Two overpopulation examples

To illustrate what I call the overpopulation informal fallacy, we can make a short comparison of two countries: Japan as one industrialized and Colombia as one in development. We have enough information about the Japanese profile as a global economic power. The Colombian profile is more confusing, leading very often to misconceptions and several speculations due to its fame of violence, drug cartels and guerrilla fighting for decades. I think these two very interesting countries are a good sample to demonstrate that overpopulation is a concept intended to manipulate the planet from an egocentric perspective from a privileged minority. 

Category Japan Colombia
Area 377,944 km2 1,141,748 km2
Population 126,659,683 46,366,364
GDP per capita $36,266 $10,791

The first thing to see in our comparative case is the area of both countries to realize that Colombia is three times Japan. There is even more: Colombia is one of the richest world nations in natural resources, while we cannot say the same of Japan. However, the Japanese population exceeds twice the Colombian population.

Colombia and Japan territories

Can we talk about Japan as an overpopulated country? The Tokyo towers could be explained as an urgent need for space, but is it really true? How many more people could hold the Japanese territory? Does the Japanese land produces enough for 126 million 659 thousand 683 Japanese citizens? It seems that yes if we see its GDP.

Colombian populaion densityInstead Colombia, the rich-in-resources country is underpopulated. 46 million 366 thousand 356 Colombians live in half of this huge territory and, curiously  this rich territory seems not to produce enough to hold this small population. Literally half Colombia is empty of people and the reason is that half Colombia is part of the biggest jungle of the planet: the Amazons. There is also another factor: the Colombian jungles are among the best preserved of the planet ‘thanks‘ to the long decades internal conflict – though a conflict with external roles too. At the same time, is one of the most unequal societies in the planet.

The interest of industrialized markets is the preservation of the natural resources in countries such as Colombia to the consume of the planet for the good of the minority of privileged ones. Political conflicts, hunger, violence, imposed methods to reduce the number of births, all these things represent a certain benefit to the more powerful markets. This perspective will benefit from keeping Colombia as poor and violent in order to preserve its natural resources. Campaigns to create a psychological impact over a coming disaster if we overpopulate the planet are designed to what it is called third world countries, while ignoring their need of development and dignity.



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About Albeiro Rodas

Albeiro Rodas (in Cambodia Sky Ly Samnang), is a MA in Digital Communication, independent journalist and a Salesian of Don Bosco from Amalfi, Colombia, based in Cambodia since 1999. He is the creator of the Don Bosco schools of journalism in Sihanoukville and Kep with young people from poor communities and the founder of the Don Bosco Kep Children Fund. Medal for Social Commitment UPB (2010); among the 100 more upstanding Colombians abroad (Marca Colombia, 2012, and among the 12 Colombians that are making this a better world 2013 (

One response to “Two overpopulation examples”

  1. Anonymous says :

    Thank you so much

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