001 - Resources and Theories

Factual Question

What is Malthusian and neo-Malthusian thought?

What is Boserup's theory on resources?

Debatable Question

Does every country 'need' the same resources? Discuss

Can economic theories relating to resources still apply today?

Key Terminology

            • Resource
            • Renewable
            • Non-renewable
            • Replenishable
            • Recycling
            • Optimum Population
            • Malthus
            • Neo-Malthusian
            • Boserup

Define the key terms above by using the 'Useful Links' below:


Useful Links

Activity One - Opinion

Before we start to investigate the types of resources we use, why we use them and the potential impact that that has, we are going to explore what you use. Answer the questions below using full sentences.


      1. Write down ten resources that you can not live without.
      2. Group the resources using the terminology above. You may want to use coloured pens to code your groupings.
      3. Within three paragraphs write down the resources which we ´need´. (A paragraph is between five and seven sentences.)
      4. Within three paragraphs discuss how the resources we 'need' may differ between a LEDC and a MEDC.

Activity Two - Skill

As a geographer it is always good to be able to use data in your answers to illustrate your thoughts. To be able to do this you need to be able to interpret a range of different graphs. For this activity you will be looking at a compound bar graph.


      1. Describe the global change in use of resources. Don't forget to include figures to illustrate your answers.

Activity Three - Describe

We are now going to investigate two different economic theories which focus on the growth of the global population and the amount of resources that have.


      1. Look at the graphs below and describe what you think is happening. We will then discuss your answers as a group.

Activity Four - Comprehension

You now have a basic idea of how the two different theories differ quite radically. To develop your knowledge further use the information in the 'Useful Resources box to answer the following questions:


      1. With the aid of diagrams, write a description of Malthusian and Boserup´s theories.
      2. What are the limitations of both theories?
      3. What are the strengths of both theories?

Useful Resources



Articles and Textbooks