Significance Of Malthus's Theory Of Population

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Since Thomas Robert Malthus first forwarded his theory of population in 1798, it has been an influential and widely-debated economic topic. To fully understand the relevance and cogency of Malthus’ population theory, here we analyze the strength of Malthus’ key justifications and conclusions from both historical and modern perspectives. Malthus was the first to present a formal socioeconomic analysis of the population growth potential in terms of the availability of resources. Concisely, Malthus believed that the long term sustainability of population and its growth potential is directly related to the food supply. Malthus posited that: “Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio” (Cited in Heilbronner: 109). That is, human libido -- Malthus defined sex drive as infinite -- in and of itself will result in exponential population growth. However, society’s capacity to sustain the current populace and provide for future, larger populations is dependent on the availability of food. Subsequently, Malthus observed the historical, sluggish innovation of agricultural production and …show more content…
At present, the world’s populace is significantly larger than it was during Malthus’ lifetime; yet because of expanding agricultural technology and advancements in global medical care and general socioeconomic well-being, there have been no dramatic population checks, on a relative scale, since the Industrial Revolution. Therefore, while Malthus’ theory has been the catalyst for most all subsequent study of population (e.g., Darwinism, Neo-Malthusianism), in its totality, it is unfit to fully describe modern population dynamics as our current productive capacity and societal progress is great enough to prevent severe strain on the present population

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