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Malthus and the Less Developed World: The Pivotal Role of India

John C. Caldwell
Population and Development Review
Vol. 24, No. 4 (Dec., 1998), pp. 675-696
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/2808021
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2808021
Page Count: 22
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Malthus and the Less Developed World: The Pivotal Role of India
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Abstract

Malthus's Essay had a powerful influence on how English-speaking people interpreted population issues. This was particularly true with regard to India, Britain's huge colony, which, unlike other large agrarian countries of the less developed world, was progressively described by census statistics and other demographic observations. Its administrators and civil servants, both British and Indian, increasingly saw it in Malthusian terms. This tradition persisted into the twentieth century and played a powerful role in the establishment of national family planning programs in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and beyond. In turn the British experience in India helped to shape the attitudes of the English-speaking peoples to poor, densely populated countries and rapid population growth.

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