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Does Saving More Lives Lead to Perpetual Overpopulation?

Here, Bill Gates brilliantly explains why efforts to eradicate preventable diseases won't lead to perpetual overpopulation.

Yes, saving kids from dying due to diarrhea, polio, and malaria will contribute to a bigger world population, but history and statistics clearly show that as populations get healthier, people choose to have less progeny.

So while we may have a planet of 11.2 billion people give or take a few hundred million by the year 2100, the rate of population growth will fall from a peak of somewhere around 2.0 percent to less than 0.2 percent.

My personal view is that if we are called to be a parent in our lifetime, it's ideal to have no more than one child per parent, the idea being that one child will replace each of us as a living entity that will need to use some of the earth's resources to experience the miracle of living. Addendum: Of course, many families choose to have more than two children and raise larger families with an abundance of love, and I can definitely see the appeal of having many children and siblings to experience life with.

To learn more about the life-saving projects that The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is engaged in, I recommend viewing "Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates" at Netflix.


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It is with a very heavy heart that after many years of following you, Dr. Kim, I am going to have to unsubscribe from receiving your emails and from your FB page due to what I was shocked to read in your article "Does Saving More Lives Lead to Overpopulation?". I believe that Bill Gates and his foundation are very evil, and your statement that you believe people should not have more than one child per parent is very troubling. I do not believe in the myth of overpopulation, and as a Christian I believe that children are a blessing from God. It is very disturbing that a number of countries will not be replacing themselves population-wise in coming generations. Our problem is not too many people, but too few. I am grateful for the helpful articles, videos and advice you have given to me over the years, but I so strongly disagree with you on this that I must disassociate myself at this point. I wish you the best, and hope that you look into this subject a bit further.

Bill Gates is right, natural population growth has a bell curve, its a proven fact. All life follows this path, God given or not. He is also a philanthropist and as far from evil as you can get. More EVIL has been done in the name of Christianity than than any other organization/religion on in History. You need to get your myths and facts in order.

Dr. Kim, with all due respect, don’t you have TWO children...? So your belief of the one child ideal applies to others but not yourself...

Sarah, I simply shared what I would consider to be ideal, which is one child per parent, so for a family of two parents, to have two children.

To share that I think this is ideal doesn't mean that I have a negative opinion of those who choose to have many more. I love being a parent and there are times when I wish that we had more children.

Perhaps the bigger point is this: on all life matters, we are bound to have opinions that vary from that of others. Wouldn't life be better for all if we could show each other love and respect despite having different opinions?

Shelley Firkus, I was shocked when I read Dr. Kim's invitation to look into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - I actually want to type the work rubbish instead of foundation. I agree with your position on "the Gates" - having followed Billy since his inception and the dreaded Windows program. My knowledge of Gates includes his endorsement of GM foods (genetically modified foods) and didn't he buy into controlling the wind - or some fancy title, like Climate Change to Save this Planet - just being sarcastic. The facts remain, Gates is a copycat control freak and his wife: well, Melinda, doubtless followed the money. Gates is so different from Steve Jobs - who really did care about people and the planet. Laurene Powell Jobs used to keep bees in their backyard. Here's another sad observation, my son told me he'd seen Melinda Gates pushing their brand (my words) and he thought how sincere, she hasn't had her nose fixed and she has all that money. How's that for messed up thinking?!! Bill Gates is into self-aggrandizement and being in control, not being a good samaritan. I hope Dr. Kim will realize what he's done by endorsing the Gates.

Perhaps you also know of multiple people who are high-income earners and can afford the best healthcare and diets who still choose to have multiple children. Catholic and Muslim families have multiple children. I know of some medical doctors who have multiple children. There's a family down the street from me who have six. European countries have been reported to have dwindling populations and, thus, their governments have decided to deliberately move in Muslim populations for part of the reason being they have multiple children. I am not hearing Gates saying anything here that has any basis in reality.

Dr. Kim, I can appreciate you wanting to improve the health of people, but please do not choose this man as an example. He is not even in your league of honesty and high integrity. I have personally witnessed Mr. Gates talking about using vaccines to reduce population. His vaccine program to reduce polio in India where there was no outbreak instead caused thousands of cases or polio-induced paralysis among children who received the vaccines. I am not an anti-vaxer per se, but I do not approve of forced vaccinations or their use as covert vectors for promoting sterility among third-world populations or promoting covert experimentation on people - and they have been. In his video here, he is just spouting a theory with no real documented proof. There is no shortage of food on this planet - it's called seeds. People can grow all the food they need in container gardening - they don't need farmland. This man has also been reported to own stock in Monsanto - a company clearly not in the best interest of health on this planet! Please do more research on these people before you post them as examples for the rest of us. Just because they have hit a jackpot need on this earth and amassed wealth in their fields, does not necessarily qualify them to lead the rest of us. thank you for considering, as we all love and respect you very much!

In response to those who have expressed disappointment in me sharing this video from Bill Gates, all I can say is that I appreciate you sharing your views, and that my reason for sharing this video is that it addresses a question that I've long had about overpopulation.

On the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and what I know of its work, I have a lot of respect for what they are doing to make toilets and sanitation systems more readily available to emerging countries that desperately need support in this area. I have not come across anything to suggest that their intentions are malicious. To those who have a poor opinion of Bill Gates or his family's foundation, please feel free to share specific links to information that interested readers can look into.

To vilify another human being without including any evidence to support one's opinion is a bit unfair, no? Before seeing some of the comments here, I had no idea that there are some in this world who carry such animus for Bill Gates - I feel bad for the man, as he is clearly putting a great deal of his wealth into trying to solve major problems for people who can't help themselves. Again, I recommend Netflix's 3-part series on some of the work that the Gates Foundation is doing for those who would like to look into it for themselves.