Population

Study and revision resources

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Population Growth

Demography is the study of population. 

The world is experiencing a population explosion driven primarily by relatively high birth rates in LEDCs coupled with falling death rates. The fastest growing populations are all in developing countries, while some MEDCs are facing population decline. 

As demands for shared resources such as water increase international relations are become increasingly tested.

Causes of Population Change

Population growth occurs because of two factors:

  • Natural Increase: when the birth rate is higher than the death rate.
  • Net Migration Gain: when the number of migrants into a country exceeds the number leaving a country.

The reverse of these would result in population decline (natural decrease and net migration loss).

Study Figure 2.2 which shows the typical population growth pattern that most countries follow (at different rates).

Demographic Transition Model
Figure 1.?: Demographic Transition Model

Overpopulation and Underpopulation

Underpopulation - Australia

  1. Open this case study sheet from geocoops. Either print it/save it or make notes in your book.

Overpopulation - Indonesia

Open this Aljazeera article .

  1. What factors mentioned suggest that Indonesia has become over-populated.
  2. What problems are likely due to overpopulation? Seperate your answer into human and environmental.
overpopulation image
Figure 1. : Optimum Population Curve

Population policies

Anti-natalist

These policies are intended to reduce the birth rate. They can be enforced through laws and government policy such as in China, or they can focus on encouraging people to change their habits through education and public campaigns. They are most common in developing countries where the fertility rate is high.

Tasks

  1. Describe the methods used/approaches taken to reduce the birth rate.
  2. How sucessfull has this anti-natalist policy been?
Video 1.1: Thailand Anti-natatist Approach

Pro-natalist

These are policies aimed at encouraging people to have more children and raise the fertility rate. They are most common in developed countries that are experiencing aging populations.

Tasks

Read through this article

  1. What is Japans fertility rate?
  2. What is the replacement level needed to maintain a steady population level?
  3. What policy has Russia used to boost the fertility rate?
  4. Use this prezi to make notes about the Russian policy
Video 1.2: Russian Depopulation

Internal Migration

Rural to Urban Migration

Study Figure 2.4

  1. For each of the factors shown on the wooden board explain why they push people away.
  2. For each of the factors on the lamp post signs explain why they attract people to the urban areas.
Rural to urban migration push and pull factors
Figure 1. ?: Rural to Urban Migration Factors

International Migration

Migration into Europe

Migration into the European Union from North Africa has become a major political issue over the last decade.

The removal of border control within the E.U. means that once into Europe migrants can move between countries unchecked.

Read these articles (Guardian and Independent) and use Fig 2.5 and Video 2.1 to complete the following tasks:

  1. Describe the scale of the migration (how many people are estimated to have made it to Europe).
  2. Draw a sketch map showing the main routes that are used.
  3. Where are the migrants coming from (countries of origin)?
  4. Give 5 push factors for the migrants
  5. Give 5 pull factors of Europe
  6. Describe why the migration routes are so dangerous for many of the migrants.
  7. What is the European Union doing to try and deal with the issue?
Figure 2.5 Mediterranean Migration Map
Video 2.1 European Immigration

Impacts of Migration

Country of Origin

Benefits

  • Remittance payments go directly to family members enabling them to raise their standard of living.
  • Returning migrants aften bring new skills and ideas back with them whic can benefit the economy.

Concerns

  • Loss of working population, often in their prime ages.
  • Social impact of families being seperated, lack of role models etc
  • Migrants may be the most skilled people therefor creating a brain drain effect which hinders the domestic economy.

Country of Destination

Benefits

  • Boost to labour force which can drive down the cost of labour resulting in cheaper products and increased exports.
  • Migrants are often willing to do the jobs that resdients are less inclined to.
  • Migrants bring cultural aspects (food, traditions, language, music and film) which can add to the domestic culture.

Concerns

  • Migrants are often willing to work for lower wages and may undercut residents - taking jobs that they would have done.
  • Clash of culture and the dilution of the culture in the destination country.
  • Leakage of money from the economy as remittances are sent back home by migrants.

Developed Countries Structures

MEDC pyramids tend to be narrow at the base (low birth rate) and remain a similar shape up to the ages of 65+ due to a low death rate through these ages.

The pyramid is often tall due to long life expectancy.

Tasks

  1. Describe the challenges that countries with population pyramids such as fig 2.6.
  2. Suggest ways in which these countries could attempt to solve some of the problems that they face.
  3. Watch video 2.2 and make notes about the issue in Japan.
Population pyramid for more developed countries
Figure Developed Country Structure
Video 2.2: Japans Aging Population

Pro-natalist Policies

These are policies aimed at encouraging people to have more children and raise the fertility rate. They are most common in developed countries that are experiencing aging populations.

Tasks

Read through this article

  1. What is Japans fertility rate?
  2. What is the replacement level needed to maintain a steady population level?
  3. What policy has Russia used to boost the fertility rate?
  4. Use this prezi to make notes about the Russian policy
Video: Russian Pro-natatist Approach

Developing Countries Structures

LEDC pyramids typically have wide bases due to high birth rates.

A classic pyramid shape with sloping sides due to a high death rate at all ages.

They are short due to relatively low life expectancy.

Tasks

  1. Describe the potential benefits of a population structure with this shape?
  2. Which global regions/continents have the majority of the woulds young people?
  3. Describe the challenges for countries with pyramids that have a wide base.
Population pyramid for less developed countries
Figure ?? Developing Country Structure
Video 2.3: Youthful Populations

Anti-natalist Policies

These policies are intended to reduce the birth rate. They can be enforced through laws and government policy such as in China, or they can focus on encouraging people to change their habits through education and public campaigns. They are most common in developing countries where the fertility rate is high.

Tasks

  1. Describe the methods used/approaches taken to reduce the birth rate.
  2. How sucessfull has this anti-natalist policy been?
Video 1.1: Thailand Anti-natatist Approach

Distribution & Density

Population distribution is how people are spread out & this can be considered on any scale. People are distributed around the globe but the population density varies considerably.

Population density refers to how many people live in a given area (usually square km or mile). Areas with fertile soil, good climate and reliable water supplies tend to be densely populated. Areas that have extremes of temperature, steep land, unreliable water supplies and poor soils tend to be sparsely populated.

Population densities are higher in urban areas and the dominat trend of population movement over the last centruy has been towards urban areas.

  1. Describe the global distribution shown in Figure 2.8
  2. Suggest 3 reasons for the pattern.
Figure 2.8 World Population Distribution source