American Notes: The Malthusian Score

Confronting the relentless arithmetic of human reproduction is a bit like reading one of Futurist Herman Kahn's nuclear scenarios. One of them deals in "mega-deaths," and the other in what might be called "mega-lives," but the pall of a weirdly objectified apocalypse hangs over both. By the year 2000, some accountants of population figure, the number of the planet's inhabitants will double to 7 billion; by 2025, it will be 15 billion, by 2050, 30 billion, so that in less than a century there will be ten people living for every one now existing.

Unless, of course, something is done to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!