Q:

Who is Thomas Malthus and what did he predict?

A:

Quick Answer

Thomas Robert Malthus was an English cleric, scholar and economist who predicted that unchecked population growth would lead to famine and disease. His seminal work was titled "An Essay on the Principle of Population as it Affects the Future Improvement of Society, with Remarks on the Speculations of Mr. Godwin, Mr. Condorcet, and Other Writers."

Know More
Who is Thomas Malthus and what did he predict?
Credit: pidjoe E+ Getty Images

Full Answer

Malthus was born to a Utopian father, Daniel Malthus, who believed that the condition of society would continue to improve. Malthus, however, argued that because population increased geometrically, while food supplies increased only arithmetically, population would inevitably outstrip the ability of farmers to supply everyone with enough food to live. This was known as a "Malthusian Catastrophe."

Malthus saw positive and preventative checks as means to limit population growth. Positive checks, such as disease, war, disaster and famine, increase the death rate. Preventative checks, including marrying later, not having children, birth control and homosexuality, restrict the birth rate.

Malthus also advocated for welfare reform. He felt that Poor Laws encouraged the poor to have more children in order to receive increased payments. The increase in the number of poor workers also created more poor people by forcing wages downward.

Additional works by Malthus include "The Present High Price of Provisions," "Observations on the Effects of the Corn Laws" and "Principles of Political Economy." Malthus died in 1882 at the age of 76.

Learn more about Population & Demography

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the effects of famine?

    A:

    Famine causes weight loss in adults and stunted growth in children. If the famine continues for any length of time, malnutrition starts to cause an increase in mortality. The young and the old tend to die first, and often diseases kill more individuals than overt starvation. Mass migrations may occur in response to famines.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How many people die horse riding per year?

    A:

    On average, around 100 people per year die in horse riding accidents. Thousands more riders are injured. The majority of horse related accidents and deaths are due to brain injuries caused as the result of not wearing a helmet. In fact, it is estimated that 60 percent of horse riding deaths occur due to brain injury.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What is the equation to calculate population growth?

    A:

    The basic equation for calculating population growth multiplies the population size by the per capita growth rate, which is calculated by subtracting the per capita death rate from the per capita birth rate. This simplistic calculation does not factor in the effects of migration or immigration on a population's size.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What is the birth rate in India?

    A:

    The birth rate in India is 19.89 births per 1,000, according to The World Factbook from the Central Intelligence Agency. As of 2011, this places the country at 86th in the world, with 2.59 births per woman.

    Full Answer >

Explore