With Earth’s population growing exponentially there’s certainly cause for alarm. But a pair of new studies suggests there may be a cure for overpopulation that’s been right under our noses all along; big cities. Of course they don’t lead to the same conclusions about the cause of the damping effect cities have on population growth, but that’s precisely what makes them so interesting to consider. And with the UN expecting that by 2030 the cities will contain roughly 60% of the world’s population, it could be that one of them actually sheds some light on the degree of population growth to come.The first study, released by Professor Ruth Mace of University College London, deals with the fact that city dwelling parents were, until quite recently, most concerned with their children surviving infancy. With the increase in the quality of both medicine and sanitation, the modern city is an environment where parents shift focus from the mere survival of infancy towards the concern that their children won’t become successful adults.
The result being that parents now invest far more time, energy, and resources into each child in a bid to ensure their later success than in the past. Leading parents to have fewer children and devoting more of their precious resources to each of them.
But the second study, done in Iceland, suggests that birth rates in cities decline not due to the level of resources required for modern child rearing, but because of the greater amount of potential partners available in cities. The Icelandic team based their theory on research showing that closely related couples, like married cousins, have a much larger number of children than couples with a distant relationship. Postulating this as the reason for the recent population decline in Iceland, which recently became a highly urbanized nation after generations had lived in rural areas.
Perhaps some readers would care to sound off on the issue?
via:: Environmental Graffiti