Is Over Population Alone Responsible For Wars?

Is population alone responsible for war?

Margaret Sanger was one of the eleven children in her family. She studied nursing and worked as obstetrical nurse. She started advocating the importance of birth control in 1912 when she nursed a woman who died in her arms after a self-induced abortion.

Margaret Sanger holds over-population responsible for the wars. She made a strong case against over-population to be a cause of wars.

Margaret Sanger is wrong in concluding only over-population to be the cause of wars, it definitely is a factor but not the sole factor. According to her, “The ‘need for expansion’ is the only other name for over-population.” (Sanger, 539) World history is full of acquisitions and take-over. Great Britain has never been mentioned as over-populated county to the best of my knowledge but British ruled most of the world at one time or other. United states of America, India. Bangladesh, France, many parts of Europe were all occupied by British at some time. British did so for acquiring more wealth and be a powerful nation, which has nothing to do directly with pressures of over-population. United States of America, a huge nation and not an overpopulated nation has acquired Florida, New Mexico, Utah, California, Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, Arizona, Puerto Rico, Southern Arizona and many other pieces of land from many countries. (Philippine-American War Centennial Initiative (PAWCI),

The term over-population itself is a contradictory term and there is nowhere a consistent definition of the term in the context that it is used here. Harvard economist Nicholas Eberstadt remarked,” How should one define it?

In terms of population density? If so, Bermuda would be more "overpopulated" than Bangladesh. In terms of rates of natural increase? In that case, pre-Revolutionary America would have been more "overpopulated" than contemporary Haiti. In terms of the dependency ratio of children and elderly to working populations? That would mean Canada was more "overpopulated" in 1965 than India is today…. If overpopulation is a problem, it is a problem that has been misidentified and mis-defined. The images evoked by the term-hungry children, squalid housing, early death-speak to problems all too real in the modern world. But these are properly described as problems of poverty”

And it is by no means clear that population causes poverty, as Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan can all testify, these are all over-populated territories and yet economically most advanced.


Works cited/referred

Sanger, Margaret. The Cause of War

Dr. Haynes, Mary. The War on Population. (

Philippine-American War Centennial Initiative (PAWCI). History of U.S. Territorial Acquisitions. Online ed. (

Word Count: 398

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