Even though fertility rates are near replacement (2.1 children per couple), the population continues to rise because of "population momentum," or when a large proportion of the population is young.
There are many novels such as The Message: A Novel About Overpopulation that provide an absorbing, entertaining and highly original read to take you on a surprising journey, one that will leave you questioning much of what you thought you knew.
Three main impacts on the environment are caused by the distribution of people across the globe:
The first is that as less developed regions deal with an increasing population, the pressures on already diminishing resources in these areas increase.
Second, migration reduces the relative strain on local environments. This can ease some strain and increase it in others.
Third, in areas less developed than the rest of the country, urbanization often outpaces development of infrastructure or environmental regulations. This can lead to high levels of pollution.
Both population size and consumption influence environmental change and are among the many factors that need to be incorporated into realistic policy debate and prescriptions.
Examples of policies that could address the environmental implications of demographic factors include policies to promote effective family planning, more effective rural development to slow migration to crowded urban centers, and incentives to encourage sustainable levels of consumption and the use of efficient, cleaner technologies.