TV Shows Celebrate Overpopulation?

The human global population just hit seven billion and is still growing. During the last several years a number of TV shows seem to celebrate overpopulation by focusing on the entertaining and sentimental aspects of very large family life, but ignore the real consequences of overpopulation.

19 Kids and Counting
Depicts conservative parents in Arkansas with 19 children, who actually have had two newborns since the show began three years ago. The mother has said, “We would love more! I’m 43, almost 44 this September. I know that my mommy years are probably numbered, and I don’t know how many more children God will see fit to give me. It is something we’ve been praying about because we do love children.”

The parent’s apparent lack of environmental awareness is shocking, but is the show’s attitude towards very large family’s irresponsible? It appears to be considering how many orphans there are in the world who need to be adopted, and the fact one of the best things for the environment is to restrict family size to replacement level – just two children. As fundamentalist Christians perhaps the parents don’t accept climate change as a global and human-made problem.

Me and My 14 Kids
‘Octomom’ Nadya Suleman had 14 children and a TV show to boot. Apparently the show didn’t last long, but why would a woman want to have 14 children?

Table for 12
This family has ten children, including 4-year-old sextuplets. There were four children before the sextuplets, and isn’t four more than enough?

Jon and Kate Plus 8
This program was one of the more popular reality TV shows focused on families. Kate Gosselin worked as a nurse in a labor and delivery hospital department at one point before being on television. During the filming of their family reality program there was some concern expressed from critics over the happiness and health of the children.

9 by Design
They ‘only’ have seven children, but are open to having more.

One could also argue some audience members might be completely turned off to having a family after seeing these programs, but generally the shows seemed to present very large families as being acceptable or even fun. Do you find these programs mainly harmless, or negligent in not informing mass audiences about habitat loss and animal extinctions, resulting from the growing billions of humans?

Image Credit: Ahron de Leeuw


Related Links

How Many People is Too Many?

Tourism Drives Primate to Suicide

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Nimue P.
Nimue Pendragon1 years ago

Too bad there's no cure for stupid. The planet will not support any more people. Stop overpopulating!

Pronatalist Pronatalist

I very much agree with having naturally-large families.

Birth control is awkward, awful, unreliable.

More and more people would be glad to live. The world can hold countless billions more people. There are places all around to put more people. Besides, natural increase is natural.

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

Are they idiots or ignorants? The planet is a stake!!

Alex R.
Alex R.3 years ago

This assumes, without any justification, that population is a problem. It isn't. Consumption is a problem. The population "problem" is quietly solving it's self, with total population set to peak and decline at around 8.5 Bn. There is always an unpleasant subtext of blaming poor people in these arguments. The world environmental problems are the fault of the poor of the world having too many kids. When actually the problems are caused by the rich consuming too much.

Nadu B.
Victoria B.3 years ago

This is terrible. Not enough people realize the detrimental effects of global overpopulation.
In a developed country with birth control, this shouldn't be happening and it definitely should not be rewarded.

Sarah Metcalf
Sarah M.3 years ago

I made a comment criticizing the media for this a while back. I hate these shows because they are very harmful.

Bob O.
Bob O.3 years ago

Last year Science Daily listed overpopulation as the world's number one problem. Global warming with second. Of course there are related. When I see people like the Muggers being celebrated it turns my stomach. Mr. Mugger apparently makes enough money to feed and clothe his children but the cost of educating them in Arkansas is over $10,000 per year per child. That's almost $1 million every five years. I would suggest that people read Dr. Jack Westman's book "Licensing Parents" and book 1 of the free book series at, especially the last chapters on overpopulation, lack of fresh water, the depletion of irreplaceable natural resources, etc.

harriet s.
Heather M.3 years ago

Vanessa K. - I don't think you and your husband are selfish for not having children! The ones who are selfish are the ones who have lots of kids. They are the ones who are selfishly consuming more resources than the rest of us and are destroying this planet with their excesses!! I think people who have lots of children are selfish!

Mandi A.
Amanda Adams3 years ago

Thank you

Jennifer C.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thanks for this article.