Population Growth

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WHY MALTHUS WAS WRONG
Over the past 10 years, Indian population has risen by 220 million people, reaching an estimated 1,22 billion in 2012. The effects of this population increase are evident in the increasing poverty, unemployment, air and water pollution, shortage of food, health resources and educational resources. With India as an example we will discuss Malthus, the population growth theory and see if Malthus theory was maybe mistaken in the past but has some valid aspects today. Thomas Malthus was an English priest and economist who lived during the late 18th Century. He is famous for his theories about population and its increase or decrease in response to various factors. His thought was influenced by living conditions of that period: the first negative effects of Industrialization and growing urbanization appeared. This caused an increase in poverty and unemployment, which made it necessary for the government to introduce the so called “poor laws” , guaranteeing a minimum income to every person. Malthus defined two types of checks to population growth: preventive checks and positive checks. Preventive checks are those that affect the birth rate and include marrying at a later age. He also called these “moral restraint”. So Malthus stated that a family should not have any children before they cannot make sure that they can supply their kids. According to Thomas Malthus, positive checks are those, that increase the death rate. These include war, plague, disease and famine. Malthus felt that the fear of famine or the development of famine was also a major impetus to reduce the birth rate. He indicates that potential parents are less likely to have children when they know that their children are likely to starve. His theory was wrong because Malthus only considered two factors when he established his basic graphs: food supply and population growth. Other factors such as improvements in technology proved him wrong. Malthus wrote during an historical...
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