Paul Ralph Ehrlich was born in Philadelphia on May 29, 1932. He is currently the professor of population studies in the department of biological sciences at Stanford University and president of the Centre of Conservation Biology. He is the researcher and author of the book “The Population Bomb” in 1968. He has a B.A, M.A., and Ph.D.


  • Ehrlich’s theory is that there will be a disaster for humanity due to overpopulation.
  • 10 million people will be starving during each of the years in the 1970s.
  • “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and
    1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash
    programs embarked upon now. At this late date, nothing can prevent a substantial
    increase in the world death rate…”
  • “a minimum of ten million people, most of them children,
    will starve to death during each year of the 1970s. But this is a mere handful
    compared to the numbers that will be starving before the end of the century”
  • In 2001 roughly around two million people would die due to famine-related causes.
  • Ehrlich believed that the United States can only support the population of 150 million. He proposed “luxury taxes could be placed on layettes, cribs,
    diapers, diaper services, [and] expensive toys…” and suggested giving
    “responsibility prizes” to couples who went at least five years without
    having children or to men who got vasectomies.”


  • “Compare the end of the 20th century with the end of the 19th century. Twenty
    to twenty-five million people died of famine-related causes from 1875 to 1901,
    in a world whose population was only one-half to one-third as large. If the
    world had remained at 19th-century levels incomparable food production, Ehrlich’s prediction would have come true. Unfortunately for Ehrlich (but not for the world), humanity learned a little about agriculture and other resources in the
    intervening 100 years.”
  • United States population is more than double the 150 million that Ehrlich proposed.


  • Paul Ehrlich was successful in creating awareness to the world about his issue and thanks to him the world was able to cut down the number of people that die to famine-related causes. He created awareness around the world.


  • Paul Ehrlich’s idea about giving financial benefits to those who did not have kids would have been costly because the money has to come from somewhere and that somewhere would have been from taxes which would have lead to a lot of angry citizens.
author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0


  1. We need much more of these warnings, then some politicians who are willing to do something about the problem. Illegal immigration, poverty, global warming, famines, the reduction of freshwater and a whole slew of other problems are based on overpopulation. Ecologists know it, but the majority of us either deny the reality or hope that God or science will solve the problem for us.

  2. Its obviously was not going to come true! Technology exists for a reason and things like the green revolution completely spinned things around!

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