Answer :

Malthusian theory states that population tends to increase at a faster rate than its means of subsistence and that unless it is checked by moral restraint or by disease, famine, war, or another disaster widespread poverty and degradation inevitably result.

Three postulates of the theory:

1. Food is essential for man’s existence.

2. The passion between the sexes is essential and it will nearly remain in its present state.

3. The law of diminishing returns operates in agriculture.

Major points

1. Malthus says “It is the constant tendency in all animated life to increase beyond the nourishment prepared for it. ” Thus a disproportion is created which leads to over-population.

2. Malthus suggested preventive checks and positive checks to control over-population resulting from the imbalance between population and food supply


1. As per the theory food supply increases in arithmetical progression and population increases in geometrical progression in 25 years. It has not been proved empirically.

2. In modern days no country need fear starvation and misery if it produces adequate food for its increasing population.

3. The food supply has amplified much faster than in arithmetical progression.

4. He ignored the manpower aspect in population growth. He was a pessimist and feared every increase in population.

5. feeble relationship between population and food supply.

6. Malthus gave substance to only food grains for livelihood.

7. Malthus could not predict the spectacular advancements in the field of medical sciences which have controlled fatal diseases and made human life longer.

8. Malthus’ doubt and religious education led him to believe that over-population was a serious burden on the earth which was mechanically lessened by God in the form of misery, wars, famines, floods, diseases, pestilence, etc.

9. The Malthusian theory of population is not of much significance to modern population problems because it does not give details on the reasons for declining birth rate in developing countries, the association between birth rate and death rate, the effects of migration and urbanisation, etc.

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