- Carrying capacity
- The number of people that can be supported by a given area and its resources.
The concept of population ceiling was envisaged by Robert Malthus a British priest of the 18th century who also put forth the Malthus theory of Population and Resources. This concept shows how a population growing exponentially (i.e x2 the resources) responds in relation to the carrying capacity.
The "S" curve shows a stable population that meets and doesn't exceed the carrying capacity of an area. This curve typically shows a population characterised by low fertility and birth rates.
The "J" curve shows a population that overshoots and exceed its carrying capacity. Positive checks such as natural disasters, famines etc drops the population below its carrying capacity in order to achieve an equilibrium. The population then grows, but fluctuates along its carrying capacity. The "J" curve is typical of populations with high fertility and birth rates, low contraceptive use and poor family planning methods.