A graphic representation of the process of population renewal—a demographic teaching aid

  • J. Godefroy
Part of the Publications of the Netherlands Interuniversity Demographic Institute (N.I.D.I.) and the Population and Family Study Centre (C.B.G.S.) book series (NIDI, volume 6)


A theory which cannot be applied risks falling into oblivion. Such was the case with the ‘law of logistic growth’ developed by the Belgian mathematician Verhulst (1838) in his search for an alternative to the Malthusian law of population growth. With no statistical data available for its testing, the law was doomed to a stay of 80 years in the yearbooks of the Belgian Royal Academy of Sciences. Initially it appeared that Lotka’s theory of stable population would suffer the same fate. His formula which enabled measurement of the intrinsic determinants of the age structure of a population was already published in 1911 (Sharpe 1911), but received scant attention from demographers. Full development of his theory took Lotka more than 30 years. He completed the work with the now renowned second part of his T h é o r i e A n a l y t i q u e (Lotka 1939), published in Paris in 1939. However, it was only long after the Second World War that demographers realized its significance.


Stable Population Birth Interval Life Table Population Stable Population Theory Mathematical Demography 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Netherlands Interuniversity Demograhic Institute (N.I.D.I.) 1978

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  • J. Godefroy

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