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The Reasons For Overpopulation Issue In China

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Overpopulation is a global problem found in many countries such as China, India, Indonesia and even the United States of America. Officially, Singapore is the world’s most overpopulated state calculated by population to area, but the underdevelopment of large regional areas of main land China enhance the negative effects of overpopulation for the country.

Overpopulation effects all areas of a countries national and global identity. Problems that arise from overpopulation effect all areas of the country’s social, economic, environmental and political wellbeing.

Furthermore, overpopulation in china not only effects china itself, it also effects the neighbouring countries and indeed the planet. China is the world’s largest exporter and second largest importer of goods and with a massive population of 1.43 billion people, everything China makes or consumes has an impact somewhere on the planet.

This report is going focus on the effects of over population in china and describe how this problem is affecting china socially economically politically and environmentally. We will also discuss on solutions and recommendations to help solve this problem.

What is Overpopulation?

Overpopulation occurs when the human population rises to an extent exceeding the carrying capacity of the sustainable structure and function of the occupied ecosystem. Simply put, overpopulation is when there are too many people for the environment to sustain the essentials such as food, drinkable water or even breathable air. Additionally, it is a long-term perspective that cannot be maintained to support the population, given the depletion of non-renewable resources and or the environment.

Overpopulation can result in an increase of berths decline of mortality increase of immigration which is the last thing china needs. In highly overpopulated nations and or cities there is not enough food so there is a big demand for resources which is what china needs.

China’s Population

As of September 2019, China’s estimated population via United Nations projections is 1.43 billion. This number excludes the regions and provinces Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. The graphic below shows the rapid increase of China’s population from the 1950’s and projects population group to decrease after 2030. The declining projection considers a large number of factors that are related to China’s future labor force, demographic issues and marriage rates, which are all variably unpredictable.

Although China is a considered a large county geographically, it still has an estimated population density of 145 people per square kilometer. It ranks 81st on the list of the 195 countries in the world. For comparison, Australia currently ranks as one of the lowest density populated countries, with a population density of 3 people per square kilometer.

China’s population density changes significantly around the largest urban areas, for example the City of Shanghai has an estimated population density of 3800 people per square kilometer.

The map below shows the population density of the main largest urban areas across China, as can be seen, a large majority of built up urban areas are located on the eastern side of China and most are highly populated.

Causes of China’s Overpopulation

China has become overpopulated due to many reasons, but the most plausible explanations are mostly because of food and water. Given that China has large areas of fertile land and good access to fresh water, it has the capacity to produce vast quantities of food to nourish large numbers of its people.

On the other hand, countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh are more density populated than china and they also have good farmland and access to water, but they are much smaller geographical so they simply can’t hold as many people. Another cause of China’s overpopulation is china had more resilience to start with once global modernization began contributing to a massive population growth several centuries ago. Back then people were encouraged to have lots of babies after a great loss after the wars, and the leader believed a large population means more labors for agriculture. China also has large land boundaries to protect the country some of these include the Siberian, the East china sea, the Gobi Desert and many more.

Impacts of Overpopulation in China


Chinas high population can affect the social infrastructure the unemployment rate and crime rate. In heavily populated nations like china the jobs available are much less than the number of people who are seeking jobs. This led to high levels of unemployment witch in turn makes the unemployed must steel food water and other essentials so they can survive. Violence and other conflicts arise because the unemployed must compete to get the limited resources, so this rises the overall crime rate.

The Chinese government must spend a lot of money to provide the basic social infrastructure like education housing and medical equipment but with the rapid increase of population they find this very challenging, so not everyone has these things.

As well as the decline of social infrastructure LEDC’S (less economically developed countries) can put pressure on the land as more and more people move in. Cultures from migrants can cause civil wars witch in turns puts pressure on the medical system and or schools.


China is the world’s largest manufacturing economy and exporter of goods. It is also the world’s fastest-growing consumer market and second largest importer of goods. It also is the highest ranked GDP (Gross Domestic Market) country with a GDP of $14.2 trillion dollars, compared to Australia which ranks 14th and has a GDP of $1.69 trillion. China’s economy is huge, and a large population can positively help it’s economic development, but this mostly depends on the countries geographic features such as natural resources. If the larger population puts pressure on those resources, it is not good for the economic development. Given that China is a developing country with limited natural resources, overpopulation will lead to decreased of per capital income over the long term.

There are many reasons why overpopulation in China is negatively contributing to the economy. Overpopulation is directly affecting China’s economy by higher unemployment rates, food shortages, increased environmental change, and reducing the standard of living.

A fast and growing population means that more people are joining the labor market, where there would not be enough jobs for everyone, leading to high levels of unemployment. In developing countries like china, the number of people trying to find jobs is increasing so fast that it has not been possible to get jobs for everyone. The rapidly growing population makes it impossible for the economy to solve their problem of unemployment.

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Having a large population means more people to feed. This creates pressure on the on the stock of food and in turn reduces China’s economic development. Although China has large areas and fertile land for farming crops, there are still high levels of undernourishment in the population, especially in rural areas. This problem reduces the production capacity of the workers in these areas which negatively effects China’s economic development.

Population growth leads to environmental change. When many people are living and working in rural areas, it leads to excavation and deforestation which introduce environment changes. People who live in overpopulated and dense urban areas with industrialization contribute to air, noise and water pollution. As seen with global warming and higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere, overpopulation as a detrimental effect on both the country’s economy and environment wellbeing.

China’s growing population lowers the standard of living. The increase of the population leads to a higher demand for food and other very day essentials like clothes and accommodation. The cost of these items will rise because the supply will not be able to keep up with demand due to the lack raw materials. This makes it hard for the people in poverty or close to the poverty line to afford, so the standard of living will fall.


There are many environmental issues to do with overpopulation some of these include depletion of natural resources, accelerated habitat loss, amplified climate change and deprecation of fresh water. As the Chinese population keeps growing natural resources such as fossil fuels, fresh water coral reefs and forests drop sharply due to the human race continually using these precious materials in everyday life. This creates competitive demands on these resources which contributes to a huge decline of life.

The massive loss of habitats such as coral reefs rainforests grasslands are massively influenced by overpopulation. According to Sonia Madaan from ‘rainforests originally covered 14% of the earth’s surface whereas now hey only cover about 6% and it will become less in the next 4 decades’. More than 30% of the earths coral reefs have been destroyed just due to environmental pollution and acidifications.

Overpopulation means more people, which in turn means more cars and factories that contributes to mass amounts of greenhouse emissions. In 2015 China approximately generated 63% of their energy from coal which releases nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide. Increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is highly linked to the increase the greenhouse effect. Sulfur dioxide causes acid rain when particles of sulfur dioxide compounds combined with nitrogen atoms to produce sulfuric acid and nitric acid strong acid that end up in waterways and damages forests. Since China is known as a ‘developing country’ or a poorer country that is seeking to become more advanced economically and socially, it is still using large amounts of cheap and dirty resources, such as low grade brown coal to generate its energy.This means that there are more bad gasses that are being released into the earth atmosphere.


China became a communist country under the Leader Mao Zedong in 1949. At this time the Communist Party of China took control of all the factories, businesses, land on behalf of the people, so there was no private ownership, unlike here in Australia were leadership is democratic. After Zedong’s death in 1976, the ruling Communist Party of China moved away from the strict communist views held by their old leader, but still today China’s leadership is heavily influenced by communist values.

There are many political issues that are affected by China’s overpopulation. To help ease the rapid growth of the population the Chinese government has implemented polities such as the one child policy and limited immigration laws to bring the growth under control.

The political effect of overpopulation to China adds strains to all areas of the Chinese government and increases pressure on all services such as, health care, schools and education, transportation, housing, welfare and environmental. Given that China is relatively an developing country, many of these services are still not up to developed nations standards, so the increased pressure of a higher population on these services reduces the quality and quantity of services offed by the Chinese government. As China is run by the Communist Party of China and no democratic voting is allow, the whole public population of China do not have a say and cannot criticize the poor quality and quantity of these services offered by the government without fear of prosecution.

A current political issue facing the Chinese government is the large ageing population and a declining rate of mortality. This means that the low fertility rates which have dropped from 6 births per family in 1967 to the current birth rate of 1.5 today due to the one child policy, has left China with a larger older population. Additionally, this older population of people are now living longer due to China’s spread of wealth, but longer life expectancy means increasing demand for services and increased costs to China’s health care system.

How is China Managing Overpopulation?

Managing overpopulation is a very complicated and lengthily process. There are many ways to help reduce a countries population growth over the long term. China controversy introduced the one child policy in 1980 as a temporary measure to slow down china’s rapid population growth, but this had its own problems.

The biggest impact of China’s one child policy was to the gender ratio. China traditionally preferred boys rather than girls and this created the gender ratio to become extremely unbalanced. Boys are regarded in china to be financially and physically more capable than girls, so some women will abort their pregnancy if they find out they are having a girl. This concluded that 66 million girls who should have been born, where not. According to Radio Free Asia This means that 21% of the men over 50 in 2020 would never have married.

The gender imbalance caused by China’s one child policy is so unbalanced that bachelor villages have sprung up because men have lost all hope of getting married. Young women are being trafficked from nearby countries including Vietnam, Laos, North Korea, Thailand and Myanmar for forced marriage. This has caused a new problem, human trafficking.

China dumped the one child policy in 2016 and replaced it with the 2-child policy. This gave families a second chance to get a boy and deal with the aging issue.

Solutions to China’s Overpopulation problem

Although china is using the 1 and 2 child policy there are also other sustainable solutions that china could use to help reduce the overpopulation crisis. These include tax benefits, reduction of immigration and

Governments that give out tax benefits to parents that have one child could help slowdown the population growth. In china they could give tax benefits to the poorer parts of the country so they could help slow down the number of people being born by giving them money so they can afford equipment or hire workers to do the job for them. As humans we are more inclined to money so this could leave some positive results.

Reducing immigration can lower the population of a country. for example, the USA grew from a population of 79 million in 1900 to 282 million in 2000. 43% of this growth consisted of immigrants and descendants. It is also predicted that by 2100 there will be 492 million people living in the USA witch 90% will be immigrants. Because china already has such a large population controlling how many people come and leave the country will make a big difference.


Overpopulation is one of the biggest problems facing humanity now. It is affecting the planets wellbeing and effecting the scarcity of food. In china this problem is a huge and needs to be fixed soon otherwise the average global temperature will rise 4-5 degrees Celsius by 2100.

If overpopulation is not fixed soon it will lead to many social and environmental factors such as a high crime rate, mass amounts of acid rain, mass extinction of species and scarcity of natural resources. Not only is china having to deal with environmental issues but this problem has gotten so bad that they have a massive gender imbalance and abortion issues. According to radio free Asia 66 million girls who should have been born weren’t, the massive gender imbalance has also led to human trafficking which is another problem china has to deal with. Although china has all these issues there also plenty of solutions to this challenging yet fixable problem.

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The Reasons For Overpopulation Issue In China. (2021, August 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 7, 2023, from
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