The Level of Population Carrying Capacity, Natural Resources and Pollution: A Case of Iran


1 Department of Economics, University of Larestan, Fars, Iran.

2 Department of Economics, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.



A country’s population carrying capacity is the maximum population a country can tolerate depending on its resources and environmental conditions. An awareness of a country’s population carrying capacity can be of great help to development planners. Despite the importance of this variable, few studies have attempted to estimate it, particularly at the country level on which no study was found to have focused. The present study aimed to calculate the population carrying capacity of Iran using the expanded logistic equation, the generalized extractable energy resources equation, and the Extraction-environmental Kuznets curve (XEKC). The population growth rate of Iran, as a country with abundant primary energy and natural resources, has always been positive and its population now stands at about 83 million. The simultaneous estimation of parameters from three equations using multi-objective optimization showed that Iran’s population carrying capacity was about 95 million. It is important to note that this estimate of the population carrying capacity was based on Iran’s current economic growth. This means that with the growth and expansion of the economy, the population carrying capacity of Iran can be estimated higher. Also, the EKC was established with 99.5% confidence for the Iranian economy, and the value of the per capita income at the turning point of the inverted U-shaped curve was 0.435 billion Rials. Meanwhile, the amount of GDP per capita for the Iranian economy was 0.157 billion Rials at the time of this study, showing Iranian economy was on the upward sloping portion of the curve.


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