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Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English volume

Optimum population

Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English vol.
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Optimum population  (OPTIMUM population)

Consideration of the relations between population size and resources leads to the concepts of overpopulation 1 and underpopulation 2. These terms are defined only at a given fixed level of development 3. When neither a larger nor a smaller population would yield advantages, there is said to be an optimum population 4, sometimes briefly called an optimum 4. The advantages yielded may be economic in character and in that case it is an economic optimum 5. The discussion of economic optima generally proceeds in terms of economic welfare but, as this is difficult to ascertain empirically, the level of living 6 or standard of living 6 is sometimes substituted. This is approximated by the real national income per capita 7 i.e., the total amount of goods and services produced in a particular period (or its equivalent in money income adjusted for variation in purchasing power) divided by the total population during the period.

  • 1. Overpopulation, n. - overpopulated, adj.
  • 2. Underpopulation, n. - underpopulated, adj.
  • 5. Some writers have used the concept of a power optimum and a social optimum as well as of an economic optimum.
  • 6. The expression "standard of living" is restricted by some economists to mean an accepted goal or recognized set of needs, as constrasted with the level of living actually attained. Others use these terms interchangeably.
  • 7. Other measures such as the gross national product per capita, are also used.