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.

BREAKING DOWN '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. Dismal Science

    A term coined by Scottish writer, essayist and historian Thomas ...
  2. Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns

    A law of economics stating that, as the number of new employees ...
  3. Working-Age Population

    The total population in a region, within a set range of ages, ...
  4. Consumer Price Index For All Urban ...

    A measure that examines the changes in the price of a basket ...
  5. Classical Growth Theory

    A theory on economic growth that argues that economic growth ...
  6. Population

    The entire pool from which a statistical sample is drawn. The ...
Related Articles
  1. Insights

    These Companies Are Poised for Growth as Global Population Growth Comes Online

    While there are many concerns about population growth putting pressure on natural resources such as water and energy, these increased demands can spell profits for certain companies that can ...
  2. Insights

    An Exploration Of The Development Of Financial Markets

    We take a look at how the market was born and has continued to develop throughout history.
  3. Insights

    4 Global Economic Issues of an Aging Population

    Discover why dramatic increases in life expectancy is creating significant socioeconomic challenges for many advanced industrialized nations.
  4. Financial Advisor

    3 Reasons to Invest in Asia's Emerging Markets

    Emerging markets in Asia aren't on the rise at the moment, but they're best days are likely to be in the future. Here's why.
  5. Insights

    China's Former One-Child Policy Explained

    A look at China's former plan to control population growth.
  6. Insights

    Top Ranking Nations By HNWI

    The United States, Japan and Germany together make up 53.3% of the total worldwide high net worth individual population.
  7. Financial Advisor

    Why Commodities Aren't to Blame for Market Malaise

    Commodities are taking the brunt of the blame for poor investment performance. Are they the real villain?
  8. Investing

    How An Aging World Can Impact Your Portfolio

    It can be easy for investors to lose sight of longer-term, structural developments in favor of more ephemeral trends and fads in the financial markets.
  9. Financial Advisor

    Keep an Eye on These Emerging Economies

    Emerging markets have been hammered lately, but these three countries (and their large and young populations) are worth monitoring.
  10. Investing

    Understanding the Simple Random Sample

    A simple random sample is a subset of a statistical population in which each member of the subset has an equal probability of being chosen.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What can demographics tell us about present and future consumption trends and economic ...

    Learn what demographics reveals about present and future consumption trends and economic cycles. Demographics is the study ... Read Answer >>
  2. What countries are driving most of the growth of the Internet sector?

    Learn which countries are expected to lead the growth of the Internet sector in the short term. Most of the growth comes ... Read Answer >>
  3. What are the disadvantages of using a simple random sample to approximate a larger ...

    Learn what a simple random sample is, how researchers use it as a statistical tool and the disadvantages it carries when ... Read Answer >>
  4. What countries represent the largest portion of the global Internet sector?

    Learn which countries are most likely to impact the growing Internet sector based on recent user growth and largest populations ... Read Answer >>
  5. What are the advantages of using a simple random sample to study a larger population?

    Learn how simple random sampling works and what advantages it offers over other sampling methods when selecting a research ... Read Answer >>
  6. Is Japan an emerging market economy?

    Discover whether Japan is an emerging market economy. Emerging markets have high levels of risk and reward due to their growth ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Graduate Management Admission Test - GMAT

    A standardized test intended to measure a test taker's aptitude in mathematics and the English language. The GMAT is most ...
  2. Magna Cum Laude

    An academic level of distinction used by educational institutions to signify an academic degree which was received "with ...
  3. Cover Letter

    A written document submitted with a job application explaining the applicant's credentials and interest in the open position. ...
  4. 403(b) Plan

    A retirement plan for certain employees of public schools, tax-exempt organizations and certain ministers. Generally, retirement ...
  5. Master Of Business Administration - MBA

    A graduate degree achieved at a university or college that provides theoretical and practical training to help graduates ...
  6. Liquidity Event

    An event that allows initial investors in a company to cash out some or all of their ownership shares and is considered an ...
Trading Center