Overpopulation is a situation in which the resource demands of a population exceed the resources available in a given area. The concept of overpopulation may be used in conjunction with the concept of carrying capacity, which originated in the field of ecology and refers to the number of individuals and species that a particular habitat may support. When used in reference to humans, overpopulation is often identified as a causal factor of poverty and a driver of environmental degradation, particularly in the developing world. However, since Thomas Malthus professed his views on the grim consequences of unchecked population growth more than two centuries ago, the concept of overpopulation has not only eluded refinement, it has also proven deeply controversial.

In his 1798 Essay on the Principle ...

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