demographic trap

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The situation that arises in a country or region when the population exceeds the carrying capacity of its local ecosystem, there is nowhere for the people to go, and the economy produces insufficient goods or services to exchange for food and other essentials. The consequences include famine requiring food aid, migration out of the affected region, epidemics, and violent armed conflict. All these happened in some low-income countries in Africa in the late 20th century and in some Pacific islands early in the 21st century. This situation was predicted by the British clergyman and amateur scientist Thomas Robert Malthus (1766–1834) in his essay on the Principle of Population (1798).

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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