The Effect of Overpopulation on Public Health

| August 23, 2014 | Leave a Comment

Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: Article - Foundational


Author(s): Emily Maynard

Categories: ,

The world population is growing at an alarming rate. But overpopulation is seldom discussed as a public health issue. Just how many of us are there and how is our rising population affecting human health?



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  • Greeley Miklashek

    Nice visuals and many good points, however, extensive animal crowding researches have clearly demonstrated over-activation of the stress response due to crowding, especially further down the status hierarchies. Cortisol thus generated suppresses the immune response and makes crowded animals more vulnerable to infections of all sorts. This has been clearly demonstrated in HIV-AIDS patients. In populations of crowded animals, the maximum population event is always followed by a population crash, partly due to fragmented social structures, and partly due to neuro-endocrine mechanisms inherent in the over-active stress response turning off reproduction. We humans are on a similar trajectory and only concerted population reduction before we top out at 10 billion will prevent such a crash for our species. And that’s the rest of the story. Stress R Us