Current population exponential growth rates places the United States of America, a nation with 309,659,000 people, at risk for a further decrease in natural resources by 2050. Imagining a nation this size – 3,794,101 square miles – with over 400,000,000 people. As if the big cities are not crowded enough (New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago) those crowd will be relegated to standing room only by then. A person my age, by that year, will be 83 years old, which seems far off to me (hopefully I will grow old gracefully) but the sheer population numbers are sure to be a concern to anyone who cares about the quality of life and the earth’s resources. Once a natural resource is used up, it is gone for good and cannot be replaced. Yet the new baby boomers – the children of the Baby Boomers – are having even more children than the average 2.5 the nuclear family had. Then there is the issue of some families going for the super-sized variety, such as the Duggars, Gosselins, and Suleimans. That paints a scary picture, to be sure, where Americans are using fertility drugs as if they were candy, to see how many babies one can give birth to in the shortest amount of time possible. Despite the fact there has never before been more choices of birth control (the pill, Mirena, Essure, Adiana, tubals, vasectomies, etc), most people still prefer to take the selfish view instead of pitch in to make a responsible sacrifice for the planet.
While the United States can probably get by with the China method (one child maximum per couple) to help ease the growing population, demographics along with social acceptance of reproductive practices has become another growing concern. Since being a single, unwed teen mom is not the serious stigma it used to be 70 years ago (back then a teen girl was sent to a special home to give birth to a child, then would reappear back at home with her parents, without the baby), more teens are also giving birth despite the fact teen pregnancy rates dropped in the mid-1990’s. Yet recently, teen pregnancies are on the rise once again, primarily due to how the media views teen pregnancy and babies: as something that is glamorous and worth aspiring to, even though the father of the baby is usually absent, and the young mother has to raise the child by herself with limited or no resources. At the present, the taxpayers are the ones who “pitch in” to help pay for the needs of these children.
The immigration rate is another added concern for the growing population of the nation, too. Unlike Russia, Japan, and Western Europe, which are experiencing population decreases, the majority of American population increases are due to immigrants, along with super-sized families. Consequently, the present minority (non-Causasian) populations in the nation will increase and become the new majority by 2050. Latino immigrants are the increasing population, but there will be social problems that affect everyone by 2050 and not just minorities. Social problems will include the decrease of social mobility, or advancing across economic class lines. Higher education, which is already expensive, a lack of jobs (getting a job in an economic recession is competitive enough), the cost of living, and wage control. It is doubtful these problems can be corrected to accommodate for the rapidly growing population of the United States. If necessary, the federal government will have to adopt the China Policy to ensure that there will be no population explosion, but neither a too rapid population decrease where an aging population is dominant, as in the case of Japan. Taking the responsible approach to families and human reproduction is what will help prevent future problems of our society and natural resources in the decades to come.