Overpopulation means that some of the people cannot obtain sufficient food. There have been places where, at times, there was more than plenty for every person, as in colonial New England, for instance, but such a state of affairs is always temporary as it is unnatural. As a rule, every country in the world is over-populated, not only now but has been so ever since man existed. Large birth rates made the condition inevitable. It has no relation whatever to the amount of food raised or which could be raised, for no country produces to its limit, and the sufferers are exclusively those who are failing in the struggle for existence.

The difference between supersaturation and overpopulation must be kept in mind. Supersaturation merely means that food is imported as in England, or in Virginia and the Philippines, where enough cannot be raised, or it is cheaper to devote the land to more profitable crops, like tobacco. Overpopulation exists whether the place is saturated as in Central Europe, supersaturated as in England, or undersaturated as in British Columbia. The Russian religious fanatics, for instance, were starving in Canada at the very places into which streams of Americans are now pouring to settle. Density per mile gives no information as to the amount of overpopulation, for savages thinly settled may be decimated in lean years by reason of overcrowding, where civilized people subsequently existed in dense masses. The 300 per mile in England is not as overcrowded as the alleged ninety-five per mile in China, for in the latter country starvation daily claims its victims, and it is to be noted that China exports immense quantities of rice, because its owners get more for it than starving Chinamen can afford to pay.

The pre-Columbian Indian was surrounded by food in plenty but could not get it. He was too overcrowded for his simple methods of securing food, and he was always at war for elbow room. In modern city life, we see the same inability to get the food which proportionally exists in as great profusion as it did for the starving Indians. Vast stores of beef and wheat leave the docks of New York and Baltimore, and, within a few hundred yards, there are thousands in want who cannot buy. It was shown by charity workers in New York city in 1908 that there were 12,000 women unable to nurse their babies by reason of semi-starvation and overwork - "abject specimens of hunger" - and yet nearby rivers of milk were out of reach. Milk was distributed to keep alive some of these infants whose parents could not raise them, and the depots required large donations.

In Russia, also, there are starving peasants and periodical famines, yet an exportation of food. Frank G. Carpenter in one of his letters, says:

"They send train loads of game birds from Siberia to the markets of Europe and I know that the export of poultry is so enormous that it forms an important freight item. More than 200,000 tons of geese, chickens and eggs are carried over the railroad in a year and the exports of this kind to other parts of Europe now amount to almost $25,000,000 annually. The eggs exported alone bring in about $15,000,000, while the live geese sent to Germany are sold for some million dollars more. A great many pigeons are being raised and also ducks, turkeys and pheasants. Some of the larger estates have begun to breed partridges, quails and grouse, and others have great flocks of half wild pheasants which they raise for the market. As to eggs, 145,000 tons are now annually carried over the railroads, and this traffic is steadily increasing. Most of them go to Germany and Austria, a large part to Great Britain and some to Belgium and Holland. Almost three million pounds of eggs are exported in bulk, the eggs being broken and the yolks separated from the whites. The yolks go to Germany, Denmark, England and Holland and the whites to Germany and Great Britain." It is also reported that by 1899 the Siberian Railroad was transporting a fabulous number of tons of wheat to Europe, a granary indeed which could stop our sales to Europe. Yet Colliers for January 9, 1904, says: "The heavy floods in St. Petersburg recently drove to the surface 250,000 people who prey upon the tolerance of householders by living in their cellars. The return to underground lodgings of the army of illy nourished persons has added enormously to a death rate which was already much larger than that of any other Christian capital. It is part of an unwritten code that a lady or gentleman should not know where cellars, garrets, laundry rooms, or servant's quarters are, and a genuine St. Petersburg householder never does know from one year's end to another".

The same conditions exist in Japan,* which exports thousands of tons of fish yearly to other countries, but in 1906 there were a million people starving to death because unable to buy the fish sold to wealthier foreigners. The crowding of Japan is seen in the fact that of the whole land, only fifteen and seven-tenths per cent, is arable (about 15,000,000 acres), fifty-five per cent, of the farmers cultivate less than two acres; thirty per cent, have farms of two to three and three-quarter acres. As every inch of ground seems to be utilized to its utmost, in some places two or even three crops being raised annually, it is evident that the increased population needed for the growing factories and mills must subsist on imported foods, as in England, making another similarity between these two nations, for Japan will soon be supersaturated. A Japanese socialist Kiiche Kaneko, has drawn a doleful picture of overpopulation in that country with the consequent cheapness of life and labor. His article is tinged with an unhappy antagonism to constituted authority, and he does not seem to know that the same conditions have existed in the Islands as far back as we have any knowledge.

* Stephen England {London Daily Mail), writing of their terrihle overcrowding, says: "In Tokio not fewer than 200,000 people seldom, if ever, know of a certainty where the necessities of the next day will come from, and throughout the land the great majority are too poor to eat rice. The high grade rice grown in the Islands is exported to the last sack, and inferior rice imported for those who can afford it".