There is considerable noise found on the Internet on a so-called problem called “overpopulation.” But most people have little or no concern about this problem. It appears as we look around, we have much unused space, lots of space that is unoccupied by people. So how can we possibly be “overpopulated?” Now let’s see, let us do a little bit of math.

The total Earth’s surface is 197,000,000 mi.². However, 140,000,000 mi.² is occupied by water, that is the oceans. So what remains is the total land surface of 57,000,000 mi.². Now 57,000,000 square miles is a lot of land! So what’s the problem?

57,000,000 mi.² = 57 million square miles!

Well, to begin with, crops cannot be grown on all that land. For example, 6% is covered with permafrost. Permafrost is a thick subsurface layer of soil that remains frozen throughout the year and is found primarily in the polar regions. It is called permafrost because it never melts. You cannot grow trees or crops in frozen soil. It just cannot be done. That leaves us with 53,580,000 mi.².

In addition, 10% of the land surface is simply too wet and is covered with swamps on which no crops can be grown. Even fruit trees cannot be grown in swamps, nor banana trees or any other tropical tree that bears fruit. That means we only have 47,880,000 mi.² remaining.

Some soils on Earth’s land services are too shallow and adding fertilizers is not enough on which we can grow crops much less fruit trees. Altogether that’s 22% of Earth’s land surface. All total so far is 57,000,000 mi.² minus 38% which equals to 36,000,000 mi.². So it’s not 57,000,000 mi.², it’s only 36,000,000 mi.². But that’s still a lot of land so where’s the problem?

An additional 23% of the land surface has chemical problems in the soil and cannot grow crops. 23% of 57,000,000 mi.² is equal to 13,111,000 mi.². Subtracting that number from the previous calculation of 36,000,000 mi.² equals 22,890,000 mi.². but we cannot stop there.

28% of the total land surface is too dry, covered with sand dunes and other desert areas that simply lack the water. In addition these desert areas do not get rain to speak of, or what they do get can hardly support the growing of crops and fruit trees. The amount of land surface that is too dry equals to 28% or 15,960,000 mi.².

If we subtract 15,960,000 mi.² from 22,890,000, that leaves us with only:

6,930,000 mi.² or 6,930,000 square miles of arable land.

That is a lot less then our starting original value of 57,000,000 mi.² of Earth’s land surface. 6,930,000 mi.² is equal to 4,012,800,000 acres Just a bit more than 4 billion acres. (Arable refers to those lands on which crops can be grown.)

So what is the problem?? After all we can fit the entire world’s population into Texas and Texas only has  268,820 square miles !! So it seems truly silly to be worried about enough room for an ever-expanding world population.