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Thomas Malthus

An Essay on the Principle of Population 1798· Thomas Malthus wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) in which he expressed his theory concerning the increase and decreases of population.
Exponential Growth guy!
· He concluded that sooner or later the population would get checked by famine, diseases or natural disasters
· He believed that population growth could be dangerous and that population needed to be check by increased death rates or decreased birth rates.
· He thought that the human population would eventually reach a tipping point if it was not checked by these factors.
· He also felt that the forces of poverty and misery could be prevented with a decreased population.
· His beliefs became known as Malthus’ Iron Law of Population.
  • Demography- “The statistical study of human populations and sub-populations. It can be a very general science that can be applied to any kind of dynamic human population, that is, one that changes over time or space.”
  • Most important work- An Essay on the Principle of Population (first publication-1798)
  • Dictates that the growth of all populations, including humans, are hindered by certain limiting factors.
  • Some limiting factors include famine and disease.

  • Influenced greatly later evolutionary biologists such as Darwin and Wallace

  • Helped develop the idea of natural selection.

  • Effects some countries' policies (see China’s “One Child” law)

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