The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Declining Population

  • Robin Barlow
Reference work entry


Population decline is much less common than population growth. Looking at the geographical areas occupied by present-day nations, or by their administrative subdivisions, one sees that over the last millenium the number of years when the human population declined is almost always much exceeded by the number when it grew. Reflecting this fact, economics has devoted much more attention to the growth of population than to its decline. The preoccupation with growth, however, may be ending as more countries experience lengthy periods of reduced fertility.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin Barlow
    • 1
  1. 1.