Over the years population problems have haunted countries all over the world. Factors such as mortality and birth rates usually balance out the population situation but there are still other characteristics that need to be accounted for such as fertility, birth control technology, public health medicine, and immigration/urbanization. Every country around the world has its own unique population pattern. Individually the pattern might seem unimportant but collectively all the patterns control the world’s population.
The means for measuring the population in the Unites States is called a census. A census is the periodic governmental count of the population. The Census Bureau conducts a census every 10 years. The 2000 census shows that the United States population is over 280 million people making it the third largest populated country after China and India.
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The United States also has the fastest growing population in the world due to our high fertility and immigration. The Census Bureau predicts that the fertility and immigration levels will stay the same and 50 years from now the population would have increased 120 million. If this prediction is true that means the amount of people currently living west of the Mississippi River will be added to the existing population. Currently the population is growing at around 3 million people a year.
Fertility is a major factor driving the population in the United States and also is a characteristic that affects both men and women. Although the United States has a fertility rate that is 35% higher than those found in Canada and Europe, everyday more people are being found sterile.
Some of these cases are due to consequential early life decisions and others due to medical procedures. Studies show that smoking marijuana and steroid use can often lead to low sperm count or permanent sterilization. Men can also have a procedure called a vasectomy done which allows them to still have an erection while not ejaculating any sperm. Women are not excluded from fertility issues. Hysterectomies and having the fallopian tubes tied along with natural infertility prevent pregnancy therefore somewhat controlling the population.
Today the advancement and practice of new birth control technology helps to maintain the birth rate in the United States although this was not always the case. Birth control was introduced in the 1950’s during the Baby Boomer generation. Logically, speaking you would think if birth control was introduced during this generation then why is it called the “Baby Boomer” generation. You must also take into account the 1960’s, which is also apart of this generation in which the phrase “make love not war” was hip to the hippies. Sex during the 1960’s was very casual and a condom was not always the “hip” thing to use. More recently birth control is widely available, affordable and comes in many different forms to fit all types of lifestyles. Places like Planned Parenthood along with school sex education classes make the education, practice, and use of birth control more widespread among teens who account for a good deal of pregnancies.
Public health medicine is the medicine or health aid that the government provides for the people under their jurisdiction. The public health medicine in Africa for example causes then to have a high mortality rate. There is no sufficient establishment of public health in most third world countries. Simple everyday commodities we take for granted such as running water, public sanitation, and proper medical treatment are scarce or nonexistent. The lack of these things leads to thousands of people dying everyday. Although thousands of babies are being born everyday due to the lack of birth control on some countries this does not present a population problem because these babies often die due to the lack of public health and medicine.
Malnutrition is also a problem affecting the population of third world countries. Although there are many organizations that try to aid in eliminating malnutrition, there are not enough people willing to ay that “$.80 a day” to help the situation. The United States has a sufficient public health program compared to other countries but incurable diseases such as AIDS and some types of cancer claim the lives of many people, in return eliminating some of the population. On the other hand, incurable diseases control the population not only by killing people but also scaring them. During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s there was a big scare when AIDS was first introduced which cause many people to become more cautious with their sexual activity which indirectly effected the population.
Immigration is when a person comes into another country that he or she is not a native for a permanent residence. The United States is known for being the “melting pot” of the world so there is no surprise that immigrants and their children account for two thirds of the population growth. Urbanization takes place when people migrate to the city from rural areas. This does not change the population of the United States but it does change the population of that particular city. This movement of people from rural areas to cities causes the population to not be uniformly distributed across the United States. Over time this causes over crowding in cities while rural areas are left virtually deserted. When people began to live to closely with one another, as is the case in most urban environments other population issues take effect. When people are cramped into an area the crime rate rises and so does the mortality rates. Already 50% of the United States population lives in urban environments. Cities are now trying to find ways to eliminate the current water and sanitation problems being found in urban environments.
Mortality is something that is inevitable instead the focus is put on the rate in which it takes place. High mortality rate can be attributed to many factors depending on the conditions of the country or city. Factors such as insufficient public health medicine or high crime rates can be the cause of a high mortality rate. China’s government in order to control their population ordered that there could only be one child per family. Due to this law the infant mortality rate is higher than usual. If the parents find the sex of the child to be female they have the fetus or baby terminated in order to carry on the family name. In return the Chinese government might be controlling the population but they now have caused the mortality rate to increase.
In conclusion, I feel that all of factors discussed are all connected in some way.
Without proper public health medicine birth control cannot be effectively used causing an increased birth rate. Also with out public health diseases cause the mortality rate to be increased. People migrate from areas where there is a not sufficient public health becoming an immigrant in other countries. This immigration in most cases leads to urbanization. The population patterns all work together to try and balance out the world’s population in one way or another.
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