Friday, February 17 — This month — and some sources cite this date — is the 251st anniversary of the 1766 birth of Thomas Malthus in Dorking, England. Given that birthplace, he perhaps naturally became an economist, demographer and statistician. He’s remembered for “The Principle of Population,” a 1798 essay foretelling widespread famine caused by population growth far outstripping the food supply. While the forecast remains unrealized, his theory of demand-supply mismatches was a precursor to later theories about the cause of the Great Depression. When Malthus wrote his essay, the world population was just about 1 billion. Currently, the global population is closing in on 7.4 billion people.
You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online here.