Carrying Capacity: A Model with Logistically Varying Limits

Citation: Technological Forecasting and Social Change 61 (3): 209–214 1999

PDF Full Text: Carrying Capacity: A Model with Logistically Varying Limits


We introduce an extension to the widely-used logistic model of growth to a limit that in turn allows for a sigmoidally increasing carrying capacity, that is, the invention and diffusion of technologies which lift the limit. We study the effect of this dynamic carrying capacity on the trajectories of simple growth models, and we use the new model to re-analyze two actual cases of the growth of human populations. English and Japanese examples with two pulses, or one change in limit, appear to verify the model.

Keywords: Carrying Capacity, Growth Models, Logistic Model

Areas of Research: Diffusion of Social Phenomena

Additional Formats:

If you are unable to view these formats, email us at for a reprint.

These papers were prepared using Donald Knuth’s open-source TeX typesetting environment, with the AMS-LaTeX macro package, and the dvips and pdftex programs to create Postscript and PDF versions. All these tools are available in the excellent teTeX-1.0 distribution, available at You can find more information on TeX at the TeX users group,