GCSE Population Growth

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Why some countries have a high birth rate:

  • Poorer countries such as Kenya have a high birth rate of 40 per 1,000 because parents need the children to work in the fields.
  • Also in the cities such as Nairobi there are no pensions so people need to have children to look after them in their old age.
  • In countries such as Niger, the wives have no careers so they have to have children to secure their place in the family.
  • Then in countries such as Mali, children are seen as a sign of male virility so the fathers want to have lots of children.
  • In catholic countries such as Columbia contraception is discouraged by the church so people have lots of children.
  • In very poor countries such as Afghanistan, many children die young so the mothers have more children.
  • In rural India women are not taught about contraception and they may marry very young meaning that they then have lots of children.

All these countries are in stage 1 or 2 of the demographic transition model.

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Activity 1 - birth rate

  • What is the stage 1 of the demographic transition model?
  • This is where the birth and death rate are equally high and fluctuating so the population remains steadily low.
  • What is the stage 2 of the demographic transition model?
  • The birth rate is high and steady but the death rate falls rapidly meaning the population is rapidly increasing
  • Examples of countries with a high birth rates:
  • Kenya, Niger, Mali, Columbia
  • Why does the education of women affect birth rate?
  • If the women are not educated, they will not have a career so need children to secure their place in the family, also if they are not taught about contraception it means the number of children they have is out of their control
  • How does religion affect contraception?
  • Some religious groups such as catholics discourage the use of contraception 
  • Why does not having a pension affect birth rate?
  • Without a pension, having children is the only way parents can rely on being looked after in their old age
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Why some countries have a low birth rate:

Richer countries such as the USA have a birth rate of 14 per 1000 because the parents do not need the children to provide them with money.

In Sweden there are pensions so parents do not need children to look after them in their old age.

In the UK the cost of a child is very high, £100,000 if they pay for education.This all means that people have fewer children.

Mothers in these type of countries such as France have other choices rather than just looking after children. They have careers and delay having children so that they can build up experiences in their profession (such as a lawyer).

Women in richer countries such as Germany have to stay in school until they are 16 and have learnt about contraception.

In countries such as Russia there is almost abortion on demand which further reduces the birth rate whilst in countries such as Norway there is a morning after pill

All of these countries are in stage 4 or 5 of the demographic transition model

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Activity 2 - birth rate

What is stage 4 of the demogrpahic transition model?
The birth and death rate are low and fluctuating and the population is high and steady

What is stage 5 of the demogrpahic transition model?
There is natural decrease as the birth rate is low and falling and the death rate is low and fluctuating

Examples of countries with low birth rates:
UK, USA, France, Germany, Norway, Russia and Sweden

What types of contraception are available in rich countries?
The morning after pill and abortion 

 In richer countries, why are children so expensive?

There is a high cost of living due to material want, education can also be very expensive

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Why some countries have a high death rate:

Poorer countries such as Afghanistan have a death rate of 20 per 1,000 because of continual wars

Countries in Africa such as Botswana have a high death rate because of AIDS and because people have not been taught how to stop the illness passing from one person to another

Death rates are also higher because drugs are not available and in countries like India the children have not been vaccinated against illnesses such as TB

Many people in Bangladesh drink dirty water and die from cholera as a result because they have not been taught about hygiene.

People in countries like Zimbabwe must pay to go to a doctor and pay for the medicines, as they are very poor living on less than $1 a day they die young.

In countries such as Ethiopia people die from starvation as the rains do not come and their crops die.

All these countries are in stages 1 or 2 of the demographic transitions model

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Why some countries have a low death rate:

Richer countries such as the UK have death rates of 10 per 1,000 due to health care provided by the NHS which is free to everyone.

In countries such as France people have a good pension so they can afford to heat their house in winter and therefore live longer.

In the work places in countries like Sweden , there is a great deal of care about Health and Safety issues so they do not die in accidents.

When these people were children, they had vaccinations against MMR so did not die of childhood illness also in these countries the tap water is drinkable so people don't die from illnesses such as dysentry

All these countries including Holland educate the people about the dangers of smoking so fewer people are dying from lung cancer.

As all the countries in the EU are stable people are not dying in civil wars.

All these countries are in stage 4 or 5 of the demogrpahic transition model

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Activity 3 - death rate

In summary....

What are the different reasons for a low death rate?

  • Free health care
  • Pensions
  • Health and Safety
  • Readily available clean water
  • Vaccines
  • Education

What are the different reasons for a high death rate?

  • Expensive health care + poverty
  • Dirty water
  • Wars
  • Famine and draught
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How the DTM explains population growth

The demographic transition model (DMT) shows birth and death rates as well as the total population growth rate.

It suggests how these figures change over time.

Amazonia has a high birth rate and a high death rate and is at stage 1 of the DTM and has no population growth

The model shows that in the next stage the population grows very quickly. Afghanistan is in this stage because the birth rate is high and the death rate is falling rapidly.

Brazil is in stage 3 because it has a low death rate and falling birth rate. There is a high population growth rate.

The USA is at stage 4 because both birth and death rates are low. Therefore the popuation is stable

In stage 5 the population is decreasing as birth rates are lower than the death rates

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DTM summary


Countries in stage 5 include: Germany and Italy

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UK ageing population case study

The UK has an ageing population.

By 2040, 1/4 of the UK population will be over 60. Their state pensions must be paid by the people working

This raises the tax burden of the workers. 

Some older people have their pensions invested in stock markets. The financial recession which started in 2008 meant that many older people experienced falling pension income. 

Some people fall below the povery line and this must be paid by the state. The state also pays a winter fuel allowance to old people of up to £400 

As people get older they also have to have more care from the NHS

40% of over 80 year olds are expected to have Alzeimer's disease- these people have to be looked after in geriatric care homes

Nursing homes cost over £500 a week and often the government has to pay

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Activity 4 - Ageing population UK

  • Who pays the state pension?
  • The people working
  • What is the problem with this?
  • It raises the tax burden
  • Where do personal pensions come from?
  • Investments in the stock market
  • What is the problem with this?
  • Due to the recession, many older people have experienced a falling income
  • What problems do the NHS face?
  • Older people need more care
  • What helps older people keep warm?
  • The winter fuel allowance
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UK government strategies - ageing population

The UK has an ageing population. By 2040 1/4 of the UK population will be over 60 

As people are now living longer the retirement age will be raised from 65 to 67. In the future it could rise to 70 years old

The laws have been changed to stop age discrimination. A person does not need to say their age when applying for a job.

A person cannot be forced to retire just because they are old

A job advertisement cannot ask for a young person.

These changes let old people work if they want to and it reduces the tax burden on the workers

The government is also investing money in he NHS and geratric care

As 40% of people over 80 are expected to get Alzeimer's disease, GPs are now given extra training in identiying it - taxes may be raised to fund this

Alternatively less money will be spent in other areas such as unemployment benefit

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Activity 5- Ageing strategies

Why is ageism a problem?

As the retirement age rises, older people need jobs so they can have enough money to live, however due to ageism, companies don't always want to employ an older person

How is the government dealing with ageism?

  • A person does not have to give their age in a job application
  • A person cannot be forced to retire because they are old
  • An advert cannot ask for a young person

What is happenning to the retirement age?

It is rising from 65 to 67 

What are the solutions for the NHS?

More money through increased taxes or cuts in unemployment benefits, GPs to be given extra training so they can identify alzheimer's disease

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Positive impact of migration

The UK has recieved over 300,000 immigrants from Poland in recent years.

  • The UK has benefited as these people work in low paid jobs such as making sandwhiches or picking strawberries.
  • This means that the companies make more money so people become richer.
  • polish plumbers have meant people have been able to improve their houses for very little money.
  • Nurses from the Philippenes work in care homes looking after the ageing population.
  • Immigrants to the UK from India have brought curries which many people enjoy and also people from Jamaica have brought their music.

There are positive impacts for the area losing people too.

  • Poland does not have to pay as much in unemployment benefits.
  • In countries like Somalia refugees have gone to Kenya. Therefore the Somalis have not had to provide these people with food and shelter
  • Many people have left Mexico send money back to their families in the countryside. This boosts the country's income and is an important boost for the local shops.
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Negative impacts of immigration

There have been many problems due to migration to and from countries

When people come into a country working for a low wage, the local people become unemployed or have to work for a low wage themselves.

Sometimes immigrants overwhelm local services, in Lincoln there are not enought GPs to look after all of the foreign workers

There were riots in Oldham in 2001 between the local white population and the immigrant Muslims

Nigeria trains many doctors but they leave the country to work in richer countries. This is a brain drain

The 300,000 Polish workers who left the country are the most adventurous. The risk takers and the people who start new companies have gone

The population that remains are often the old and the very young. This means the country may become poorer

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Effectiveness of China's One Child Policy since 19

A study in 2008 showed that over 75% of China's policy support the policy.

In urban areas the policy is strongly enforced and couples are only allowed one child, otherwise the consequence of this is a fine ranging from 10,000 yuan to 3 x their salary, or forced abortion followed by sterilisation

In rural areas they are permitted to have 2 children if the first was a girl to help on the farm, these places are more traditional and this relaxation of the policy is a relative success.

If people come from a national minority, they may also be allowed to have two children. Parents who lost a child in the Sichuan earthquake are allowed another too. This flexibility helps the policy succeed

The policy also means that the population is ageing and so less money has to spent educating the young. However there are still 600 million chinese people living on less than $1 a day

In families were there is only one child that has two parents and four grandparents doting, the Young Emporer's Syndrome can develop

Another problem is that there will not be enough workers in the future to work in factories

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