Abstract: Ever since Richard Stone (1954) first estimated a system of demand equations derived explicitly from consumer theory, there has been a continuing search for alternative specifications and functional forms. Many models have been proposed, but perhaps the most important in current use, apart from the original linear expenditure system, are the Rotterdam model (see Henri Theil, 1965, 1976; Anton Barten) and the translog model (see Laurits Christensen, Dale Jorgenson, and Lawrence Lau; Jorgenson and Lau). Both of these models have been extensively estimated and have, in addition, been used to test the homogeneity and symmetry restrictions of demand theory. In this paper, we propose and estimate a new model which is of comparable generality to the Rotterdam and translog models but which has considerable advantages over both. Our model, which we call the Almost Ideal Demand System (AIDS), gives an arbitrary first-order approximation to any demand system; it satisfies the axioms of choice exactly; it aggregates perfectly over consumers without invoking parallel linear Engel curves; it has a functional form which is consistent with known household-budget data; it is simple to estimate, largely avoiding the need for non-linear estimation; and it can be used to test the restrictions of homogeneity and symmetry through linear restrictions on fixed parameters. Although many of these desirable properties are possessed by one or other of the Rotterdam or translog models, neither possesses all of them simultaneously. In Section I of the paper, we discuss the theoretical specification of the AIDS and justify the claims in the previous paragraph. In Section II, the model is estimated on postwar British data and we use our results to test the homogeneity and symmetry restrictions. Our results are consistent with earlier findings in that both sets of restrictions are decisively rejected. We also find that imposition of homogeneity generates positive serial correlation in the errors of those equations which reject the restrictions most strongly; this suggests that the now standard rejection of homogeneity in demand analysis may be due to insufficient attention to the dynamic aspects of consumer behavior. Finally, in Section III, we offer a summary and conclusions. We believe that the results of this paper suggest that the AIDS is to be recommended as a vehicle for testing, extending, and improving conventional demand analysis. This does not imply that the system, particularly in its simple static form, is to be regarded as a fully satisfactory explanation of consumers' behavior. Indeed, by proposing a demand system which is superior to its predecessors, we hope to be able to reveal more clearly the problems and potential solutions associated with the usual approach.