Geography GCSE People and the Planet


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  • Most LEDCs have rapid population growth due to high birth rate.
  • High infant death rates mean that women have many children to ensure some survive.
  • It may be traditionally or culturally important to have a large family.
  • In the 1970s, the Chinese government introduced a one-child policy on its population. China's birth rate has fallen considerably in the last 25 years. Due to a traditional preference for boys, many female babies have ended up homeless or in orphanages, and in some cases killed.
  • As a result, the gender balance of the Chinese population has become distorted. Today, men are believed to outnumber women in china by over 60 million.
  • Most MEDCs have slow rates of population growth. Some even have population decline. Birth rates are falling as women choose to have smaller families later in life.
  • At the same time the average life expectancy in MEDCs is rising due to improvements in health care and quality of life. This means that soon there will be fewer people of working age to support the elderly population.
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  • This is the way people are spread across an area. There are different scales: localregionalnational, andglobal.
  • It can be measured by calculating population density, which is total population over total land area
  • Population density and economic development are not closely linked.
  • People are unevenly distributed around the world based on environmental and human factors.
  • Settlers are attracted to an area by mild climateflat fertile landnatural resources, and jobs with good wages.
  • Settlers are repelled from an area by extreme climatesmountainous areasdense vegetation and political factors like civil war.
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  • Migration is the movement of people from one place to another.
  • Internal migration is when people migrate within the same country or region.
  • International migration is when people migrate from one country to another.
  • Emigration is when someone leaves a country.
  • Immigration is when someone enters a country.
  • Economic migration could mean moving to find work.
  • Social migration is moving to be near family.
  • Political migration can be moving to escape war.
  • Environmental migration is to escape natural disasters.
    • Push factors are the reasons people leave an area like lack of services, high crime, crop failure, flooding, poverty and war.
    • Pull factors are the reasons people move to a particular area, like high employment, wealth, better services, good climate and fertile land.
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  • Population numbers change over time due to birthsdeaths and migration.
  • Birth rate is the number of babies born per thousand of the population. Death rate is the number of deaths per thousand of the population and migration is the movement of people in and out of an area.
  • MEDCs have low population-growth because of low birth and death rates. LEDCs have high population-growth because birth rates and death rates tend to be high. Improved healthcare leads to falling death rates, while birth rates remain high.
  • Population structure is the 'make up' of a population, divided between males and females of different age groups. It is usually shown on a population pyramid.
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