Population in a Steady State Economy
In a steady state economy, population remains relatively stable, as births + immigrants = deaths + emigrants. Overcrowding, congestion, and frenzied competition are diminished. A stable and sustainable level of population helps ensure that each person can obtain sufficient resources. Steady state economies include non-coercive policies that tend to stabilize population, such as empowerment of women and provision of equitable access to educational opportunities. The idea is to stabilize population at a size that gives citizens the best odds to lead long, healthy, prosperous and fulfilling lives.
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Family planning and empowerment
Image credit: Population Institute
Continuously Growing Population
Adding more people to a population requires securing resources and space to feed, house, transport, and otherwise supply the needs of those people. It is difficult for institutions to keep pace with constantly expanding populations, with results ranging from congestion and overcrowded cities to decimated ecosystems and failing states.
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Overcrowding into marginal urban
Image credit: Fernando Stankuns
Exemplary Population Policies
Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population (ASAP) is a grassroots organization concerned about the quality of life in and around Charlottesville, Virginia. ASAP is studying environmental carrying capacity and socioeconomic conditions to estimate a “right size” for the number of residents that can live in the community and maintain a high quality of life.