According to S.D. Maurya, An excess of population in an area in relation to the available resources and technology denotes overpopulation. This situation occurs when the number of people exceeds that of the optimum population and the standard of living tends to decline. The result of over population maybe underemployment, unemployment, low per capita income, low standard of living, etc.

Concept of Overpopulation

According to R.C. Chandana, ‘When the carrying capacity of an area is exceeded by its population the area is said to be overpopulated because the area has more population than what it can comfortably support’.

Overpopulation takes place generally when the rate of population growth is much higher than that of the development of resources in an area.

Types of Overpopulation:

Over population may be of two types: one is absolute overpopulation and the other is relative overpopulation.

Where the living standards remain low even after the attainment of absolute resource development, this state is called the Absolute OverpopulationRelative Overpopulation occurs where the existing level of production is inadequate for the population but greater production is possible.

According to Clark, relative over population is more common than the absolute over population. Limitations of technology may cause relative over population. With increasing technology, the population-resource ratio in relative overpopulated areas proceeds towards equilibrium or optimum population.

The over population may occur not only at the national level but also at the local regional level. For example, many developed countries of the world like USA, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, etc. as a whole are not overpopulated but there also maybe find Islands of overpopulation.

Java Island in Indonesia and parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India are the classic examples of regional over population. China, Japan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc. are treated as overpopulated countries. Regional or Local Overpopulation may be classified into two categories: (1) Agricultural or Rural Overpopulation and (2) Industrial or Urban Overpopulation.

Agriculture overpopulation is associated with the rural areas which have:

  • The rapid increase of population,
  • Uneven distribution of agricultural land,
  • The backwardness of non-agricultural sectors,
  • The mechanization of agriculture,
  • Low agricultural productivity,
  • Mass employment and general poverty etc.

Rural over-population is very common in developing countries like India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, etc. Most of the developing countries of the world are in the second stage of demographic transition where death rates have recorded start decline but the decrease in birth rate is yet to begin. The resources of the developing countries are limited and rapid population growth has been far more than their economic growth particularly in their rural areas.

Industrial overpopulation is associated with industrial regions where employment is available mostly for skilled persons and many unskilled a low skilled persons remain unemployed or low waged. Industrial over-population is the characteristics of industrial urban agglomerations. It occurs mainly due to:

  • The technological development that creates unemployment for low skilled for unskilled labor, or renders its products, and
  • The decline of the entire industry or its products.

Industrial overpopulation is less obvious because industrial labor is much more mobile than those of agricultural labor.