Overcrowding And The 21st Century


One of the biggest issues that 21st Century cities face is the issue of overcrowding. As birth rates go up and people live for longer, this creates many issues for housing and overcrowding. In many places, immigration also adds to an already growing issue of overcrowding as there is not enough housing to go around. A walk into any city centre at night shows signs of slums and people sleeping on the street giving an accurate picture of a problem in our overcrowded cities.


Better health services mean that people are living far longer than they used to. Babies born each year are also on the increase meaning that the population of our towns and cities are forever expanding. It is estimated that the world population is growing by about 74 million people per year.

Immigration levels are at an all-time high causing even more people to be living in our cities. The news today covers many articles of refugees coming into the Western world in order to escape conflict, terrorism and other horrors.

There are not enough properties to go around for all the extra people who are living in our cities and recession means that the building of houses is not enough to accommodate everyone who is living in our cities.


There are many issues that overcrowding can cause from local issues to global consequences. Some of these issues include:

  • Lack of fresh drinking water

  • Sewer systems fail

  • Spread of disease

  • Intensive factory pollution

  • Increase of global warming

  • Lack of food

  • Increase of poverty

  • Increase of crime

Some science fiction films such as Soylent Green and Aftermath: Population Overload have explored some of the issues of an over populated earth.


There is no one solution to the issue. Simple measures such as building more houses and improving systems such as water and sewage create more problems of their own. These issues are first and foremost money and the other is of land space to build the extra homes.

China faced a similar situation and so they changed their law whereby a family were only allowed to have one child. This may have been extreme but there is no evidence to support that this measure actually works in practice.


The overcrowding is an issue in our cities that seems to be building each and every year. There just are not enough resources to be able to accommodate the ever expanding population.


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