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Image this: One day, you wake up and 240,000 more people are living in your mansion. It is a big mansion with normally ample supplies to sustain your lifestyle. However, with 240,000 more people inhabiting that same area, it has become cramped and small. The next day, 240,000 people more come to live with you. This happens everyday for many years, soon supplies start to stretch thin and space starts to be a rarity. Unfortunately, this is not fiction. It is reality. Everyday, 240,000 babies are born around the world, according to United Nations’ Population Fund (UNFPA). This figure works out to be about 12,000,000 people over the next 50 years, if the growth stays, steady. However, as stated by World Population Profile: 1998, the population of our plant will reach 9.6 billion people by 2050, a discouraging number. That should frighten every citizen of earth, because the enormous population will affect every person. Unless, people understand the causes and the problems they create.
Experts list various reasons that the population has boomed. One is a desire for large families. Experts estimate that twenty percent of the projected growth over the next fifty years- or 660 million people- will come from families that may have access to family planning services but choose to have more than two children. Another reason that the population is growing at a rapid pace is that family planning services are not available to all people. Many governments ban or restrict valuable methods of contraception. In Japan, regulations discourage the use of birth control pills and encourage the use of condoms. However, condoms prove to be only 90-98% effective under the best circumstances, while, if taken correctly, the pill is 99.67% effective against unplanned pregnancy (“’NO’ and Other Methods of Birth Control” back of pamphlet) This is at least a 1% difference. Therefore, one woman out of one hundred using condoms will get pregnant. That would mean 647,200 women would conceive children if every person in Japan had sexual intercourse and relied on condoms alone. (Basing the statistic on a census taken in 1999 by Age Group and Sex Statistics Bureau, which cited 64,720,000 women in Japan.) World Watch reports that a 1989 study found that in sixty countries, the wife must have her husband’s permission to be sterilized or receive contraceptives. This law hinders the woman from protecting herself against unwanted pregnancy, and increases she chances of becoming pregnant. Another reason that contraceptives are not readily available is sparse availability in rural areas that lack clinics and pharmacies; therefore, to purchase contraceptives a woman must travel a great distance. Face-to-Face Campaign reports that 120 to 150 million women who want to limit or space their pregnancies are still without the means to do so effectively, a surprising statistic for the twenty-first century. In addition, often the contraceptives are either too expensive, or poor quality and ineffective or dangerous. In 1990, when officials increased in price of controceptives sixty percent, the regularly increasing sales dropped significantly, twenty-nine percent in condoms, twelve percent in the pill. The next year they rolled back prices and sales rebounded, World Watch declares. A badly made or poorly inserted intrauterine device (IUD) will injure the wearer significantly. Consequently, this could turn the women off birth control altogether. In some cases, the best methods are unavailable, leaving only one option for a majority of women to prevent unwanted pregnancy: sterilization. In Ghana and India, 69% of women choose this option, but not until well after they have birthed multiple children.
A further reason the population continues to boom is population momentum. Population momentum is defined as:
The tendency for population growth to continue beyond the time that replacement-level fertility has been achieved because of a relatively high concentration of people in the childbearing years. For example, the absolute numbers of people in developing countries will continue to increase over the next several decades even as the rates of population growth will decline. This phenomenon is due to past high fertility rates, which results in a large number of young people. As these youth grow older and move through reproductive ages, the greater number of births will exceed the number of deaths in the older populations (World Bank 5).
Nearly one half of the population increase in the
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Demography, Population, Midwifery, Family planning, Condom, Female condom, Birth control, Unintended pregnancy, Total fertility rate, Fertility, Combined oral contraceptive pill, Reproductive health
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