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A situation where there are too few people to develop fully the economic potential of an area or nation; a larger population could be supported on the same resource base (see M. Schouten (1998) on Minahasa). Christophers (2007) Geografiska B 89, 1 finds a tendency for underpopulation being espoused, or more often predicted, mostly by individuals with a political, ideological, or economic agenda: ‘it can never be “proven”; but that does not diminish its potential power.’ Underpopulation is a largely hypothetical concept; ‘the concept of underpopulation ordinarily relates numbers of people not to physical resources but to economic systems. In short, the argument goes, as fertility falls and populations age, the primary “inputs” to national economic systems (the generation of wealth and of taxation receipts by those of working age) decline, making it increasingly difficult to fund the public expenditure “outputs” demanded of those systems, particularly those that inflate in line with an ageing population’ (Christophers (2007) Geografiska B 89, 1).

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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