Diseases as a Limiting Factor to Population Growth

Diseases as a Limiting Factor to Population Growth




Just like any other living organism, humans will take over the earth by reproducing. Reproduction increases population as well as replacing those who have died. There are factors such as hunger and disease which slow population growth whereas good health and higher living standards are said to increase population growth. Despite the above factors, the human population has always been growing. A good example is diseases which theoretically are expected to lower the population growth, but that is not the case in countries where there are high rates of the increasing number of people diagnosed with chronic diseases. Population keeps growing day by day.

One being diagnosed with a particular disease more so chronic diseases like cancer and viral infections which has no cure implies that there is a reduced lifespan for the patient. About 100,000 people die each day as a result of being sick. Over 80 million people across the world live with long term diseases. The number keeps increasing yearly thus when the number is high; it implies that there are people who are trying to compete over same resources which the quantity does not increase at the same rate as those diagnosed with diseases. High population attracts predators such as bacteria which causes diseases; thus they eat humans leaving them affected where population eventually decreases as a result of the deaths caused by the infections (Amorim, et al., 2017).

Diseases will always break out as a result if the high population. We have witnessed this in third world countries where chronic diseases such as Ebola which recently broke out in Nigeria. The virus did spread very fast causing massive deaths since there were fewer resources to help prevent the spread and the deaths. There are a lot of people living together, and parasites and other disease-causing organisms tend to survive best in such an environment. Diseases like cancer make a family to strain their resources in trying to treat and preventing the cancerous cells from spreading further (Amorim, et al., 2017). As a result, families with patients live under strained budgets; thus some other population limiting factors arise. They include poor living standards, starvation and overdependence on the government for food and medication aide.

From the above explanations, diseases are limiting factors to population growth. Even though the growth rates might not follow the exponential curve, it is obvious that the population will always increase. Two children are born every second, unlike the death rate where one person dies in every two seconds. As a result of the above population keeps growing. More so, there is technology invented monthly and can be used in preventing and treating diseases (Coale, and Hoover, 2015). Human population keeps growing every minute since there are high birth rates especially in countries where there are high rates spread of disease. A good example is in Africa where the spread of HIV/AIDS and cases of malaria are high but also the countries have high birth rates to an extent there can be 12members in a household. As a result of increasing birth rates, population grows instead of decreasing.

Conclusively, the population will always grow despite the limiting factors as long as people can still reproduce even when sick, when starving and when experiencing other population limiting factors. Population will always grow since science has made it possible for one to live with a chronic disease. For the population to drastically decrease, it will take natural disaster or outbreaks such as black plague which happened to have reduced population to zero in certain villages of England.


Amorim, C. E. G., Gao, Z., Baker, Z., Diesel, J. F., Simons, Y. B., Haque, I. S., … & Przeworski, M. (2017). The population genetics of human disease: The case of recessive, lethal mutations. PLoS genetics, 13(9), e1006915.

Coale, A. J., & Hoover, E. M. (2015). Population growth and economic development (Vol. 2319). Princeton University Press.