Population Revision Notes

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AS Geography: Population Revision Notes
Key terms
Birth rate: the number of people born in a country each year per thousand of the population
Death rates: the number of deaths in a country per year per 1000 of the population
Natural change: the difference between the birth and death rate, normally measured as a
percentage. It can be natural increase (normally in LEDCs where fertility rates are high) or natural
decrease (most common in MEDCs due to ageing population)
Infant mortality: the number of children who die in their first year for every 1000 born per
Total fertility rate: the average number of births a woman is expected to bear during her lifetime
in a country
Life expectancy: the average age people can expect to live to in years in a country
Longevity: the increase in life expectancy over a period of time
Demographic ageing: where the age structure of a country shows an increase in the proportion of
elderly dependents (i.e. an ageing population)
Migration: the movement of people from one area to another (usually considered as being for the
duration of at least 1 year)
Net migration: the difference between immigration and emigration
Population structure: the proportion of males and females in an area usually in the form of age
Dependency ratio: a measurement of how many economically active people support each
dependant/non-economically active person
Carrying capacity: the maximum potential growth number of inhabitants that can be supported in
a given area
Overpopulation: occurs where there are too many people for the number of resources available
Underpopulation: where there are too few people for the resources to be used efficiently
Optimum population: a theoretical concept where the resources in an area are being used most
efficiently by the people living there
Population ceiling: the amount the population can increase before exceeding its carrying capacity
Sustainability: a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the
ability of future generations to meet their own needs

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Population density: the number of people in an area. The density of the population is obtained by
dividing the total population of a country by the total area of that country.…read more

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There are two main factors affecting the population of a country:
Natural change
Causes of population growth
Levels of care for the elderly
Availability of a radio and other forms of media communications
Clean water supply
Religious attitudes to birth control
Status gain from having children
The role of women in society
Sexual morality
Taxation to support services
Strength of the economy
Impact of war and conflict
Limited access to healthcare and contraception
The control of disease
Birth control measures…read more

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Life expectancy
Migration rate
Population density
Factors affecting fertility rates:
Global death rates:
North America:
Rise in sedentary lifestyles
Lifestyles of drinking/smoking
Consumption of fatty foods leading to CHD
Russia/Ukraine highest for mortality in Europe (16 deaths/1000)
Also high are Bulgaria, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia
Ageing populations
Health care advancements
Low fertility rates (economic collapse and end of communism in Eastern Europe as well as
materialism, emancipation etc)
Asia and South America:
Rising wealth (globalisation)
As this develops, so too does access to food,…read more

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The Demographic Transition Model (DTM)
This describes how the population of a country changes over time, through five stages. It gives
changes in birth and death rates and total population.…read more

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This stage has only
been recognised in
recent years and only
in some western
Why countries are progressing to a fifth stage
Social factors:
-Weakening religious influence
-Greater emancipation and financial independence of women.
-Increased provision of FP, use of contraception and abortions.
-More non-traditional lifestyles, e.g. same-sex relationships, childlessness.
-Change in social norms and more career focused women.
-Ageing populations ­ improved healthcare, NHS, modern technology, immunisations schemes
such as cervical cancer (HPV). This means less of the population at childbearing age.…read more

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Population change linked to Some countries have forced
industrialisation and the themselves to enter stage 3
resulting economic growth through political decisions
In some cases, much larger
base populations so the
impact of high population
growth in stage 2 and the
early part of stage 3 has been
far greater here
DTM evaluation
1) It is a universal concept, meaning it can be easily and reliably applied to all countries in the
world.…read more

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DTM, which indicates the birth rate will decrease in this stage due to
various other factors such as greater access to education for women, but not government
5) Does not take into account the impact of migration.
Example: the USA does not follow the predicted pattern of a decline in population, despite being
of a similar economic development to other countries, which do. The population is here
increasing, due to large scale Mexican migration, with many of childbearing age.…read more


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