Overpopulation can be stopped by access to birth control, family planning education, economic opportunities, social norms and government regulations. While much debate occurs over the exact number that would equate to overpopulation, experts accept that there is some number of humans that would meet a definition of overpopulation.
Over the past decades, the birth rate has dropped dramatically in many parts of the world. According to the United Nations, the birth rate has slowed or even stopped in Europe, North America and Japan. These countries all share ready access to birth control, family planning education, less rural living, social norms that support fewer children per couple and high incomes per citizen.
In China, the controversial one child policy is said to have reduced births by 400 million since 1970. There is evidence that at least part of this trend may have occurred regardless of the policy, as many factors that have affected other country’s birth rates are also occurring in China.
The global population overall continues to increase with much of the growth taking place in Africa and parts of Asia. It is believed by many that the same reduction in births could be achieved in these areas with similar social and economic changes that have occurred elsewhere.