Beyond Malthus

Nineteen Dimensions of the Population Challenge

The Worldwatch Environmental Alert Series


Lester R. Brown (Author, Earth Policy Institute), Gary T. Gardner (Author, Worldwatch Institute), Brian Halweil (Author, Worldwatch Institute)

Overview | Inside the Book

On the bicentennial of Malthus's legendary essay on the tendency for population to grow more rapidly than the food supply, the question facing the world is not whether population growth will slow, but how.

Human demands are pressing up against more and more of the Earth's limits. This book from the Worldwatch Institute examines the impacts of population growth on global resources and services, including food, fresh water, fisheries, jobs, education, income, and health. Despite the current hype of a "birth dearth" in parts of Europe and Japan, the fact remains that human numbers are projected to increase by over 3 billion by 2050. Rapidly growing nations are likely to outstrip the carrying capacity of their natural support systems. Governments worn down by several decades of rapid population growth often cannot mobilize the resources necessary to cope with emerging threats such as new diseases, food and water shortages, and mass unemployment. Already, in several African nations, hunger, disease, and social disintegration are leading to rising death rates, checking the rapid growth of population. Either nations with surging populations will quickly shift to smaller families or nature will impose its own, less humane limits to growth. As the world enters the new millennium, no challenge is perhaps so urgent as the need to quickly reduce population growth. Pakistan's population is projected to increase from 148 million to 357 million, surpassing that of the United States before 2050. Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, and Swaziland, where over one-fifth of the adult population is infected with HIV, will likely reach population stability shortly after the year 2000, as AIDS-related deaths offset soaring birth rates. A Worldwatch Environmental Alert book. Newsmaking press conference on publication National press and television coverage

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • April 1999
  • ISBN 978-0-393-31906-4
  • 5.4 × 8 in / 256 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Also by Lester R. Brown All

  1. Book CoverBreaking New Ground: A Personal History


  2. Book CoverThe Earth Policy Reader


  3. Book CoverEco-Economy


Also by Gary T. Gardner All

  1. Book CoverInspiring Progress: Religions' Contributions to Sustainable Development


Also by Brian Halweil All

  1. Book CoverEat Here: Reclaiming Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket


  2. Book CoverVital Signs 2000: The Environmental Trends That Are Shaping Our Future


    Volume(s): 9

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