177 Essays on Infinite Lifespans   Max More Even if there were a population problem in a few countries, extending the human life span would worsen the problem no morethanwouldimprovingautomobilesafetyorworkersafety, or reducing violent crime. Who would want to keep these deadly threats high in order to combat population growth? If we want to slow population growth, we should focus on reducing births, not on raising or maintaining deaths. If we want to reduce births, we might voluntarily fund programs to provide contraceptives and family planning to couples in poorer countries. This will aid the natural developmental pro- cess of choosing to have fewer children. Couples will be able to have children by choice, not by accident. Women should also be encouraged to join the modern world by gaining the ability to pursue vocations other than child-raising. ‘OVERPOPULATION’ DISTRACTS FROM REAL PROBLEMS Major downward revisions in population growth – through- out the UN’s sixteen rounds of global demographic estimates and projections since 1950 – have drained the plausibility of any  overpopulation-based  argument  against  life  extension. We can better understand the real problems that are talked about in relation to overpopulation instead as issues of pov- erty.  Poverty,  in  turn,  results  not  from  having  too  many people, but from several major factors including political mis- rule, continual warfare, and insecurity of property rights. As Bjorn Lomborg points out, we find many of the most densely populated countries in Europe. The region with the highest population density, Southeast Asia, has about same number of people per square mile as the United Kingdom. Although India has a large, growing population, it also has a population density far lower than that of The Netherlands,