Thomas Malthus

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Thomas Malthus'

An 18th-century British philosopher and economist famous for his ideas about population growth. Malthus' population theories were outlined in his book, "An Essay on the Principle of Population", first published in 1798. In it he theorized that populations will continue to grow until growth is stopped or reversed by disease, famine, war or calamity. He developed what is now referred to as the Malthusian growth model, an exponential formula used to forecast population growth.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Thomas Malthus'

Thomas Malthus was a controversial figure. The late 18th and early 19th centuries were marked by philosophers who believed that humanity would continue to grow and improve itself, and could create a utopian society. Malthus countered this argument by saying that, throughout history, a portion of the general population has always been poor and miserable, that this was unlikely to change and that these factors actually helped control population growth.

RELATED TERMS
  1. One-Child Policy

    A policy implemented by the Chinese government as a method of ...
  2. Jean-Baptiste Say

    A French classical, liberal economist and scholar. Jean-Baptiste ...
  3. Economist

    An expert who studies the relationship between a society's resources ...
  4. Demographics

    Studies of a population based on factors such as age, race, sex, ...
  5. Dismal Science

    A term coined by Scottish writer, essayist and historian Thomas ...
  6. Classical Economics

    Classical economics refers to work done by a group of economists ...
Related Articles
  1. Fundamental Analysis

    How Influential Economists Changed Our History

    Find out how these five groundbreaking thinkers laid our financial foundations.
  2. Economics

    Adam Smith: The Father Of Economics

    This free thinker promoted free trade at a time when governments controlled most commercial interests.
  3. Options & Futures

    Nobel Winners Are Economic Prizes

    Before you try to profit from their theories, you should learn about the creators themselves.
  4. Economics

    The History Of Economic Thought

    Economics is a vital part of every day life. Discover the major players who shaped its development.
  5. Economics

    Why Can't Economists Agree?

    There are many reasons why economists can be given the same data and come up with entirely different conclusions.
  6. Options & Futures

    Explaining The World Through Macroeconomic Analysis

    From unemployment and inflation to government policy, learn what macroeconomics measures and how it affects everyone.
  7. Entrepreneurship

    Adam Smith And "The Wealth Of Nations"

    Adam Smith's 1776 classic may have had the largest global impact on economic thought.
  8. Investing Basics

    Muriel Siebert: Female Finance Pioneer

    Muriel Siebert has blazed many paths for investors, but is especially relevant as the first woman to sit on the NYSE.
  9. Investing Basics

    The Intelligent Investor: Benjamin Graham

    Learn about the man who mentored Warren Buffett, who eventually became the investing "Oracle of Omaha".
  10. Professionals

    Hetty Green: The Witch Of Wall Street

    Hetty Green was the richest woman of her time and possibly the first value investor, yet she's not remembered kindly.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Income Effect

    In the context of economic theory, the income effect is the change in an individual's or economy's income and how that change ...
  2. Price-To-Sales Ratio - PSR

    A valuation ratio that compares a company’s stock price to its revenues. The price-to-sales ratio is an indicator of the ...
  3. Hurdle Rate

    The minimum rate of return on a project or investment required by a manager or investor. In order to compensate for risk, ...
  4. Market Value

    The price an asset would fetch in the marketplace. Market value is also commonly used to refer to the market capitalization ...
  5. Preference Shares

    Company stock with dividends that are paid to shareholders before common stock dividends are paid out. In the event of a ...
  6. Accrued Interest

    1. A term used to describe an accrual accounting method when interest that is either payable or receivable has been recognized, ...
Trading Center