructure, violence and fleeing refugees to be largely unable to maintain stable food systems. Declining income levels during times of war significantly impacts the supply of food and food security.
  2. Agricultural practices such as deforestation, over-grazing and over cropping combined with drought and the effects of soil erosion can often destroy farm and grazing land.
  3. Climate change is a huge factor in causing world hunger as it has been increasing the number of droughts, floods and tropical storms. These often unexpected, rapid natural disasters destroy the small plots of land that farmers count on for their food and livelihood.
  4. As the global population continues to increase, especially in developing countries, the demand for food will invariably continue to rise as well. As food prices rise, it is becoming harder and harder for developing countries to match production rates with the population growth rates.

Poverty and hunger more often than not go hand in hand. Poor people just do not have the resources such as tools, money, land and even physical energy  to combat hunger.

World hunger itself causes roughly 146 million children to be underweight while one in three children in a developing country have their growth stunted. Approximately 66 million primary school age children go hungry every day and between 2 to 3.5 billion people have micronutrient deficiencies. Over nine million people die worldwide from hunger and malnutrition. Five million of those people are children.

In the world right now there is enough food to feed every human being on the planet. Yet according to globalissues.org, concernusa.org and many other organizations and sources, a shocking amount of food is wasted in first-world countries and even in third-world countries.

Drusilla Gibbs

Sources: Concern USA, Freedom from Hunger, WFP, Global Issues
Photo: Flickr

global_Population
New U.N. projections show that the Earth’s population will reach 11.2 billion by 2100.

The world’s current population is approximately 7.3 billion, a growth of one billion people in the past 12 years. While Earth’s population is still increasing, it is doing so at a slower rate nowadays.

The global population used to grow by around 1.24 percent each year, but that number has now decreased to 1.18 percent, an annual addition of around 83 million people.

Still, Earth is expected to hit its estimated population by the end of the century primarily due to declining child mortality rates and increased life expectancy.

The greatest increases are expected in Africa and Asia. Specifically, Africa will see the greatest surge in population, with more than half of the expected growth occurring there. The continent is expected to have a population of 1.3 billion by 2050.

Asia, on the other hand, is predicted to add one billion people to the global population. Additionally, India is expected to top China as the most populous country within the next seven years.

The majority of the burden will be placed on the poorest and least developed areas, making it hard to achieve equality.

These places include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger, Somalia and Uganda.

With the global population seeing such increases, and the majority of increases coming in the poorest areas, the greatest impacts will be seen on the environment, economy and health.

To help cope with the expected surge in global population, there is a worldwide need for birth control, as well as better care for the aging population.

Not only does birth control help stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, but according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it prevents almost two million unintended pregnancies in the U.S. every year.

Estimates also show that every $1 spent in family planning funded by the public saves $4 on Medicaid expenses that would be needed for pregnancy care.

Elderly people will soon make up a larger percentage of the world’s population, according to the World Health Organization. With developing countries seeing higher life expectancies, reports indicate that elderly people will soon make up 16 percent of the world’s population.

In fact, it’s estimated that that the number of elderly people on Earth will be higher than the number of infants by 2020.

The biggest threats when it comes to the elderly are chronic and preventable diseases. Moving forward, the goal is to reduce the severity of illnesses such as cancer and diabetes. In doing so, the older population will be able to remain healthy and mobile for a longer period of time.

Accomplishing this goal will also take pressure off the world’s infrastructure that is impacted by the aging population, such as facilities that deal with healthcare and long-term living.

Matt Wotus

Sources: Healthline News, United Nations
Photo: Tech Times

How Their 1979 Revolution Brought Iran Into Poverty-TBP
Revolutions spin nations into a whirlwind of anxiousness, confusion and, often economic changes. The changes that ensued after the 1979 Iranian Revolution sent the nation into economic troubles for a multitude of reasons.

After the revolution, the new government federalized businesses, which has ended up further hurting the economy. With the new sanctions and laws regarding the businesses, families have experienced a more difficult time to provide for themselves.

To add to the shift in government and adjusting to the new laws, a baby boom occurred in Iran following the 1979 revolution. Following the revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini asked women of the new Iran to have a substantial amount of babies that could one day protect their nation and faith.

After his call for children, the population came close to doubling from 34 million citizens to 62 million, according to The United States Institute of Peace: The Iran Primer.

With such a drastic jump in population, the Islamic Republic soon came to realize that they could not “feed, clothe, house, educate and eventually employ the growing numbers.” Without the ability, space or resources necessary, many families fell into poverty at a significant rate.

As more families sought refuge and aid in any form available, the option of terrorism became more tempting. Not because they desired terroristic actions, but often terrorist groups will travel through impoverished areas promising to pay considerable amounts to those who join their groups.

When in desperate need of money to care for one’s family, the willingness to join radical alternatives becomes a considerable option. With the insecurity of families and nations placed upon them, the feeling of hopelessness only grows.

However, after the dramatic increase in population, a progressive family planning program was enacted in an attempt to slow the population growth and allow the government to provide for those already born.

The program was advanced, especially for the time. Billboards went up across the nation encouraging smaller family sizes, volunteers were sent door-to-door to advocate for why fewer children were the better option, family planning classes were required before marriage and health centers began distributing free birth control and condoms all in an effort to slow the birth rate and end the baby boom.

With the new program in place, birth rates soon began to decline at what was a comforting rate. In 1988, women were averaging 5.5 births. By 2006, the average had decreased to 1.9 births per woman, and was continuing to drop.

Though the birth rate had declined like intended, with the continually dropping rate, a new concern arose. There was now an exceedingly large generation of baby boomers being followed by a generation that would not even replace their parents.

The abrupt decline in births has, and still is, causing problems regarding their ability to support the immense aging population.

With this vast difference of situations and problems, the Iranian government and population is continuing to feel a struggle in the prolonged wake of the 1979 revolution.

Between the excessive number of babies and then the sudden drop in births, the population fluctuation is one of Iran’s numerous economic issues that they as a nation and separate communities are having to deal with.

– Katherine Wyant

Sources: Iran Primer, International Affairs Review, Iran Primer
Photo: Iran News Update

climate_change_in_bangladesh
Within the scientific community, it is a foregone conclusion that developing coastal nations with lowland geography are the most susceptible to impending climatic changes. Bangladesh has recently begun to see these effects with sea levels rising and more frequent and intensified weather conditions. Being situated in Southeast Asia, the country is already susceptible to monsoons, landslides, hurricanes and natural flooding. These factors present an alarming set of natural environmental implications.

This is especially true for a country where a quarter of the land area is less than 7 feet above sea level. Bangladeshi scientists have estimated that by 2050, 17 percent of the country area will have been submerged. This would displace roughly 18 million people and, in turn, significantly cut the country’s food supply.

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated and underdeveloped countries in the world. The country has roughly a fifth of the land area of France and contains a population of about 166 Million. This has resulted in an incredibly high population density at 755 persons per km. This set of circumstances poses a serious problem for almost all current climate projections and estimates.

The overpopulation has also caused a great strain upon the country’s remaining fertile lands. Bangladesh lies in the Ganges River Delta which is made up of over 230 rivers and streams. Approximately 55 percent of the country’s low lying geography is arable land, making agriculture one of Bangladesh’s biggest industries. Currently, 45 percent of the country’s workforce lives in and relies upon a suddenly shrinking agriculture industry.

As flooding increases and sea levels rise, there is simply not enough arable land to sustain a country of over 160 million people. The country’s economy is mostly agrarian-based and many residents are subsistence farmers. The floods have completely destroyed many of the county’s rice crops which are a staple of the Bangladeshi diet and crucial for many farmers’ livelihoods.

Historical data shows that floods have increased in frequency, intensity and duration since Bangladesh’s independence in 1971. This past summer, flooding in Northern Bangladesh left half a million people displaced and homeless. The two main rivers of Bangladesh, the Meghna and the Brahmaputra, rose to dangerous levels and completely flooded 14 of the country’s 64 districts. Being displaced from their homes, people sought refuge in makeshift shelters, and in some cases, schools.

In response to these conditions, Bangladesh has initiated a National Plan of Action and National Climate Change Strategy. The programs have begun a process of dredging rivers, raising levees and pumping water to compensate for increased flood conditions. The programs have also focused on creating early warning systems and has built over 2,500 concrete storm shelters. Almost 6,000 km of embankments have been constructed in efforts to combat heightened flood conditions. Additionally, 200 flood shelters have been built as well as almost 5,000 km of drainage channels meant to redirect the flow of floods.

These measures have made a significant impact in short term disaster safety. In 1970, before any sort of emergency response infrastructure, Cyclone Bhola killed an estimated 550,000 Bangladeshis. This stands in comparison to 200 casualties during Cyclone Aila in 2009. While the latter was still a disaster of immense proportions, the disaster preparedness and response measures were clearly evident and effective in terms of saving lives.

In 2013, emergency measures were once again tested when tropical storm Mahasen broke Bangladeshi shores. An estimated one million people from 13 coastal districts were evacuated north to shelters and fortified locations. This was accomplished through a procedure of government alerts, notifications and by collaboration of thousands of volunteers.

A statement by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs read, “While tropical storm Mahasen reached the coastline of Bangladesh on Thursday weaker than anticipated, the preparedness work undertaken by the Government and humanitarian partners saved countless lives.” This provides further evidence that the disaster mitigation protocols have been effective.

However, being a developing nation in an increasingly dangerous climate, Bangladesh is still relying upon developed countries and NGOs to jointly make changes in both emissions standards and practices. Acute response tactics can certainly provide temporary solutions for saving lives and crops, but measures with a long term focus are necessary for a solution to a much greater global issue.

Frasier Petersen

Sources: BBC, New York Times, United Nations Environmental Programme, Science Direct
Photo: Oxfam

Poverty_in_Manila
The United Nations ranks any income less than one U.S. dollar and 25 cents as impoverished. For many people in Manila, their income is less than the equivalent of 76 cents in the U.S. per day. Not only do 27.6 million Filipinos live below the poverty line, 12.2 million live below the subsistence level—meaning they are barely making it by on the minimum standard of living.

Infrastructure in Manila has improved since Benigno Aquino became president in 2010; however, inequalities in the city still exist. The 586 slums are put at additional risk when natural disasters strike. On Nov. 14, 2013,  the effects of a typhoon killed 6,000 people and left many homeless.

The Philippines also has one of the highest birth rates in Southeast Asia. The average population for a Manila slum is 75,000-80,000 people per square mile. It is theorized that Filipinos do not believe in or are not educated about contraception. Families generally have 10-12 children, making adequate resources hard to come by.

Most Manila citizens get their food from agriculture—also the city’s main source of income—but some of the poorest find food in the garbage. There is even a word for the food scrapped up from the trash: “pagpag.” Under these conditions, Manila is widespread with disease and illness.

While the government is aware of the problems and has claimed they will work on it, citizens still feel that they are not doing enough. Most aid comes from outside sources and organizations from other countries. There are many factors contributing to the poverty in Manila. Without major intervention, conditions will only continue to get worse for the people of Manila.

– Melissa Binns

Sources: CNN,  Mission Ministries Philippines,  News Statesman
Photo: Zimbio

pathfinder_international
Clarence Gamble was born in 1894 in Cincinnati, Ohio and proceeded to attend a slew of universities including the likes of Princeton and Harvard University, where at the latter he received his M.D. degree. Following, he became heavily involved in birth control organizations and research. He worked alongside Planned Parenthood and initiated projects to study population growth in countries such as India and Japan.

In 1957, Gamble founded the Pathfinder Fund, an organization dedicated to providing a wider audience of people with access to safe, efficient and helpful reproductive health services. The fund is donation-based, which came into play as early as the 1960s. In fact in the 1960s the USAID and Office of Population donated $10 million to the organization, thus proving the government’s support of the discussed issues.

Pathfinder was already operating globally in the 60’s and 70’s opening offices in Latin America, Indonesia, Egypt, Chile, the Philippines and actively participating in population schemes in various African countries. Over the decades, the Pathfinder Fund continued to grow and, by the 90’s, it was the Pathfinder International.

In 1996, Pathfinder won the UN Population Award, an award given to someone who has raised awareness of population issues and solutions. And more recently in the 2000’s Pathfinder began the African Youth Alliance program aimed toward people 10-24 years of age in African countries like Botswana and Ghana. It was formed in order to assist with reproductive health.

Nowadays, Pathfinder International continues their hunt for better sexual and reproductive health care for all. They have six main focus areas: Adolescents, HIV/AIDS, Contraception and Family Planning, Advocacy, Abortion and Maternal and Newborn Health.

For example of their comprehensive care, as part of their abortion focus, Pathfinder not only supports a woman’s right to an abortion, but also advocates for safe abortions and rigorous post-abortion care. The organization accomplishes this in a number of ways one being through legislation, and another by funding an expanded number of professionals who can provide the medical and psychological services needed.

Another focus area, the Contraception and Family Planning focus, is also a worldwide project for Pathfinder. Over the years, Pathfinder has involved itself in over 100 countries attempting to integrate family planning concepts and to provide contraception to those in need of it. Above all people need to be educated, and Pathfinder does their best to also take on that responsibility.

Pathfinder International encourages the public to do its part as well. People can host fundraisers and events of that nature to provide contraceptives to people. One of the easiest ways to support the cause is for people to use their voices. People can become a part of their advocacy network or even start a conversation about reproductive health on a public forum. And lastly, Americans can vote for legislation to continue this type of focus. In an ever-growing population, it is important to be as conscious as possible of the world’s sexual and reproductive health.

Kathleen Lee

Sources: Pathfinder International, Harvard Library