Eradicating Poverty and Stabilizing Population simultaneously are interconnected, by slowing the slowing population growth poverty will be reduced, and with a reduced poverty consequently reduce population growth. Reduced poverty will reduced the stresses and subsequently the population is no longer need resuling in a reduced population growth.
(Plan B 4.0)

Population Stabilization

A simple comparison that can be made to the extreme increase in global population is what happens with elk populations in nature. If a forest that can sustain 50 elk sees an increase up to 200 and all the food is eaten up beyond the natural regeneration rate the elk population will decline not back to it’s original 50 but closer to 5. This is a possible outcome to the human race of our population cannot be stabilized.

Some countries believe a “one child only policy” is the answer. China for example uses this method in hopes to stabilize their rapid population growth, while any additional children may be “confiscated”. Not only is this moral dilemma but many cultures see boys as being more important than girls and because of this if a couple’s first child is a girl they will often have an abortion or depose of the baby so they can “try again”. To many of us this can be seen as a terrible consequence of attempted population control.

A more sensible solution to stabilizing the population may be education. Younger people are more open to change as they are not yet attached to older potentially more outdated ways of thinking such as “be merry and multiply” or even more controversially, “light skin has more value than dark skin”.

Stats on Population Growth vs Time:

Global population in 50 year intervals
1750......790 million
1800......980 million
1850...1,260 Billion
1900...1,650 million
1950...2,555 million
2000...6,080 million
(data from United Nations and Bureau of Census -
other source(s)may give slightly different numbers)


Global population at 10 year intervals
1950...2,555 million
1960...3,039 million
1970...3,707 million
1980...4,457 million
1990...5,284 million
2000...6,080 million
(data from Bureau of Census-
other source(s) may give slightly different numbers)


Looking at the increase in population from 1990 to 2000 the global population has increased by close to 800 million people, or about 218,000 per day, 9,100 per hour, or 150 per minute.

Population Growth and its Effect on the Environment

Population increases since 1950 have attributed to the clearing of roughly 80% of rainforests, the loss of tens of thousands of plant and wildlife species because of this, increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by some 400% and the development or commercialization of as much as half of the Earth’s surface land. It is also feared that in the coming decades half of the world’s population will experience a shortage of drinkable water.

Over Consumption

Over consumption in industrialized countries has been highlighted as another issue that needs resolving in making our planet sustainable. The 1998 Human Development Report from the United Nations stated the following:
“... The real issue is not consumption itself but its patterns and effects. Inequalities in consumption are stark. Globally, the 20% of the world's people in the highest-income countries account for 86% of total private consumption expenditures - the poorest 20% a minuscule 1.3%. More specifically, the richest fifth:

· Consume 45% of all meat and fish, the poorest fifth 5%.
· Consume 58% of total energy, the poorest fifth less than 4%.
· Have 74% of all telephone lines, the poorest fifth 1.5%.
· Consume 84% of all paper, the poorest fifth 1.1%.
· Own 87% of the world's vehicle fleet, the poorest fifth less than 1%.

Runaway growth in consumption in the past 50 years is putting strains on the environment never before seen.”

This itself is an issue that needs addressing but if other countries with large populations such as China and India begin to follow in these consumption habits the problem could be catastrophic. This problem also presents another viewpoint on why the poverty levels in developing nations are so high: There is nowhere from which to get out of poverty. If resources are attempted to be reclaimed for developing countries this threatens those who are currently use them.

Actionable Items

·1) Remove the physical and social barriers that prevent women from using family planning services. It has been reported that 42% of all pregnancies in developing countries are unintended. In many countries such as Saudi Arabia and Argentina government policies have restricted access to contraceptives. Disapproval of family members has also been seen as an obstacle to family planning. Husbands often disapprove of contraceptives and moreover, in many of these countries a woman is required to obtain her husbands permission before she can use contraceptives.

·2) Education can be used to overcome these social barriers. In Thailand for example people have been educated on the importance of family planning. Through demonstrations, ads and witty songs as well as Math problems in classrooms associated with the population. As a result Thailand’s population has slowed from more than 3% in 1960 to about 1% in 2000, the same as the United States.

·3) Soap operas on television and radio are a quick way to get information about family planning out to large amounts of people. Miguel Sabido, a vice president of Televisa, Mexico’s national television network used this method in an attempt to help reduce Mexico’s population growth. The first series of soap operas Sabido did illustrated the benefits of literacy. The day after the first episode was aired more than a quarter-million people showed up at government run education centers wanting to learn to read and write and by the end of the series more than 840,000 people had enrolled in literacy courses. Over the next decade of family planning oriented soap’s Mexico’s birth rate fell by 34% and in 1986 Mexico was awarded the UN’s population prize for outstanding achievement in slowing its population.

·4) Noninvasive medical abortions can also help to stabilize the population. For many years France has used a prescription drug, RU 486 (also known as mifepristone) to induce abortions. The drug is now available in other European countries, the United States, China, India, Pakistan, and several smaller countries in Asia.

·5) Many developing countries have large families as a matter of survival. Children are vital to a family’s economic condition as they represent another source of income, as well as provide security to parents in their old age. The institution Grameen Bank in Bangladesh specializes in microenterprise loans, they are attempting to break this cycle by providing credit to over a million villagers, mostly women. These loans can help families by giving them the proper funds for education, leading to better employment, which intern reduces the need for large families.



Facts on Poverty

  • Roughly 80% of the populations live on less than $10 a day

  • Roughly 80% of the world’s population lives in countries where the differences in income are widening (rich get richer while poor get poorer)

  • UNICEF has stated that 22,000 children die per day due to poverty. These deaths occurring in the poorest of villages far removed from first world societies and as a consequence most people haven’t a clue of this sad fact.

  • It is estimated that 27 – 28% of children in developing countries are underweight/ stunted. Most of these children come from South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Close to 1 billion people entered the 21st century lacking the ability to read a book or sign their names.

  • If less than 1% of what the world spends each year on weapons was diverted into educating the poor then every child on Earth could have been enrolled into school.

  • It is estimated that about 40 million poor people live with HIV/AIDS and in 2004 this resulted in 3 million deaths. 350-500 million cases of malaria are reported each year resulting in 1 million fatalities annually. Of these cases Africa accounts for 90% and of those cases children account for over 80%.

Reasons for the Existence of Poverty

The United Nations goal of reducing extreme poverty seemed to be site at the beginning of 2007, but as the economic crisis struck this goal became a gloom reality. Between 2005 and 2009 the poverty had unfortunately increased in nations such as Middle, South, and East Asia, as well as sub-Saharan Africa as a result of the higher food prices. Factors such as hunger, illiteracy, and raising disease have offset the reduction of poverty in countries such as China and Brazil
(Plan B 4.0)

Many people blame poor people for their own predicament due to laziness and poor decisions. Unfortunately this is rarely the case in undeveloped countries. Upon deeper investigation undeveloped governments and their policies can have a drastic effect on their people. These issues, along with the way first world governments and large multination corporations interact with undeveloped countries appear to be the primary reason for such high levels of poverty. As a result of global decisions, which are typically influenced by the rich and powerful, the rich get richer and the poor stay poor.

Poor nations have less access to health care and education thus making it that much harder to gain a foothold on a better life. These people end up becoming marginalized from society and have virtually no say or voice in public or political debates making it that much harder to escape poverty. In contrast, wealthier nations stand to benefit from the economic and political policies that are in place. Some of these examples include the amount the world spends each year on military funding and financial bailouts which do not benefit the poor, compared to the amount spent to address poverty related problems which would.

Developing countries must open their economies and compete against both each other and the established industrialized nations. To gain investment these nations must enter a “spiraling race to the bottom” so to speak, to see who can provide the cheapest product at the price of lower standards, reduced wages and cheaper resources.

The following factors keep developing nations dependent on developed ones and lead to a poor quality of life for their citizens:

  • Poor countries must export most of their good and services and resources to pay they’re debts.

  • Countries are being forced to enter the global market place before they are economically and socially ready to help satisfy the needs of industrialized nations.

  • This results in a reduction in the price of their resources, favoring the west. Because their resources are being sold so cheap governments are then forced to increase the amount of exports to gain a profit lowering the amount available for the local population.

  • Due to the instability of many un-industrialized nations problems such as riots often occur. When this happens foreign investors concerned about their assets will often pull out of their agreement, which in turn can lead to economic collapse.

As previously stated, pressure from industrialized nations on developing nations to open their market to increased exportation often occurs.
This can be a problem however because:

If a company spends one hundred dollars to manufacture a product that will remain within it’s countries border the money spent on the materials, resources and labor comes from within thus benefiting the countries economy. Also, if that product is purchased within the country the benefits of the product will also remain within the country. Due to this multiplied effect the original one hundred dollars spent can contribute several hundred to the countries Gross National Product (GNP). However if the same product is purchased from a foreign country, or the developed product is sold to a foreign country this beneficial circulation of money will not help contribute to the countries GNP.

Food Dumping (Aid) Maintains Poverty

When large amounts of food are donated to a developing nation (when not for emergency relief) this can actually be harmful to the countries economy. Free sponsored food available at below market price has the effect of undercutting local farmers. These farmers are unable to sell their food and are thus driven into poverty themselves, then when the free food is gone the country experiences even worse starvation.

Items which need to be addressed in order to reduce poverty:
Access to Affordable Adequate Food
Access to Safe Drinking Water
Health Care

Actionable Items

In order to help undeveloped countries most efficiently, industrialized nations should:

1. Help developing nations invest in open political and economic systems. Democratic political systems diminish poverty, have larger freedoms and are less prone to large-scale violent conflicts, which lead to instability.

2. Help promote education for all. Educated people are less prone to violence and have the benefit of increasing a countries economic productivity.

3.Invest in better health systems and disease prevention programs. Sick people contribute to poverty by harming the countries economic productivity. A chronically ill individual cannot work and thus will not have an income. Western countries should invest in increased health care infrastructure and research for vaccines.

4.Open up a place on the global marketplace for poor countries. By making trade more equal for poor countries and allow them to participate with a greater benefit in the international trading system can do this.

5. Educate Everyone: It has been said that the key to reducing and eliminating poverty is through education, education of females in particular.When a child without formal education begins life they are at an alarming disadvantage and will almost certainly remain in poverty.
For universal education three principles need to be in play:
1. A sensible plan
2. Commit a meaningful share of its own resources to the plan
3. Transparent budgeting and accounting practices

The majority of those living in poverty today, were from parents living in poverty. This chain will not change unless the children are educated so they have a means of relieving themselves from poverty.

Education also has agricultural benefits – with education the agriculture productivity is increased. The increase is primarily as a result of increased literacy, much of the agriculture services provided printed material.


6. Conditional Assistance Programs: Example Brazil’s Bolsa Famili Program - Successfully reduced extreme poverty levels from 15-5% between 1990-2007. The Bolsa Famili program is a conditional assistance program which offered mothers $35 a month if their children were keep in school, up to date on vaccinations, and were having regular physical checkups. During this time nearly one quarter of the Brazilian poor population had an increase in income by 22%.

(Plan B 4.0)

7. Education is empowerment. It is the key to establishing and reinforcing democracy, to development which is both sustainable and humane and to peace founded upon mutual respect and social justice." is the first line from the final communique of the International Consultative forum for Education for All, the The Amman Affirmation.