#44 Demography

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  • Created by: Muy
  • Created on: 16-04-13 20:01


  • Demography is the study of population
  • Natural change = number of births subtracted by number of deaths
  • Net migration = number of immigrants subtracted by number of emigrants
  • Birth rate - number of births per 1,000 of population per year
  • Birth rate has decreased from 29 in 1901 to 11 in 2007 (- 60%)
  • Baby booms were after both world wars and 1960s, it tends to fluctuate during decades
  • Fertility rate - average number of children a women will have whilst fertile (15-44)... In 2006 it was 1.84
  • MOST noticeable trend - more women are childless and women are having children later
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Why birth rate has fallen

  • Women positions are progressing, they have more educational opportunities and employment, changes in attitudes regarding family life, easier access to divorce as well as contraception/abortion
  • Better educated women have more options... They can choose a career rather than children
  • Infant mortality rates have fallen significantly... in 1900 - 154 ... in 2007 - 5 -> If infants survive parents naturally have fewer
  • Infant mortality rates have reduced because of improved housing, sanitation, nutrition and knowledge of hygiene... 1950s mass immunisation and anti-biotics
  • Children were economic assets because they worked, nowadays they are liabilities due to legislation banning child labour, compulsory education, and changing norms... Many parents cant afford to have large families
  • Childhood is socially constructed, 'quality over quantity' -> parents put more emotional investment towards them
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Effects of falling birth rate

  • Lower birth rates mean women are freer to work and this means growing dual earning couples
  • Dependancy ratio - size of working population and size of dependant population
  • Working population taxes support dependant population e.g. welfare...
  • Fewer children reduces burden of dependancy
  • Fewer schools and health services may be needed, however government can propose smaller classes for instance
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  • Number of deaths has been fairly stable
  • Death rate is deaths per 1000 of the population per year... in 1900 - 19 ... in 2007 - 10
  • Since 1950s death rate has declined slightly
  • Rates are out of something, and doesnt mean totals or number -> the death rate has stayed the same even though the populations grown
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Why death rate has fallen

  • Around 75% of deaths up to 1970 declined due to fall in deaths as a result of infectious diseases e.g. small pox or tubercolosis 
  • Improved nutrition - McKeown believes better diet accounts for 50% of reduction of death rate which increases resistance to infection
  • Medical improvements - 1950s and onwards medicine improved with mass vaccination, antibiotics and the NHS (1949)
  • Public health - effective governments enforced laws such as better housing, purer drinking water and cleaner air etc
  • Dangerous manual labour declining e.g. mining, smaller families reducing transmission of infection, and better public knowledge
  • Medical professions often claims this credit but social and economic factors have had a greater impact
  • Life expectancy has increased since 1900 -> males in 1900 - 50 ... males in 2005 - 77... This is due to lower infant mortality rates

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Ageing population

  • 1971 the average age was 34 -> nowadays its almost 40, by 2031 it'll be 42.6 and over 65s will overtake under 16s in 2014
  • Why? Increasing life expectancy, low infant mortality and declining fertility
  • Effects...
  • -> Older people consume more services e.g. health
  • -> Increasing one-person pensioner households,
  • -> Rising dependancy ratios e.g. working peoples taxes provide pensions
  • Ageism - negative stereotyping portrays the old as incompetant and a burden (Grandpa in The Simpsons)
  • Old age is socially constructed e.g. compulsory retirement age... like children they are excluded from the labour market
  • Hirsch - new policies required to finance longer old age such as increasing taxes or raising retirement age
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  • Migration can be internal or international, until the 1980s emigration was higher than immigration in the UK
  • 1900-1940 - largest immigrant groups were Irish, Euro-Jews and Canada/USA, most immigrants were white
  • 1950-1970s non-white immigrants emerged from South Asia and the Carribean
  • 2001 - ethnic minorities = 7.9% of population however most were white 
  • The EU was the man source of immigrants, non whites in the 1980s accounted for barely a quarter
  • Most emigrants have gone USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, prominently for economic reasons
  • Push factors - e.g. unemployment or recession, though other factors exist e.g. ethnic persecution -> not all push factors are economic based
  • Pull factors - e.g. higher wages or better opportunities
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