Demographic Catastrophes Did Not Shape the Growth of Human Population or the Economic Growth



Abstract. Rigorous analysis of demographic catastrophes shows that, individually, they were too weak to shape the growth of human population and of the associated economic growth. On average, only 6.5% of all major demographic catastrophes, associated with the death toll larger than or equal to one million, were potentially strong enough to cause perhaps a minor change in the growth trajectory of the world population, but as shown by the population data, they did not produce any noticeable disturbance. The absence of impacts of demographic catastrophes on the growth of population can be explained not only by their low relative intensity but also by the strong and efficient regenerating process recorded for the first time by Malthus. There was, however, one unusual event manifested in the convergence of five, major demographic catastrophes. They have caused a minor and short-lasting change in the growth trajectory of the world population, which, however, was soon counteracted by the process of regeneration. This analysishows that the dominant force controlling the growth of human population was too strong to be influenced in any substantial way by accidental forces. As explained in an earlier publication, this strong and dominant force driving the growth of population was the force of procreation, which was approximately constant per person, the force expressed as a difference between the ever-present, biologically-controlled,force of sex drive and the ever-present and also biologically-controlled process of aging and dying.

Keywords. Demographic catastrophes, Growth of population, Economic growth, Malthusian stagnation, Hyperbolic growth, Mechanism of hyperbolic growth.

JEL. A10, A12, A20, B41,C12,Y80.


Demographic catastrophes; Growth of population; Economic growth; Malthusian stagnation; Hyperbolic growth; Mechanism of hyperbolic growth.

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