An Essay on the Principle of Population [1798, 1st ed.]

There are two versions of Thomas Robert Malthus’s Essay on the Principle of Population. The first, published anonymously in 1798, was so successful that Malthus soon elaborated on it under his real name. The rewrite, culminating in the sixth edition of 1826, was a scholarly expansion and generalization of the first. In this work Malthus argues that there is a disparity between the rate of growth of population (which increases geometrically) and the rate of growth of agriculture (which increases only arithmetically). He then explores how populations have historically been kept in check.

An Essay on the Principle of Population, as it affects the future Improvement of Society, with Remarks on the Speculations of Mr. Godwin, M. Condorcet, and Other Writers (London: J. Johnson 1798). 1st edition.

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The text is in the public domain.

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