This building block is part of a six-block series from the SUSTAINICUM collection:
- From logistic growth to a turning point in global resource consumption- overview
- Logistic growth without time-delay
- Time-delayed logistic growth
- Optimal population
- Technological progress
- Turning point in global resource consumption
This building block discusses the requirements for deriving the optimal and maximum size of a population in a living area (such as a country). A human population is at maximum when the resources available to them are barely enough to survive. Their welfare is zero (and not higher), the same as if no people were living there. Between zero and this maximum population exists an optimal number, in which the population’s welfare peaks. By making the following adjustments to a simple model for welfare, the optimal and maximum size of populations and the optimal resource consumption can be derived:
- The empirical parameter of reality
- Natural resource quantities for the countries of the world
- Natural resource quantities necessary for survival
In general, this building block should convey that a quantity can be “too much” or “too large,” making its further growth undesirable.
Suggested methods for applying this building block, one of the six-part series, in the classroom can be found in the overview building block: From logistic growth to resource turning point- Overview.
Building block materials: