Looking to the Future: Overpopulation or Global Depopulation

Looking to the Future: Overpopulation or Global Depopulation

A Paper by Theresa Okafor, Director, Foundation for African Cultural Heritage, presented for the 10th Rhodes Forum

The United States Census Bureau estimated that the world’s population was 7.037 billion on March 12, 2012. According to the United Nations Population Fund, the world hit the seven billion mark on October 31, 2011.

Long before now there have been debates as to whether the world was really overpopulated or not.

Between 1798 and 1826, an English Demographer and Political Economist, Thomas Malthus published a famous and controversial treatise “An Essay on the Principle of Population.” The thrust of his postulations was that human beings will reproduce at a geometric rate while food production will occur at an arithmetic rate implicitly asserting that the world will be overpopulated. Let us take a quotation which succinctly captures his views “The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race. The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation. They are the precursors in the great army of destruction, and often finish the dreadful work themselves. But should they fail in this war extermination, sickly seasons, epidemics, pestilence, and plague advance in terrific array, and sweep off their thousands and tens of thousands. Should success be still incomplete, gigantic inevitable famine stalks in the rear and with one mighty blow levels the population with the food of the world?” (Malthus, T.R. 1798 p.61). He proposed prostitution, abortion, birth control including the use of contraceptives and celibacy as a way of checking the human population so that the world will not degenerate to a level of acute starvation and possibly cannibalism.

Due to technological, agricultural and societal developments largely brought about by the industrial revolution, food supply became abundant thus making the Malthusian theory a colossal failure (Wolfgram, A.).

Some Scholars sturdily opposed Malthus: Henry Carey, an American economist and thinker opined that food supply will outstrip population growth only in an economy where the government lacked a clear cut public policy and failed to adopt novel technologies. This was well espoused in his book “The Principles of Social Science. In Friedrich Engels book “Outline of a Critique of Political Economy 1844,” he said that the problem of inadequate food production will be taken care of by advances in science and technology. Economist Simon Julian implicitly called Malthus a Prophet of Doom as the massive geometric population growth of the 20th century did not lead to a worldwide catastrophe.

Was Malthus entirely wrong? Some of his modern day disciples attribute the problems of Africa and the Middle East where the population doubles repeatedly to food shortages and its concomitant effects which include diseases, water shortage, internal strife, conflict, large migrations (Danaher, G. 2011).

Is a large population good or evil? Despite the fact that China could not be described as a super power when the United Nations was founded in 1945, Chinese is one of the official languages of the United Nations. China is the second fastest growing economy of the world knocking out Japan and Germany in just 34 years. In 1978, the government decided to open up the communist country to reforms and trade. (Roberts, D. 2012). The Chinese are everywhere. They take advantage of their large population to dominate economies in anywhere they find themselves. Even their cuisine is prestigious. Such is the power of a large and well harnessed population!

Now comes the critical question: Is the world really over populated or is there an attempt to hoodwink a vast majority of people into getting their support for a depopulation agenda?

According to Stephen Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute, the population of the entire world could fit into the American state of Texas. The square miles of Texas is 262,000. Using the old population of 6 billion as at 1999 and a conversion from square miles to square feet, it came to 1,217 square feet per capita. A family of five would occupy that with the status of a mansion. (www.pop.org). The extra 1 billion people may not alter much this calculation.

We are not asserting the veracity of this claim but at the same time, its logic is not to be dismissed with the wave of the hand. Let us look at Canada which is the second largest nation on earth after Russia. The land mass is 6,198,186 square miles with a population of about 34 million. (www.wikepedia.org). Most areas are uninhabited and the potentials for it to be tapped are abundant. Can we honestly say the world is overpopulated when many areas are sparsely uninhabited? What about the creative powers of man which population promotes? What about his problem solving ability? Dubai which was largely a desert area has been transformed into one of the most attractive tourist hubs in the world because of man’s prowess to turn challenges into opportunities (BBC UK).

That brings to a reiteration of an earlier question, if there’s more than enough room for everyone on earth as seen above, is there any depopulation agenda and if there is what is the real raison d’etre?

Depopulation agendas have existed from time immemorial as far back as in 1550 BC in Egypt (Time Magazine US). However it gained momentum and became a topic of global discourse when Margaret Sanger surreptitiously propagated the eugenics agenda. The agenda is hinged on the elimination of ‘inferior races.’ Thomas Malthus asserted that a population time bomb threatened humanity and listed a group of people which included the ‘racially inferior.’ He canvassed for annihilation of them. Sanger, being a disciple used the scientific method of abortion, sterilisation to carry out this plan under the guise of overpopulation. She had operated an abortion clinic in Brooklyn in October 1916 which was shut down by the authorities. It targeted those declared ‘unfit to reproduce.’ – The poor immigrants in the area. In 1929, she set up a clinic in Harlem, a black ghetto. This was when the effect of the great depression was biting hard and the blacks who suffered severe racial discrimination and bleak prospects looked up to abortion as a way to lessen their misery. Under the guise of better health, she persuaded the black leaders – William Dubois amongst them who was the most influential of his time, to back her birth control idea opining that there was need for the spacing of children, maternal death and infant mortality rate reduction. A second clinic was opened Berkeley County, South Carolina when the blacks had 70% of the population.

By 1942 when the Planned Parenthood was founded, she had a campaign targeting the abortion of thirteen million black babies. By the time she died, Rev Hunter had this to say as a legacy she left “Abortion is the number one killer of blacks in America. 1,452 babies being killed a day nothing short of pure genocide.” So influential was she among the black community that Dr. Martin Luther King, the greatest black leader won a prize in her honour for furthering reproductive health and rights (Green, T. L 2011).

We have a number of international development agencies but one wonders whether it is development or destruction that is being done.

The International Statistical Association expressed grave concerns about the World Health Organisation’s inaccurate recording of abortion deaths. It is hard to determine how abortions contribute to maternal mortality and the abortion is hinged on this false data. WHO has admitted that getting accurate data is an uphill task yet they churn out policies based on the apparently flawed data and passing them off as valid and objective. They then influence other international organisations and member countries on the basis of a flaw. It has lent its support to abortion by equating maternal deaths with unsafe abortions. It has also mounted severe pressure on Sovereign states to change their abortion laws as well as assisting in the management of unsafe abortion cases. In a special UN session in 1999, when governments collectively agreed that in instances when abortion did not run afoul of the law, healthcare service providers should be trained on how to provide safe and accessible abortion services. This means that WHO is expanding its tentacles from unsafe abortion into advocating for it to be available on demand. They support an abortificient called RU-486. WHO and the World Bank founded Concept Foundation in 1989 to provide the drug in the Chinese market at low cost. It is a founding member of the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception which planned to introduce another abortion inducing drug: Postinor-2 to Mexico, Indonesia, Kenya and Sri Lanka. Wrapped under its unsafe abortion promotion agenda is the promotion of abortion with contraceptives as well. There is a conspicuous silence on the use of natural family planning methods and abstinence which are safer? (Essig, A. 2010 p. 19 – 30).

In 2002 after a fact finding mission to China by some officials of the United States Department, it was exposed that women who had unauthorised pregnancies had severe penalties ranging from forced abortions to the payment of outrageous fines and other forms of emotional torture. Former President George Bush Jr defunded them as a result of their complicity in the barbaric atrocity. However the incumbent, Barack Obama on March 11, 2009 reinstated funding to them and has since approved about $145 million to the murderous cause (Saunders, B. 2011).

The UNFPA and the International Planned Parenthood Federation collaboratively drafted a document that provided a framework on sexual and reproductive rights and health. In addition to the infamous Maputo Protocol, they aimed at pressuring the bureaucrats in the health sector and policy makers in different countries to make abortion more widely available. (Singson, S. 2007).

In 1984, a report was written and presented to the controllers of the World Bank. The summary of it was a population reduction plan so as to maintain economic growth for developed economies. It was titled “World Development Report 1984.” Poverty and Hunger were touted as a consequence of overpopulation. It advocated the elimination of subsidies for large families, incentives for smaller families and the praising of China for its one-child policy and holding them up as a model. It canvassed the availability of male and female sterilisation, IUD’s in countries such as India, Indonesia and Thailand. There was also the idea of the creation of concentration camps where people could be taken for sterilisation. (Miranda, L.R 2012)

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have been focused on reducing the population of poorer countries through the promotion of killer drugs such as Depo-Provera. The foundation is partnering with the British government to raise $4 billion to finance their birth control plan by 2020. This is under the guise of family planning. The foundation is also known to fund an NGO committed to children vaccination known as Gavi. This vaccine has been used on children in Malawi, India and Pakistan. In Malawi, these kids were vaccinated at gunpoint in 2011; Non-polio paralysis struck some of the kids that were vaccinated ( Posel, S. 2012).

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the World’s most powerful charity. It is funded to the tune of $34.6 in addition to $30 from the investments from Warren Buffet. In 2000, the foundation founded the Global Fund for Children’s Vaccines (GAVI). It is an international collaboration among the Rockefeller foundation, Governments, the World Bank, WHO, International Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, Vaccine Makers and UNICEF. (Gale, R; Null, G 2010). During the World Economic Forum, he promised to make $10 billion available for child vaccine development in poorer nations. With the history of vaccines in Africa and third world countries, has any proven to be the solution to the problems there? Does it not make more sense to clean up the filthy sewages to put a permanent solution to needless ailments rather than provide vaccines which will not solve the fundamental problem? Do these vaccines enhance the quality of lives? Is it a solution to the problem of squalor in the continent? In a TED conference presentation, his reasons for massive investments in vaccines may have been revealed “The world today has 6.8 billion people…. That’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on vaccines, healthcare, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.” (Adams, M 2010).

The Ford Foundation started active population funding activities since 1952. Their grants helped maintain the Population Council, Population Research Bureau and many other Population Control Agencies. From 1965 – 1974, they had finished the completion of a population control establishment and convinced many international agencies to join in the depopulation efforts as well as financed the spread of contraceptives. (Wooster, M.M 2004 p.v).

In the 1968 annual report, the Rockefeller foundation admitted financing the development of anti-fertility vaccines and spreading them in gargantuan proportion.

Europe which has been implementing birth control policies since the turn of the 20th century now suffers from a severe demographic winter. They are victims of a political system that rewards the workforce at the expense of maternity and a political system that destroyed families. Their myopic view has created a deep crisis for them as there is undue pressure on the workforce as a concomitant effect of the ageing population. The current average child per woman is 1.4 with no visible solution to the decline. The current population of 727 million may nosedive to 550 by 2050. In 1984, former French Prime Minister, Jacques Chirac expressed fears of a population that stands on the brink of annihilation “Soon our countries would be empty, Empty of Gauls, Teutons, Britons and Slavs perhaps. But other tribes more fruitful than the modern day European ones, will certainly come to occupy the pleasant lands north of the Mediterranean, And the surviving Europeans will retreat to the retirement homes….” (Mosher, Stephen 2008).

Some wise governments have taken pragmatic steps to reveres this ugly and dangerous trend. France has put measures in place to encourage women to have more babies. There are financial benefits for an extra third child, extra tax credits for healthcare, extended parental claim benefits, discounts on public transport and tax breaks (Wyatt, C. 2005). Hungary has one of the lowest birth rates in Europe – 1.27 per woman as a result of the pro-abortion policies. The government has now given a three year maternity leave and plans to improve the near non-existent part time job arrangement. In the Netherlands, there is six months maternity leave with full pay and nice work related rights. The fathers also receive paternity leaves (The Gilded Blog).

Spain announced an incentive to give a check of 2500 euros for every baby born there and an extra 3500 for a third baby (Beltramo, C. 2008).

Europe has seen the folly of birth control and how it will affect future prosperity as the money used to take care of the aged comes from the working class. Why then does the UN and other Western Agencies want to foist a depopulation agenda on third world countries especially Africa? Investors are attracted to a country with a large population size. That is one of the factors that is being put into consideration – a large market for their goods or services. Since aid has failed in Africa, why can’t there be more investments in the continent which will trickle down to the populace – employment, wealth creation, technology transfer, skills acquisition and so on? This will tackle the real needs of the continent.

Instead of spending billions of dollars in futile depopulation efforts as Africans have a strong cultural affinity for large families, why can’t the circumstances for these large families to live a more dignified existence be created? Why spend billions of dollars to provide vaccines when it can be funnelled for the provision of a healthier environment which will translate into prosperity as health is wealth. Why can’t there be more pressure put on African leaders not to still the commonwealth since the west is bent on playing a big brother role/ The rogue behaviour of African leaders has led to the impoverishing of the continent and not large families. The creation of failed states through western conspiracy as evinced by the fact that as a condition for the receipt of loans from the World Bank and IMF, subsidy on essential items are always asked to be removed in the name of development (Abioje, P.O 2012). Isn’t it hypocrisy for the West to subsidise education, healthcare and other essential citizens for its citizens and tell African leaders to remove them? Isn’t the lack of subsidy killing the poor?

The overpopulation hue and cry is all hogwash and an attempt to divert attention from the real issues. If more love can be shown to Africa and other developing economies by meeting the real needs of these people, there would not be any need for a depopulation agenda which is not only counterproductive but a source of misery for both parties.

As an old cliché goes, there is enough for everyone’s need but not enough for everyone’s greed; the mindless quest for power is the real evil that needs to be rooted out as that is the root cause of the needless depopulation agenda.



1.      Abioje, P.O (2012) Subsidy removal is SAP resurrected. Punch. 3rd February p.10

2.      Adams, M. (2010) Bill Gates says vaccines can help reduce world population. New York: The International Research Group.

3.      Anon (2011) Hungarian government takes steps to encourage women to have babies {online}. Available at: http://www.thecagegilded.wordpress.com/2011-01-13/hungarian-government-takes-steps-to-encourage-women-to-have -babies/ {Accessed 3rd September 2012}

4.      Beltramo, C. (2008) Spain’s Socialist Government Sees the Folly of Falling Fertility {online}. Available at: http://www.catholic.org/national/national-story.php/id?=272272&;pages=1 {Accessed 4th September 2012}

5.      Danaher, G. (2011) Defending Thomas Malthus: Africa and the Middle East are proving Malthus Right. 25th February, 2011.

6.      Green, T. (2012) The Negro Project: Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Plan for Black Americans {online weblog}. Available at: http://www.cwfa.org/articledisplay.asp?id=1466/ {Accessed 3 September 2012}

7.      Essig, A. (2010) The World Health Organization’s Abortion Agenda {online}. Available at: http://www.c-fam.org/doclib/2010060-WHO-FINAL.PDF {Accessed 4 September 2012}

8.      Malthus, T.R (1798) An Essay on the Principle of Population. London: J. Johnson

9.      Miranda, L.R (2012) The World Bank’s 28 Year-Old Depopulation Plan {online}. Available at: http://real-agenda.com/2012/02/14/the-world-bank’s-28-year-old-depopulation-plan/ {Accessed 4 September 2012}

10.    Saunders, B. (2011) Time to End Funding for UNFPA over Forced Abortions in China {online}. Available at: http://www.lifenews.com/2011/09/21/time-to-end-funding -for-unfpa-over-forced-abortions-in-china/ {Accessed 4 September 2012}

11.    Singson, S. (2007) UN and PP pushing abortion in Africa {online}. Available at: http:www.rightofliferoch.org/nunafricaabo.htm/ {Accessed 4 September 2012}

12.    Wolfgram, A. Population, Resources and Environment: A Survey of the Debate {online}. Available at: http://www.voxfux/features/malthusian/malthusian_theory.htm {Accessed 4th September}

13.    Wyatt, C. (2005) France boosts family incentives {online}. Available at: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/European-nations-offer-incentives-to-have-kids-3201278.php