What Are The Problems Of Overpopulation? (20 Problems Of Overpopulation In Nigeria)

What are the problems of overpopulation
What are the problems of overpopulation

Really, what are the problems of overpopulation?

In this blog post, we are going to be looking at 20 problems of overpopulation, especially in Nigeria.



What Is Overpopulation?

Overpopulation is term that is used to denote a situation in which the resources in a country, region or an area can no longer adequately sustain the people living there.

We talk of sustainability relative to the number of people in the area.

So, it is a relative term in the sense that it shows that the number of inhabitants in a place have exceeded the capacity or the ability of the place to sustain life or sustain the well-being of the people living there.

Nigeria’s Population Growth Rate

The 2006 census put Nigeria’s population at 140.4 million. This is the last official census conducted in Nigeria. Another census is scheduled for 2023.

As at 2006 annual population growth rate of Nigeria was 2.6%. This means that Nigeria’s population increases at a value of 2.6% per year. This is very massive.

So, Nigeria has a population that grows at a fast rate compared to most countries in the world. This comes with its attendant problems.

What Are The Problems Of Overpopulation?

The problems of overpopulation affect both individuals, families, society and the country at large. Some of these may be immediately obvious while few are not immediately obvious.

We have compiled a list of 20 problems of overpopulation in Nigeria.

20 Problems Of Overpopulation In Nigeria.

Increase in Poverty

In a country like Nigeria, the poverty problem keeps getting worse every year, even as the population keeps on increasing too.

The latest figures released by National Bureau of Statistics says that there are 133 million poor people in Nigeria.

Truth be told, overpopulation is not the only thing causing poverty. We still have poor policies, poor leadership, corruption among the contributory factors.

Ineffective Resources Management

If you are supposed to use maybe 100 billion naira, to cater for 100 million people, now when you have 200 million people and you are supposed to use the same amounts, it will not be the same and you are definitely not going to get the same results.

So, overpopulation means that the resources you have, you are not able to use it effectively as we should, because people are just too many

Destruction Of The Environment

When we have greater number of people in a place, it puts the environment at risk.
In Nigeria, you have a lot of environmental degradation going on.

Sanitation issues, people throwing things into the gutters and defacing the environment as well as bush burning, deforestation are rife.

These practices impact negatively on our environment.

Increased Consumption

As you have more people or as the population of a place keeps increasing, there is a need to consume more, especially if the country is not does not produce what it eats and uses.

This is not good for the economy of such a country as a lot of money is spent on imports.

It also keeps the country at the mercy of the policies of whichever country they import from the things.

Air Pollution

Humans breathe in air.

With increased population and industrial activities, even day to day activities, the environment is being polluted.

If unchecked, the air pollutants may reach unacceptable levels and cause health problems and diseases for the residents of such areas.

Waste Generation

With increase in population, there is also an increase in waste generation. These wastes may be from homes, shops, parks, offices, industries and so on.

With poor or inefficient ways of handling waste, the problem even multiplies. This worsens the already existing pollution and environmental degradation problems


In many parts of the world, getting access to potable water is difficult or near impossible. Nigeria is also not left out of this water problems.

Poor access to clean drinking water can predispose to diseases like cholera


Increased population means that people are going to have difficulty getting decent places to live and sleep in, accommodation.

This has given rise to increase in slums.

Some people squat with others; some others have to stay in shanties all in the name of house.

Some even sleep under the bridges, in motor parks and other public places because they cannot afford to pay for a decent accommodation.

This comes with its attendant problems.


So as a result of increased the population, there is a lot of demand is placed on food and other agricultural produce.

This is even worse when the country’s farmers can barely provide enough to eat at a subsistence level.

There are also other challenges facing commercial agriculture.

This may lead to disruptions in food supply, food shortages, famine and the likes.

Floods, disasters,insecurity and other problems may even worsen the existing food crisis.

Access To Good Quality Education

Increased population also puts a strain on the education system because a larger number of people will struggle to use the available educational resources.

There may not be adequate resources to take care of this increase in demand.

This may lead to increase in fees, large number of students in a class, poor quality or standard of teaching, strikes by staff, shortage of well trained personnel, strain on the school infrastructure.

You may have an increased rate of people dropping out of school.

Transportation Problems

So because of an increase in population, you have a transportation problem.

In cities like Lagos and Port Harcourt , we have issues with traffic because of the population of the cities

People stay in traffic jams for hours before finally getting to their destinations.

It reduces efficiency, causes stress, and even impacts negatively on the health

Health Care

The health system is not left out when it comes to the problems of overpopulation.

It has to deal with a larger number of people.

This coupled with the health system that is short of doctors, nurses and other health workers, puts further strain on the nation’s health sector.

Long waiting times before being attended to, reduced quality of services, overworking of available medical personnel, complaints from patients, and so on are the outcome.

It also worsens the infant and maternal mortality indices of affected countries.


Erosion is as a result of man’s activities such as deforestation.

This reduces the cover that the soil or the land has and the land is thus prone to erosion.

Depletion of Natural Resources

This is also one of the problems of overpopulation. Resources are used faster than they are being replenished.

Pressure On The Cities

As population keeps increasing, people are also looking for more opportunities to meet up in order to take care of themselves and their families.

There tends to be a movement from the rural areas to the cities, where there are supposedly more opportunities.

This puts a pressure on the infrastructure in the towns—housing, electricity, water, roads and so on.

They may even begin to deteriorate leading to worsening service delivery for the inhabitants.


According to a report, there are 23 million unemployed people in Nigeria.

This gets worse as the population increases without strategic action towards job creation.


There is expected to be an increase in criminal activities with overpopulation.

This is as a result of high rate of unemployment, bad influences and peer pressure.

More people enter crime in order to make ends meet or satisfy their quest for money.

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking can thrive in places with large population.

This is because of bad influences as well as people looking for a means of survival or livelihood.

Human Trafficking

As overpopulation worsens and people are desperate to make end meet, they become easy targets of human trafficking gangs and schemes.

Psychological Stress

People in overpopulated areas are continuously under stress.

They are under pressure to make ends meet, pressure to to keep up with their jobs, employment, the pressure of the daily traffic, pressure of going out and coming in, pressure of having to struggle with for water and every other resources.

This puts a lot of stress and can lead to depression or mental imbalance.

What Are The Solutions To The Problems of Overpopulation In Nigeria?

What is the way forward?

1) Critically appraise the current situation

2) A population policy that will be acceptable and practicable

3) Encourage people to give birth to the number of children they can comfortably take care of.

It does not make sense giving birth to 8 children you cannot adequately take care of.

4) Investments in health, to reduce avoidable deaths from diseases.

This will make it unnecessary for people to give birth to many children since most children born will grow into adulthood and old age.

5) Investments in education

6) Education of the girl-child


We have seen the 20 problems of overpopulation in Nigeria and how these things really affect the people.

Which other countries do you know that also face this overpopulation problems? How are they handling it?


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