AQA AS Geography Population: Population and Resources

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  • Created on: 22-08-13 19:28
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Population and Resources
The world's population has grown much faster during the last century than it has ever
grown before.
The growth rate is showing some signs of slowing down, but the population is still growing
and it still has a momentum towards further growth.
Many geographers, economists and other academics have tried to work out just how much
the world's population can grow before the planet is overwhelmed.
The discussions come up with a variety of answers that depend on the assumptions made,
the figures used and the predictions about what might happen in the future.
In general, the resulting models of development have been classified into two groups:
optimistic models and pessimistic models.

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Malthus
The first is from Malthus, who was writing at the end of the 18th century.
He believed that only bad could come from population growth.
Population he said grows faster than food supply.
This he said was because food supply can only grow arithmetically, for
example, 1 then 2 then 3-4-5-6-7-8 but, population grows geometrically
2-4-8-16-32-64.
Consequently, there is no way food supply can keep up with population
growth.
Population grows exponentially, for example, 1-2-4-8-16-32-64.
Food supply grows arithmetically, for example, 1-2-3-4-5-6.…read more

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Ester Boserup
Boserup, on the other hand, said that food supply would increase to
accommodate population growth.
As a population found that they were approaching food shortages
they would identify ways of increasing supply whether through new
technology, better seeds, and new farming methods.
In the graph you can see that food supply will increase with
population:
Boserup argues that as the population approaches the limits of the food supply, that food
supply increases as new technology improves yields.…read more

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Malthus Vs. Boserup
Malthus Boserup
Famines are frequently happening in less There is enough food to feed the world - this
developed world countries. is an indisputable fact.
These are also often in countries that have a The problem lies with distribution - it is not
fast growing population. always where it is needed.…read more

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