Population Change - Fertility

What is fertility and what factors cause it to vary across the globe?

Refers to AQA AS Geography, Chapter 5.

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  • Created by: Bethany
  • Created on: 01-04-13 18:38
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    • What is fertility?
      • Number of live births per 1,000 women aged 15-49 in 1 year.
      • It is also defined as the average number of children a women would be expected to bear in her lifetime. This needs to be 2.1 or higher for a population to replace itself.
      • In most parts of the world, it exceeds mortality and migration, so is the main cause of population growth.
      • Highest in Niger, Liberia, Mali (50+ per 1,000 per year)
      • Lowest in Austria, Germany, Slovenia (under 9 per 1,000 per year.)
    • Why does fertility vary?
      • Death Rates; Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have high birth rates that counter an infant mortality of over 100 per 1,000 live births. A women must therefore have 8 or 9 children to be 95% certain of a son surviving to adulthood.
      • Tradition: May demand high rates of reproduction, and may override the wishes of the women.
      • Education: Female literacy is key to lower fertility, as with it comes knowledge of birth control, employment and wider choices.
      • Young age structures: Developing countries are far outpacing developed countries in population growth as large proportions of a young population (e.g. 48% Mali) ensure future population growth.
      • Social Class: Fertility decreases from lower to higher classes.
      • Religion: Islam and Roman Catholic Church appose artificial birth control, but adherence tends to lessen with economic development. For example, largely Catholic Italy has a low birth rate which suggests birth control is widespread.
      • Economic Factors: In developing countries, children are an economic asset. In developed countries, they are expensive and economic issues in Easter Europe has led to lower fertility rates
      • Political Influence: Decrease in fertility (e.g. China one child policy) or increase in fertility (e.g. Germany 1930s)


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