The U.S. population is approximately 300 million, and if it keeps increasing at the current rate, we’ll reach 400 million by 2043. As Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute points out, this is not a good trend. “Population growth is the ever expanding denominator that gives each person a shrinking share of the resource pie,” Brown says. “It contributes to water shortages, cropland conversion to non-farm uses, traffic congestion, more garbage, overfishing, a growing dependence on imported oil and other conditions that diminish the quality of our daily lives.”
In other First World countries (France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Japan), populations have either slightly dropped or stayed constant. “It may be time for the United States to establish a national population policy, one that would lead toward population stabilization sooner rather than later,” Brown says. With so much talk about conservation of declining resources, it may be important to switch the focus toward population stabilization and then decide how to stretch the resources among society.