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Malthus’ Theory of Population Essay

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❶He may not be able to give proper education to his children if they are more in number. Mill considered the criticisms of Malthus made thus far to have been superficial.

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He himself called his calculations only approximate and those, who believed him were persuaded by the number of famines which took place some time after publishing the Essay. But the famines passed and no collapse occurred. In addition, if to believe this theory, the doubled population must soon weight more than the Earth itself.

Another argument consists of very simple but very exact numbers, which state that the growth of population results the growth of means to feed this population. Technological revolution, rapid industrial development prove that mankind has great potential to adopt the needs of growing population.

All the latest researches show that supply is overcoming the population and this number has a tendency to grow Ross. In his works, Malthus stated the man was immutable and created by God without the ability to change. Later discoveries, such as genetic diseases, mutations, human genome prove vice verse. Now we know that Malthus was mistaken in this point of his theory and that human nature is changeable Flew.

So, more and more arguments give convincing proves that Malthus was wrong in his pessimistic expectations. I believe that last doubts will disappear with the flow of time. Malthus not only underestimate the ability of the science to produce necessary amount of food for growing population, but also the ability of this very science to keep the growing of population under control.

These are not the only, but the most important mistakes he did in his work. References Peterson, William Malthus, Founder Of Modern Demography 2nd ed. Flew, Introduction to the Pelican edition of T. Your academic paper will be written from scratch. We hire top-rated Ph. Each customer will get a non-plagiarized term paper or essay with timely delivery. Just visit our website and fill in the order form with all paper details:.

Enjoy our professional academic writing service! Your email address will not be published. The increase in numbers is necessarily limited by the means of subsistence Population invariably increases when the means of subsistence increase, unless prevented by powerful and obvious checks.

Malthus based his reasoning on the biological fact that every living organism tends to multiply to an unimaginable extent. A single pair of thrushes would multiply into 19,, after the life of the first pair and 20 years later to 1,,,,,,, and if they stood shoulder to shoulder about one m every , would be able to find a perching space on the whole surface of the globe!

Such is the prolific nature of every specie. The power of procreation is inherent and insistent, and must find expression. On the basis of these two premises, Malthus concluded that population tended to outstrip the food supply.

If preventive checks, like avoidance of marriage, later marriage or less children per marriage, are not exercised, then positive checks, like war, famine and disease, will operate. In other words, population is necessarily limited by the means of subsistence i. Whereas population increases in geometric progression, food production increases in arithmetic progression. They are the preventive and a positive check. The first proposition is that the population of a country is limited by the means of subsistence.

In other words, the size of population is determined by the availability of food. The greater the food production, the greater the size of the population which can be sustained.

The check of deaths caused by want of food and poverty would limit the maximum possible population. The second proposition states that the growth of population will out-run the increase in food production.

He seemed to think that there was no limit to the fertility of man. But the power of land to produce food is limited. Malthus thought that the law of diminishing returns operated in the field of agriculture and that the operation of this law prevented food production from increasing in proportion to labour and capital invested in land.

In fact, Malthus observed that population would tend to increase at a geometric rate 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, etc. According to the third proposition, as the food supply in a country increases, the people will produce more children and would have larger families. This would increase the demand for food and food per person will again diminish.

Therefore, according to Malthus, the standard of living of the people cannot rise permanently. Preventive checks exercise their influence on the growth of population by bringing down the birth rate. Preventive checks are those checks which are applied by man. He thinks that with a large number of children, the standard of living of the family is bound to be lowered.

He may think that if he has to support a large family, he will have to subject himself to greater hardships and more strenuous labour than that in his present state. He may not be able to give proper education to his children if they are more in number. Further, he may not like exposing his children to poverty or charity by his inability to provide for them.

These considerations may force man to limit his family. Late marriage and self-restraint during married life are the examples of preventive checks applied by man to limit the family. Positive checks exercise their influence on the growth of population by increasing the death rate. They are applied by nature. The positive checks to population are various and include every cause, whether arising from vice or misery, which in any degree contributes to shorten the natural duration of human life.

The unwholesome occupations, hard labour, exposure to the seasons, extreme poverty, bad nursing of children, common diseases, wars, plagues and famines ire some of the examples of positive checks. They all shorten human life and increase the death rate.

Malthus recommended the use of preventive checks if mankind was to escape from the impending misery. If preventive checks were not effectively used, positive checks like diseases, wars and famines would come into operation.

As a result, the population would be reduced to the level which can be sustained by the available quantity of food supply. Gloomy forecast made by Malthus about the economic conditions of future generations of mankind has been falsified in the Western world. As a result, living standards of the people have risen instead of falling as was predicted by Malthus. But by making rapid advances in technology and accumulating capital in larger quantity, advanced countries have been able to postpone the stage of diminishing returns.

By making use of fertilizers, pesticide better seeds, tractors and other agricultural machinery, they have been able to increase their production greatly. In fact, in most of the advanced countries the rate of increase of food production has been much greater than the rate of population growth.

Even in India now, thanks to the Green Revolution, the increase in food production is greater than the increase in population.


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The most well-known theory of population is the Malthusian theory. Thomas Robert Malthus wrote his essay on “Principle of Population” in and modified some of his conclusions in the next edition in

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Thomas Robert Malthus was a British economist and a demographer, whose famous Theory of Population highlighted the potential dangers of overpopulation. Malthus put forth his ideas in six editions of his famous treatise ‘An Essay on the Principle of Population’.

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Essay on Malthusian Theory of Population Zero population growth is the concept in which the overall birth rates of the world equal the overall death rates and thus provide no growth in the size of the population. The Malthusian Theory of Population is a theory of exponential population growth and arithmetic food supply growth. Thomas Robert Malthus, an English cleric, and scholar published this theory in his writings, An Essay on the Principle of Population.

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Thomas Malthus is a famous historian and political economist, whose works had a great influence on the economy, history and sociology. The main hypothesis of his works, described in his book called “An Essay on the Principle of Population” published in resulted loud resonance in the society and provoked a lot of reactions supporting and arguing his theory. In his work, An Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus examined the relationship between population growth and resources. From this, he developed the Malthusian theory of population growth in which he wrote that population growth occurs exponentially, so it increases according to birth rate.