• Nick Kemp

Task 2 Essay: Overpopulation

Question: Most of the world’s problems are caused by overpopulation. Do you agree or disagree?

Band 8+ Sample Answer:

(Intro) It is widely thought that the majority of the world’s issues stem from an overpopulated planet. However, I tend to disagree with this viewpoint as I believe that the recent population explosion merely exacerbates the inherent problems humans have endured for centuries.

(Body 1) To begin with, many of the most serious difficulties facing people today, namely war, racism and poverty, have undeniably existed for a long period. During the course of history, greed and acquisitiveness have urged powerful nations to conquer and exploit, exerting their influence to take natural resources or gain economic benefits, thereby accumulating wealth for their own people. In addition, racism and poverty also date back to thousands of years ago, which can be evidenced by slavery by Western countries and countless historical accounts of the downtrodden people in dependent colonies.

(Body 2) Although overpopulation does not cause those problems, I believe it does exacerbate them. The uncontrollable population rise in many parts of the world, especially in developing countries, greatly contributes to the scarcity of food, fuel, drinking water and even living space. As a result, many people are driven to resort to violence towards each other to sustain their basic needs. In addition, the gap between the rich and poor has been widening due to the fact that families choose to raise too many children in traditional communities, but cannot provide a high standard of living for them and governments fail to invest in education and healthcare in order to allow these future generations to escape poverty. (This situation is particularly acute in countries ravaged by war such as Yemen or Syria, where large numbers of refugees have fled into neighbouring countries and beyond, in search of sanctuary.)

(Conclusion) In conclusion, overpopulation is not to blame for many problems worldwide as human nature or lack of investment is the underlying cause. Nevertheless, population rise is a contributing factor so reducing the birth rate should be prioritised in many developing countries to deal with pressing social problems and improve citizens’ standard of living. (301/332 words)

Words: Student essay, corrected & upgraded by Nick Kemp, former IELTS Examiner.

Image: Mikhail Mamontov / Pixabay.