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The rapid growth of the world's population over the past one hundred years results from a difference between the rate of birth and the rate of death. The human popula-tion will increase by 1 billion people in the next decade. This is like adding the whole population of China to the world's population. The growth in human population around the world affects all people through its impact on the economy and environ-ment. The current rate of population growth is now a significant burden to human well-being. Understanding the factors which affect population growth patterns can help us plan for the future. The purpose of this unit is to examine some important factors about overpopula-tion. This unit addresses: (1) the definition of overpopulation (2) the causes of rapid population growth, (3) the consequences of rapid population growth, and (4) ac-tions and strategies that can be developed to solve problems caused by overpopula-tion. This unit consists of core knowledge about the causes and consequences of overpopulation, lesson plans, teacher resources, student reading list, a list of speak-ers and a bibliography. Although this unit is intended primarily for students in grades 5-8, teachers in both elementary and high school can use this unit to explore key ideas and concepts about the population explosion.
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