What is the neo-Malthusian theory

  • Malthus (economist): Vice & Misery (vice & misery); “Malthusianism” (population trap)
  • Thus the Food supplies under increasing pressure
  • The Humans are unable to control their own reproduction, the
    The attraction between the sexes is too great
  • Population growth could only be stopped e.g. by war,
    Diseases and famines (graphic)
  • Food vs. population: "humanity is growing faster (exponentially) than its livelihoods (linear) => Food supply is increasingly under pressure, food supply and demand are diverging "

What became of it:

  • Food supply, life expectancy and income have increased, but fertility has not

What Malthus could not know:

  • Trend from large to small families
  • Invention simple, but very more effective contraceptives
  • Enormous Progress in the agricultural sector
  • Moving in the Science in Food Production
  • Also: Demographic transition instead of unlimited population growth!


  • this evolutionary theory argues that the fertility of a population increases if the population is not limited by scarcity of resources
  • assuming several groups with different fertility, the fertility of the total group will approach the fastest growing group

According to the neo-Malthusian theory, groups that show a higher fertility are evolutionarily favored, because they have more children & thus represent an ever larger proportion of the total population