Notes on the Birth and Death rates

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Demography means...
The study of populations. It includes the study of births, deaths and
migration that can lead to changes in population size and structure
Potential exam questions could be:
Examine the trends in births and deaths in the UK since 1900
We are going to look at FACTS and REASONS for the changes these can also
come up in 2, 4, and 6 mark questions
Births The Facts
Births are measured in three ways:
1/: Actual numbers:
This is the actual number of live births in a population over a given time
Overall there has been a decline in the actual number.
1901 = 1.1m
2005 = 723,000
2/: Birth Rate:
This is the number of live births per thousand of the population per year.
E.g. if the birth rate was 15, this means 15 babies were born per
thousand members of population that year.
The birth rate has fallen:
1900 = 28.6
2005 = 12
3/: Total fertility rate:
· This is the average number of children a woman would have during her
1960 = 2.95
2001 = 1.63
2006 = 1.84
Baby Booms:
There have been 3 baby booms in the UK since 1900
1/: 1918 end of world war one
2/: 1945 end of world war two
3/: 1960's this last baby boom was followed by a drop in the 1970's. There has
been a recent increase since 2001.

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All of the changes in birth rate and fertility show
More women are remaining childless than in the past some of the
reasons for this might be:
­ Women are postponing having children until later average age is
now 29.
Births: The Reasons
1/: Changes in positions of women
(The right to vote increased job opportunities, changing attitudes, easier
divorce etc.)
Women now see other possibilities other than the traditional housewife
role.…read more

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Beck argues that society today is characterised by risk:
Relationships are seen as a source of risk (e.g. divorce etc)
Children add to this risk by putting strain on the relationship.
E.g. quitting your job to bring up a child increases the risk of not being able to
find another job. A way to eliminate this is to eliminate having children.
The Effects of the changes
The Family:
Smaller family's mean that women can go out to work this creates dual
earner couples.…read more

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The Reasons for these Changes:
1/: Advances in medicine:
Around 60% of the decline in mortality was due to a decrease in infectious
Much of this was due to advances in medicine. The first half of this century saw
an increase in vaccines and antibiotics.
Around twothirds of the fall in mortality comes from a major reduction in mortality
in the first 15 years of life. This happened before widespread immunisation.…read more

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Dependency ratio this is the amount of job's needed compared to the
amount of people to do them the non working old are a drain on the
system. The burden on the working population gets heavier.
Hirsch argues We should change the education system, get old people back
into education for retraining.
­ Housing, old people should be encouraged to downsize.
These changes will however require a change in attitudes towards old people.
Family Size: The Facts
This is obviously affected by birth rate.…read more


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