Geography- Population



  • Shows population, birth rate and death rate changes over five stages. 
  • STAGE 1- high birth and death rate flutuating. Populationi low, eg. Brazil.
  • STAGE 2- death rate falls, birth rate high, population increases rapidly, eg Afghanistan.
  • STAGE 3- birth rate declines, death rate falls slowly, population increases at slower rate, eg Egypt.
  • STAGE 4- birth and death rate fluctuate at low level, population stable and high, eg USA.
  • STAGE 5- birth rate declines, death rate stable, population decreases, eg. Japan. (Causes problems as few children, small population, fewer taxpayers).
  • Useful: Easy to compare countries with DTM.
  • Forecast how population might change- helps governments decide on policies eg OCP.
  • Generalised picture.
  • Limitations:  Didn't originally include LEDCs.
  • Only a model- not completely accurate.
  • Expects all countries to develop at same time.
  • Hard to predict political event.s
  • Addded on stage 5.
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History behind DTM

Stage 1 (until 1760): population small, due to poor diet and hygiene, wars and diseases like the Black death leading to high death rate.

Stage 2 (1760-1880):population grew quickly due to improvements in farming and medicine- decreasing starvation and death rate.

Stage 3 (1880-1940): Population growing at slower rate, as birth control used more decreasing birth rate. Death rate fell (except in WW1) as food and hygiene improved.

Stage 4 (1940-today): population growth slowed, death rate low (except in WW2), birth rate low (except from baby boom)

Stage 5 (today+): death rate same as birh rate- population ageing. Population could decline.

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Population Pyramid

Stage 1: high birth and death rates, low life expectancy.

Stage 2: high birth rate, falling death rate, long life expectancy.

Stage 3: falling birth and death rate- more elderly.

Stage 4: low birth and death rates, high life expectancy, lots of elderly.

Stage 5: birth rate drops below death rate, population decreases.


  • Movement of people between or within countries.
  • Immigration is movement of people into a country.
  • Emigration is movement of people out of a country.
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Internal migration:

  • From rural to urban areas affects number of young adults, as they move away to city to find a job: rural-urban migration. This affects birth rate.

Emigration away from countries:

  • At later stage of DTM decreases population, eg elderly people moving as they retire will decrease number of elderly.

Immigration into countries:

  • At later stage of DTM (MEDC) into LEDC increases population of working and reproductive age. Increases population of young and birth rate.

Push factors: make people want to move out of place they are in, are negative factors eg lack of jobs.

Pull factors: attract people to a new place, are positive factors eg beter jobs and living conditions.

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Dependency Ratio & Impacts of Ageing Population

  • Proportion of population that has to be supported by working population.
  • High dependency ratio = greater proportion of dependent people.
  • Dependency ration = (young people + old people) / working age population

Impacts of ageing population


  • Increased pressure on public services eg hospitals. More carers and nurses needed.
  • Unequal distribution of eldery, may have inadequae facilities for young population.
  • Reduced population growth/decline- fewer children as have to look after old parents, reducing birth rate.
  • Longer working life- state pension is low and not enough support, work beyond retirement age.


  • Reduced work force- smaller proportion working, slow economic growth.
  • Increased taxes- pensions paid by taxes, more people claiming taxes.
  • Spending- elderly have to spend savings and pensions.
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Impacts of Youthful Population & Management

  • Social: Increased pressure on public services eg schools.
  • Rapid population growth- overpopulation.
  • Economic: Few jobs- increase in unemployment, dependent on government support.
  • Increased poverty- have to work to support family, no schooling, born into poor familes.

Strategies to manage youthful population:

  • Control birth rate- policies to limit birth, eg One Child Policy.
  • Limit immigration of young- are of reroductive age, not made higher from immigrants having children.
  • Family planning and contraception- governments offering sex education, free contraception.

Strategies to manage ageing population:

  • Encouraging larger families- giving paid leave when they have children.
  • Raising retirement age- working population made larger, larger contribution to state pension.
  • Encouraging immigration of working age people- contribute to taxes.
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Case Study- UK is Ageing Population


  • Increasing life expectancy- from 1980 to 2006 rose by 4 years for men.
  • Baby booms- lots of babies born in 1940s after war.
  • Falling birth rate.


  • Pressure on pension system- number of people paying taxes towards pensions is decreasing.
  • More elderly living in poverty- state pension isn't enough.
  • Pressure on health care- need more medical care.


  • Retirement age increased to 68 for everyone by 2050.
  • Encouraging immigration of working age- UK has unlimited immigration from countries in EU.
  • Encouraging more children- women don't lose out on pensions due to career break.
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Theories of Population

Boserup and Simon 1965:

  • Optimistic
  • Crop shortages lead to innovation in farming, production and consumption.
  • Anti-Malthus.

Thomas Malthus 1798:

  • Pesimistic.
  • Population growth is exponential, resource growth is arithmetc, food supply can't keep up with pop.
  • Will be a point of crisis, eg famine unless pop growth controlled

Club of Rome 1972:

  • 'Limits to Growth' book published- computed model.
  • Limits to growth met in about 100 years, result in a decrease in pop.
  • Trends can be altered to prevent pop decline and industrial stagnation.

Carrying capacity- how many people can live sustainable within a given area.

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