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Human Population Growth

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Human Population Growth

The world population growth is defined very simply as the number, or estimated number, of total births in a year, minus the number of total deaths. The difference between these two numbers tells us how many people are being added to the world population each year. To find this number, two types of population growth curves are proposed to explain increases: the exponential growth curve and the logistic growth curve. The exponential growth curve is when the population grows at a constant rate over time. It does not take into account competition, lack of resources, disease, etc. In other words, according to the exponential growth curve, the only thing that controls how fast or slow the population grows is the birth rate.

On a more realistic level comes the logistic growth curve. This curve factors in the important reality that states, as the number of individual organisms in the population increases, resources need to increase as well. Also, human population growth HAS changed over time, but these changes were based on numerous factors that included disease, birth rate, economic conditions, etc. However, overall, the human population growth has slowed over the past century and projections indicate that the environment is near its carrying capacity. With this, food production must dramatically increase to keep up with the growing population or our population will be in trouble. While population growth, of any species, may be beneficial to a certain extent, there may come a time when the number in the population exceeds the natural resources available to sustain it, or overpopulation. The consequences of such an event are severe and...

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