Many people are asking if overpopulation will break the planet, a fear compounded by the lack of attention given to the issue by elected officials.

Panicked discussions of the climate crisis on this stressed planet are often bolstered by background debate on how fast the Earth’s population is growing, and questions of how many people the planet can support. To be sure, a sevenfold increase of the world population over two centuries has stressed the planet to its breaking point. But the problem is not strictly the number of people. It is how people are behaving. A close look at the data reveals a clear path to survival: decrease resource consumption in wealthy countries.

Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz

  • Guttmacher Institute, “Adding It Up: The Costs and Benefits of Investing in Sexual and Reproductive Health 2014.”
  • UNFPA, “Universal Access to Reproductive Health,” 2016.