Human Geography Case Studies

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Global Population Increase

Population growth was slow until the start of the 19th century.

It took thousands of years for the global population to reach one billion in 1804.

In another 123 years population had doubled.

It reached three billion in another 33 years.

By the end of the 20th century we had reached six billion.

In 2011 we hit seven billion.

It is predicted that the human population will reach 9.5 billion by 2050 (barring any natural disasters and major conflicts). 

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Demographic Transition Model Examples

Stage one: None, all known populations have progressed through this (although there may be tribes in places such as South America and Asia that we do not know about in this stage).

Stage two: Mostly LEDCs, such as those in Africa. 

Stage three: Slightly more developed LEDCs, such as Brazil and Mexico.

Stage four: The majority of known populations, inclusing most of Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan.

Stage five: Few rich countries, two of which being Germany and France. 

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Problems of Rapid Population Growth - Zimbabwe

In Rural areas, overgrazing and over-cultivation, water, land and air pollution, deforestation, land degradation, soil erosion, desertification, shortages of water and food, sanitation problems and lack of basic services, such as clinics and schools. 

In Urban areas, overcrowding, shanty town development, pollution, traffic congestion, inadequate public services and disease outbreaks.

In the country as a whole, resource shortages, un- and under-employment, financial problems, low living standards, high crime rates, likelyhood of international debts, unstable government, and tension between different socioeconomic groups. 

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China's One Child Policy

  • Introduced in 1979
  • Couples who had one child recieved benefits such as better housing and free education
  • Couples (with few exceptions) who have more than one child are fined and do not get any benefits
  • Some women were forced into abortions late in the pregnancy
  • The policy worked; the population is 300 million lower than anticipated
  • Girls were not valued as mush as boys; orphanages becam full of girls and many couples had abortions after they found out they had a girl.
  • Social problems have risen because of this, as there are many more men than women.
  • Single children will bear the brunt of an aging population.
  • Shortages of workers as the work force decreases in size. 

Revised in 2015 to allow couples to have two children to avoid problems associated with an aging population. 

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Indonesia's Transmigration Policy

Indonesia is made up of thousands of islands, however over half the population live on just one -Java. 

  • They introduced a transmigration policy in 1960s, where people in areas of high population density, such as Java, were move to other, less densly populated islands such as Sumatra. 
  • Around 20 million people have been moved. 
  • The strategy, however, has not actually reduced the population.
  • Deforestation has increased on the islands people are being moved to. 
  • Animals are becoming endangered, such as the Sumatran Tiger, as people move to these islands. 
  • Migrants are not always welcome.
  • The soil is often less fertile on these new islands. 
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France's Pro-natal Policy

In 1939, the French government passed the Code de la famille which introduced pro-natalist policies to help increase the birth rate. 

Either parent can take up to three years of paid maternity or paternity leave. 

The large family railcard offers discounts to large families. 

The more children you have, the less income tax you have to pay.

Subsidised child care for under threes, and full-time school places for children older than three. 

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The EU and Migration

In 2004, a further ten low-income countries joined the EU, but economic migration to the UK was not permitted until 2014. 

By 2008, EU countries were receiving 2 million migrants from each other every year. 

Advantages: Boost declining populations, mirgrants can have a better standard of living and they are also willing to take 'dirty' jobs.

Disadvantages: Migrants work for less, and so are preferred by lage companies, migrants use health and social services and economic leakage as a result of seasonal economic migrants. 

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Contrasting EU Countries


  • GDP per head: US$39100
  • Population: 81.1 million
  • Infant mortality rate: 3.5 per 1000 live births
  • Life expectancy: 80.5 years
  • Population in poverty: 15.5%


  • GDP per head: US$14200
  • Population: 7 million
  • Infant mortality rate: 16.1 per 1000 live births
  • Life expectancy: 73.8 years
  • Population in poverty: 21.8%
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Motorsport Valley, UK

  • A localised industrial region
  • M40 and M1 near by
  • Heathrow and Birmingham airports near by
  • Near to Silverstone race track
  • Research facilities 
  • Pool of highly skilled workers and universities e.g. Birmingham University and Nottingham University.
  • Beautiful country side attracts workers
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Tesco, UK HQ

  • Tesco's strategy is to sell a wide range of products at cheap prices
  • It soures products from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Kenya.
  • It has over 6000 stores in 13 countries, the majority of these are in the UK however.

Advantages of a TNC in developing countries

  • Money and modern technology brought to those who could otherwise not afford it
  • Workers trained and develop skills they would not have had the oportunity to otherwise 
  • Jobs are created
  • Positive multiplier effect

Disadvantages of TNCs in developing countries

  • Low wages
  • Jobs are boring and repetitive 
  • Economic leakage
  • Poor working conditions
  • TNCs can leave with no warning if somewhere else becomes more affordable
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China and it's Industrial Growth

Time line

  • 1949 - People's republic of China formed and first steel factory started production.
  • 1976 - Market socialism began
  • 1979 - Foreign investment and introduction of One Child Policy
  • 1980 - SEZs set up

Reasons for exponential growth

Cheap labour, Large work force, Working hour limits weakly enforced, Health and safety weakly enforced, Unions cannot strike and SEZs


  • Deindustrilisation in other countries
  • 20% live off of less than US$1 a day
  • Poor working conditions
  • Their demand for oil has pushed up global oil prices
  • High rates of air pollution
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The UK's Renewable Energy - Wind

Companies in the UK have spent hundreds of millions of pounds in the development of wind turbines and wind farms. So much so, in 2010, the world's largest wind farm opened off the coast of Thanet in the Thames estuary. Scotland and Wales have also proven to be popular locations for wind farms.


  • Renewable energy
  • Only a small plot of land needed for each turbine
  • Remote areas can use them to porduec their own power
  • Wind turbines are avaliable in a range of sizes and so can be tailored to the consumers needs


  • Wind strength is not constant
  • High winds have the potential to damage the turbines
  • Considered an eye sore 
  • Noise pollutiong
  • pollution released during production
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The Nile: Water Suppiles

1929: Agreement between Eygpt and Sudan stating that the flow of the Nile during the dry season is reserved for Eygpt, and that Eygpt reserves the right to monitor uses of the river's water.

1959: Another agreement that allowed Sudan to build Rosaries Dam on the Blue Nile, and that Eygpt could build the Aswan High Dam that has the potential to store the entire annual Nile river flow.

1999: The Nile Basin Initative was developed so that all countries along the Nile had access to its waters. 

2010: A Coopertive framework was put together to allow coutnries access to different amounts of water along the Nile. Factors affecting this amount include population, annual rainfall and current and potential uses for the water. 

Problems with water supply along the Nile: Counties all want to use the water, but the countries upstream have control over it. These agreements help to allow fair distribution of water supplies. 

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UK Tourism

External Factors

  • Economy
  • Sercurity - terrorist activity e.g. the attacks on mainland Europe may scare tourists away
  • Exchange rates
  • Media coverage - postive and negative coverage can affect tourist numbers


  • 30.7 million tourists visited the UK in 2011
  • In 2009, tourism was worth £115 billion - 9% of the economy
  • 2.6 million people work in tourism
  • Most people come from Germany, France and the US - all developed and rich countries
  • UK residents spend £13 billion per annum on trips inside the UK. 
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  • Tourist numbers increased until the 1960s, when package holidays and flying aborad become more affordable. 
  • Visitor numbers halved from 20 million in he 1980s to 10 million in 2007.
  • Blackpool is currently in the rejuvenation stage of the Butler Lifecycle model - facilities have been improved, old buildings torn down and replaced, Blackpool illuminations introduced, new attractions such as a Water World (however plans for a Super Casino fell through) and a new target audience has been chosen - conferences and festivals. 
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Lake District

Early 1800s - Poets wrote about the natural beauty of the area

1851 - Railway link to the Lake District established

1951 - Lake District becomes a National Park

1960s - 1990s -  M6 built to provide additional transport links

Challeneges and Solutions

  • Traffic congestion - park and ride schemes and promotion of car free trips
  • Footpath erosion - Fix the fells, a scheme to fundraise and six the footpaths
  • Second and holiday homes pushing up house prices - affordable housing schemes
  • Pollution and litter - advertisements and events to educate the public.

Future Plans

  • Encourage visitors to stay longer
  • Expand range of attractions
  • More local involvement
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Mass Tourism - Jamaica

  • Jamaica has over 1 million tourists visit every year
  • 220,000 people in Jamaica are employes in the tourism sector (8% of the population)
  • Jamaica has a lot of pull factors such as climate, the coastal environment, water sports and wildlife sancturies. 
  • There has recently been an increase in community tourism - tourists staying in local bed and breakfasts and going to restaurants run by the locals. 


  • Economic: Brings money into the economy, Creates Jobs and Brings new infrastructure 
  • Environmental: Increase awareness of endangered species and Preservation - sea life to be preserved for tourists to see. 


  • Economic: Economic leakage, Seasonal low paid jobs and Mass tourism affecting traffic congestion
  • Environmental: Local environment destroyed, Pollutants and eye sores and Greenhouse gas emissions
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Kenya's National Tourism Policy (2006)

  • Aims to double tourist numbers by 2020
  • More money for tourist police to increase sercurity
  • Cultural tourism developed so tourists travel all over - coast, wildlife parks and locals
  • Game park ticket money used to protect environment and given to locals
  • Holiday activities diversified
  • New infrastructure and travel routes
  • Tourism is 15% of Kenya's economic production
  • 250,000 people employes in tourism
  • 2.4 million visitors to game and park reservesin 2009
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Antarctica is at the South Pole and is covered with 98% ice. It is also considered the coldest place on earth, with temperaures regularly dropping to -30oC, with the lowest temperarre recorded at -94.7oC. 

Tourism has grown from 7000 in the the early 90s to 45,000 in 2012. 

Reasons for growth include: extremely remote and exciting, unspoiled and wildlife. 

Impacts include: fragile plant life trampled, litter, and cruise ships leaking and the swash they produce. 

Strategies to cope with tourism:

  • Boats can only dock with less than 500 people on board, and only 100 people are allowed on land at a time.
  • Smoking is banned across the country 
  • Visitors have to wear footwear designed to cause minimal erosion
  • Antartcitca is also a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI)
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The Amazon

  • Tourists live in eco-lodges built from local materials. Local food is served and they use renewable energy and recycle water and other products 
  • Local people sell products and at as tour guides

Why conservation is needed

  • Raiforest soils are fragile
  • Raiforests soak up CO2
  • Rare animals and plants
  • Biodiversity needs to be preserved
  • Rainforest is also a good source of medicines
  • Tribes in the rainforest need it to survive
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This is the last card but it wouldn't let me leave

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