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February 21, 1925


JAMA. 1925;84(8):609-610. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660340047023

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The Limits of Food Production and the Overpopulation of the Earth  Owing to the discrepancy between the area and the population of Germany, the significant doctrine of Rev. T. R. Malthus (1766-1834) takes on added importance. Our well known geographer Professor Penck deals with this problem under the title: "Hauptproblem der physischen Anthropogeographie." The relations between food production and the population of the earth, expressible in simple mathematical formulas, show that the number of persons who can inhabit the earth is of necessity limited. Once every foot of soil on the earth shall become cultivated to its highest capacity, the population of the earth cannot increase beyond the number that the cultivated area can support. It is possible to determine the potential population of the earth as revealed by our present knowledge of the nature of the earth's surface. The maximal population that a given region will support depends on

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