Importance of Malthusian Theory of Population.

Despite all the criticism, the Malthusian theory is very important in the annals of human geography. Undoubtedly it has highlighted the disadvantages of over population. In the views of Thompson, “Malthus deserves great credit for bringing this problem to the attention of people as well as for the calm and objective manner in which he analyzed the facts available to him and thus increased our understanding of an extremely important element affecting the human welfare”. According to Walker, “The Malthusian theory is applicable to all communities without consideration of colour and place. Malthusianism has stood unsheltered and impregnable amid all the controversy that has raged around it”.

Similarly, Samuelson acknowledges the importance of the Malthusian theory be saying. “Nevertheless the germs of truth of his doctrine are still important for understanding the population behaviour of India, Haiti, china and other parts of the globe”. Samuelson has also admitted that “Going through several editions the book influences the thinking of the people all over the world”.

Doubling Time of the Population:

The time taken by a population to double its size with a particular annual growth rate is called doubling time. For example, if the annual growth rate of a population is one percent then it will double in 70 years but at the rate of 2 percent the doubling time will be 35 years. During the middle of 1980 in 20th century when the growth rate of the world was 1.8 percent the doubling time was 39 years.

In 1995 USA had a growth rate of 0.7 percent and the doubling time of its population was 98 years. Similarly the population of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda were doubling their population was 20 years. Actually for the last 200 years, the world has been witnessed a population explosion due to the rapidly decreasing doubling time over the years. For example, historically speaking population of world was 200 million at the time of birth of Christ which doubled in 1400 years. Then it took only 350 years for doubling. Thus the world population stood at 1.6 billion in 1900 which further took 60 years to double to 3 billion in 1960. Subsequently it doubled only in 40 years reaching 6.1 billion figure in years 2000.

In 1995 the doubling time of Australia was 94 years, that of Pakistan 24 years but Gaza’s doubling time was only 17 years.

Doubling Time & Rates of Growth (1995)

Country/Region Growth % Doubling time
Australia 0.75 94 years
Cote d’Ivoir 3.5 20 years
Gaza 4.0 17 years
Indonesia 1.5 46 years
Netherlands 0.5 141 years
Pakistan 3.0 24 years



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