Essential IGCSE Case Studies

Population growth case study: Niger

Republic of Niger, LEDC in West Africa, 90% of population in agriculture, poor and uneducated. Pop.: 1.7mil in 1960, 13mil in 2008, 56 million by 2050.
Reasons for rapid growth

  • Uneducated Population
  • Culture of Large Families (9-12 is desired)
  • Low Life Expectancy (44)
  • Seen as source of Income
  • 5% of pop use family planning
  • Babies are inoculated against disease
  • More clinics+health centre
  • Better sanitation
    Government Action
  • Information Campaigns
  • Appeal to Religious Leaders
  • Raise marriage age from 15-18
  • Educate (women)
  • Family planning
  • Access to contraception
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Population decline case study: Russia

Russia's population is likely to decline from 143 million in 2007 to 111 million by 2050.
Russia's birth and death rates crossed from positive to negative in 1991.

  • Many Russian women prefer a career instead of Children. Birth rate is 1.1
  • One million Russians have AIDS
  • Population lost through emigration
  • High Levels of alcoholism, heart disease and accidents
  • Life Expectancy falling to 59

Government Action (2006 article)

  • Putin promising to double monthly child support payments to 1500 roubles
  • Promised that women who choose to have a second baby receive 250,000 roubles (almost triple the average annual income in russia)
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Reducing population case study: China

1960-1970: Large families encouraged. 5.8 children per woman in 1963

1970: 'Later,Longer,Fewer' introduced, encouraging a delayed first child, longer intervals between children and fewer children per family

1980: One-Child policy introduced (Anti-Natalist)
Population growth down from 2.4% to 1%
Fertility in 2006 down to 1.7 children per woman
300mil births avoided
Relaxed in 21st century. Rural families allowed two children.

Population now unbalanced with only 86 girls for every 100 boys in China

Due to cultural beliefs.

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Increasing population case study: Singapore

1957 - mid 80s large families discouraged

'Stop at two' introduced in 1970 to slow down birth rates

Policy then reversed with young workforce wanted leading to a population of 4.7mil with 620km2 area.

'Have Three or More, if you can afford it' introduced in mid 80s
Tax rebates for 3rd child
Subsidies for day-car
Priority in enrolling in best schools

In 1984, children of female uni graduates offered places at best schools. Poorly educated women given 10,000 SGD grant when sterilised after 2nd child.

Population still too low with only 1.4 children per woman in 2005.

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Migration case study: EU

Nearly 500m people allowed to travel freely between EU countries
Advantages include:

  • Job vacancies filled quickly
  • Cultures mixed
  • EU funds can be distributed to the poorer countries for transport and infrastructure
    Disadvantages include
  • Over migration in some cases, leading to racism and conflict
  • Unique culture lost
  • Large companies move into poorer countries, forcing closure of local businesses

Polish workers to UK: Part of A8(Czech,Estonia,Hungary,Latvia,Lithuania,Slovak,Sloven) with unemployment at 19% and Average income of $6000 compared to $33,630 & 5% UK
Perform many unskilled/unwanted jobs ------- 600,000 EU migrants moved to UK for work
Boomerang Migrants - Save UK salary and take money back to Poland

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CBD case study: Reading

The Oracle Shopping Centre constructed in 1999: revitalised shopping facilities with larger and more shops to support Reading's economy with a wide sphere of influence

Local council and government encouraged it, making planning easy for developers

Broad Street pedestrianised and furnished outside of the Oracle to raise attraction and footfall

Becomes a secondary high order shopping area yet is still a traditional high street, complimenting the  Oracle

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Urban Sprawl Case study: Atlanta

Fastest growing metropolitan city in USA with population from 1.4mil to 5.1mil from 1970-2006

From 2000 to 2006 increase of 1 mil with a third of that from births, the rest from immigrants. This has resulted in urban sprawl

  • Congestion-4th worst air+noise pollution (leading to common respiratory illnesses e.g. emphysema & asthma) w/ 90% people driving to work & 68hrs of delays per year
  • Water-Suburbs on Chattahoochee river lead to contaminated drinking water
  • Farmland-Bought out and replaced with shopping malls
  • Ecosystem-125 hectares of trees lost per day due to deforestation
  • Impermeable surfaces-Asphalt and concrete causes flash floods
  • Heatwave-10 degrees Celsius increase due to trees swapped for concrete
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Urban problems and solutions case study: Cairo

Population increase from 2 million to 18 million in 50 years = Too rapid


  • Lack of housing-illegal self built houses cover 80% of Cairo-2-3mil in tombs of Old Cairo
  • Congestion - In 30 years, no. of cars from 100k to 1mil - Slow commute-Pedestrian danger
  • Unemployment-Unskilled jobs hard to find-Low salaries-Many forced into informal sector
  • Pollution-Air heavily polluted-Ground water contaminated by illegal waste dump-Leaking sewers


  • Satellite towns built around city
  • Ring road built
  • People with donkey carts licensed to collect garbage
  • Modern metro built
  • Greater Cairo Waste Water Project repaired sewage system
  • Homes/Public services upgraded in most run down parts of the city
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Volcano case study: Chaiten

2 May 2008. Erupted for first time in 9000 years

On edge of South American - Nazca plate boundary

Population of 4500

Seen as a tourist centre with mountains, glaciers, lakes, valleys. Hiking, climbing and rafting are popular

20km high ash coating cars and houses to 15cm thick

People live in area as volcano believed to be dormant and land is fertile for crops and pasture.

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Earthquake case study: Sichuan

12 May 2008 7.9 magnitude earthquake

Epicentre in mountainous Sichuan, 100km NW of Chengdu, a 10mil pop. city

87,587 people died. with one child policy relaxed to allow childless/1-child families to adopt orphans.

Caused by Indo Australian - Eurasian plate boundary.

Felt 1500km away in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai

Chengdu: Trains Ordered to stop, airport closed

Caused landslides, causing flash floods

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