Human Geography AS Unit 1

Case studies


China's Population Policy


  • china's anti-natalist popn policy was a response to perceived overpopn in 1970
  • thier popn increased frm 560-985 million btwn 1950-1980
  • this threatened shortages of food, fresh water, fossil fuels and other natural resourses.
  • so as a communist country, China gives priority to state interests over rights & freedom of individuals
  • so government was able to impose an authoritarian policy tht wud be impossible in democratic societies
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The Policy


  • one child policy was introduced in 1979
  • women who opted to hve more thn one child incurred economic penalties
  • legal age of marriage was increased to 22 yrs for men and 20 yrs for women
  • policy was applied wiht greater flexibility in rural than in urban areas
  • in urban, there hve been some policy relaxation e.g if a couple had one child between both of them, they were allowed to hve another one after 4 yrs of birth of the first child
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Impact of Policy


  • policy was most success in towns where it is easier to enforce and small families were more acceptable
  • in rural- policy met more resistance, coz it was difficult to explain to poorly educated farmers 
  • popn growth fell to 37% after 1979 frm 73%
  • one third of all chinese families are single-child families
  • policy has seen the births decrease by 400 million
  • proportion of young pple has fallen steeply, threatenin labour shortages in cities
  • proportion of old pple has risen , increasing levels of dependency
  • 0nly 9% of chinas popn was aged 60 & over yrs in 1990 , by 2030 the proportion will reach 25%
  • wiht little state provision for pensions the burden of looking after old pple will fall on todays single child
  • preference for male children has led to female infanticide & selective abortions of girls
  • resultin in gender imbalance will mean a shortage of marriageable women, threatening the tradition of universal marriage
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Immigration to the UK: 2004-2007

Immigration trends:

  • annual net migration gain in UK for most of the period 1990-2007
  • before 2004, most immigration originated frm Africa, Middle East and south Asia
  • since enlargement of EU in 2004, most of immirants hve come frm EU countries in eastern Europe
  • btwn 2004-06 , 180 000 immigrants entered the UK frm eastern Europe
  • in 2007- overall net migration gain was 237 000
  • immigration reached record levels btwn 2000&2010 and is currently the main driver of popn growth

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Causes of Immigration into the UK


  • has been driven by combination of economic push & pull factors
  • in 2007- GNI per capita in UK was $40 660 compared with $9 850 in Poland
  • unemployment in Poland in March 2007 was twice as high as in the UK
  • minimum wage in the UK was more than five times greater
  • citizens of other EU countires have legal right to live & work in the UK
  • successive UK governments hve encouraged immigration coz most in-migrants are young adults and are economically active
  • they help to counter problems of an agein popn & risin dependency
  • immigrants provided a sourse of skilled & relatively cheap labour which the british economy needed in the economic boom yrs of 2004-07
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Impact of Immigration to the UK


  • Select Committee for Economic Affairs in 2008 suggested tht overall benefits of immigration to the UK was exaggerated
  • they said economic benefits depend on the skills of the immigrants
  • large number of young immigrants wiht families can put a strain on housin and public services such as schools & healthcare
  • environmental concerns over rising popn pressure, wiht ever - increasing demands for housing and loss of countryside to urban development
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Harehills - inner city deprivation and decay


  • it is an inner city suburb in east Leeds
  • situated 1-2 km frm the city centre, the suburb grew btwn 1870 & 1914
  • much of the original housing(back to back terraces) survives today
  • two thirds of the housing is rented frm council, social landlords and private landlords
  • low cost housing has attracted low-income grps, especially Afro-Caribbean & south Asian ethnic minorities
  • one quarter of the wards popn was born outside the UK
  • popn is relatively youthful, wiht 28% of residents aged 0-15 yrs
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Harehills- Inequality

Social and economic inequality:

  • it is among the poorest 5% of wards in england & large proportion of its residents suffer multiple deprivation
  • accordin to government, quality of life in Harehills is poor
  • unemployment is twice the Leeds average & related to poor levels of education and skill
  • 45% of adults hve no qualifications & households income are less than half those of the prosperous suburban wards
  • life expectancy is 4 yrs below the average for Leeds
  • at 2001 census, 12% were reported poor health
  • substandard housing & overcrowding also contribute to poor health
  • reported crime is 4 times the average for Leeds, wiht high levels of burglary, vehicle crime & criminal damage
  • nearly half of all households qualify for council welfare benefits
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Adel and Wharfedale - Suburban prosperity


  • it is a prosperous suburb, dominated by low density, high quality detached and semi-detached housing in north Leeds
  • high property prices & a lack of social & affordable housing excludes low income grps
  • positive externalities includes an attractive physical environment on the edge of the city, adjacent to open countryside
  • age structure of popn is older than inner city Harehills wiht less than 19% of residents aged 15 yrs / less
  • ethnically 95% of the popn is white
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Adel and Wharfedale Inequalities

Social and economic inequality:

  • the ward is barely 4 km from Harehills
  • yet inequalities btwn the residents of the 2 wards in terms of life chances, wealth and wellbeing are extreme
  • in Harehills, every census super output are(SOA) is in the bottom 10% of SOAs in England
  • in Adel & Wharfedale the number is zero
  • unemployment is lowest in Adel whilst it is six times higher in Harehills
  • youth unemployment is closely related to qualifications
  • 82% of school leavers in Adel hve five good GCSEs, compared with 41% in Harehills
  • crime rates are less than one-third of those in Harehills & suburb has some of the city's most successful state schools
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HIV/AIDS- an infectious disease


  • it is transmitted by exchange of body fluids e.g blood, semen, most often through sexual contact
  • virus damage immune system, making the body susceptible to illness and infection
  • worldwide, 33 million pple were infected with HIV in 2009
  • in the same yr, AIDS related illnesses caused 1.8 million deaths
  • since 1981, an estimated 25 million pple died frm AIDS, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa
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Demographic Impacts of HIV/AIDS

Demographic Impacts:

  • coz of AIDS, life expectancy will continue to fall throughout southern Africa e.g Botswana frm 67 - 54 yrs 1990-2015, south Africa frm 65-50yrs durin same period
  • high mortality among young adults has caused a decline in birth rates & an overall slowdown & in most cases an absolute decrease of popn e.g botswana, soutn africa, namibia
  • without AIDS/HIV epidemic, South Africa's popn in 2015 wud hve reached 54 million - 10 million more than forecast
  • changes in mortality & fertility hve also impacted age structure, wiht large % shrinkages by 2015 in the 0-15 & 30-65 age grps
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Economic impact of HIV/AIDS

Economic impacts:

  • prevalence of HIV/AIDS has damaged the economies of several African countries & in some has reversed economic development
  • most AIDS sufferers are adults btwn 15-49 yrs i.e most economically active & productive part of the workforce
  • on an individual household level, AIDS results in loss of income, indebtedness, and increases the likelihood of poverty
  • in sub-Saharan africa, AIDS has reduced GDP by an average 1.5% /yr & in east Africa absenteeism due to illness may cut business profits by 6-8%
  • premature deaths hve reduced the labour supply & raised labour costs, while increased morbidity has lowered productivity & profits
  • in rural areas AIDS has led to neglect & abandonment of agricultural work, diminishing food output and increasing food insecurity
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Social Impact of AIDS/HIV

Social impact:

  • premature mortality frm AIDS has destroyed millions of families
  • orphaned children often hve to assume family responsibilities in households with few if any savings or assets
  • others hve to leave school to care for dying parents
  • in countries worst affected, takin care of the sick imposes huge financial burdens & overwhelms already inadequate national health services
  • in southern Africa more than half of all hospitals beds are occupied by AIDS sufferers
  • segregation?
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Diabetes - 'disease of affluence'


  • caused by deficiency of insulin, a hormone secreted by pancreas
  • insulin enables glucose to enter cells & provide energy
  • it also keeps blood sugar levels within safe limits
  • globally, disease afflicts nearly 250 million pple
  • type 2 diabetes, altho found worldwide, is often seen as a 'disease of affluence' associated with lifestyles in developed world
  • globally, diabetes is responsible for 3.8 million deaths a yr - more than twice the number who die frm AIDS
  • in MEDCs the recent rapid increase in the number of cases has been called a diabetes epidemic
  • disease is more concentrated in poorer communities & is closely linked to obesity, which in turn is related to the consumption of low cost, high calorie, convenience foods & drinks & lack of physical exercise
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Distribution of Diabetes


  • is widespread in the developed & less developed world, but is most strongly concentrated in North America, Europe & the Middle East
  • originally, it was a disease of the elderly, but in recent decades it has become increasingly common in younger adults & even children 

Spread of disease:

  • by 2026, it is estimated tht the disease will affect 380 million pple
  • this is consistent wiht rising levels of obesity throughout the developed & developin world
  • currently in USA, 12.3% of the popn aged 29-79 yrs are diabetic
  • other countries with similiar high rates include Saudi Arabia(13,6%), Germany(12%)
  • some of poorest countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya, have low rates(2.8% & 2.0% respectively)
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Economic impacts of Diabetes

Economic impacts:

  • the costs of healthcare and prevention 
  • loss of life
  • disability
  • reduced earnings
  • lost economic growth
  • in 2007, cost of the disease worldwide was $290 billion
  • this is expected increase to $380 billion by 2025
  • more than 80% of spendin on medical care for diabetes is in MEDCs
  • investment in diabetes care & prevention is lowest in the poorest countries
  • with economic development and rising obesity, a huge increase in the disease is likely in the future in countries such as China & India
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Healthcare in Cuba


  • it is a lower-middle income country
  • in 2010 its GDP per capita was just below $10 000, similiar to Tunisia & Peru, givin it a world rankin of 109th
  • its popn was 11 million in 2011 & is expected to remain stable for the next 15-20 yrs 

Healthcare system:

  • cubas modern healthcare was established in 1970 - outcome of socialist political system where government funded healthcare is a right guaranteed to all citizens
  • along with food,clothing,housing& education, the delivery of healthcare has the highest priority
  • primary healthcare is the foundation of system, which employs 33 000 doctors
  • there are 498 polyclinics tht each serve btwn 30 000-60 000 pple
  • similiar to outpatient departments in small hospitals & provide specialist consultation & diagnostic procedures
  • at grassrootlevel, basic medical services are provided by neighbourhood-based family doctor & nurses' offices
  • they serve 2500 patients each & deliver the bulk of health services
  • secondary healthcare comprises large municipal and regional hospitals
  • emphasis of the Cuban healthcare system is on preventative medicine through primary care
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Achievements of Healthcare in Cuba


  • despite limited resources, Cuba's healthcare system in the past 40 yrs has been an outstandin success
  • average life expectancy (77 yrs) is comparable with many high-income countries
  • child mortality rates for under 5s (6/1000), & maternal mortality rates(7/100 000) even exceed those in Canada & Australia
  • TB rates are just 2/100 000 and malaria has been eradicted
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Healthcare in Haiti


  • although less than 100 km separate the island state of Haiti frm Cuba, economic & demographic disparities btwn them are huge
  • it is a low-income country, the poorest in the western hemisphere- more like sub-Saharan Africa than the Caribbean
  • GDP per capita in 2010 was $717 & on the UN's human development index it was ranked 145th out of 169 countries
  • 80% of popn live in poverty
  • its popn is forecast to increase frm 9.7 million in 2011 to 12 million by 2030
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Healthcare system in Haiti

Healthcare system:

  • it has been an independent state since 1804, yet its healthcare system is rudimentary
  • its due to long term political instability & natural hazards
  • there are serious shortages of trained medical staff( only 1000 doctors whole counrty), medical supplies & poor management of clinics & hospitals
  • spendin on healthcare in 2008 was only $85 / person
  • healthcare relies on charities and a patchwork of foreign agencies such as Medecins, San Frontieres, which offer free clinics
  • healthcare infrastructure of clinics & hospitals is totally inadequate to meet the needs of the popn
  • in the capital, Port au Prince, government healthcare services are practically non existent, while private healthcare is beyond the means of all but a tiny minority
  • many are forced to rely on traditional healing
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Outcome of Haiti's Healthcare system


  • poverty, political conflict & poor governance hve created an appalling healthcare situation in Haiti
  • malnutrition is widespread & nearly 140 000 children die from preventable diseases every yr
  • average life expectancy is 62 yrs, rates of mortality among children under 5 yrs is 12 times greater thn in neighbouring CUBA
  • maternal mortality is nearly 100 times higher
  • TB rates are 290/100 000 & malaria causes nearly 37 000 deaths a year
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Provision of local healthcare in South Lakeland


  • south Lakeland district covers the southern part of the Lake District & Morecambe Bay in Cumbria 
  • has a popn of only 150 000, much of it scattered at low density in small rural communities
  • Kendal is the largest town, only other sizeable urban centres are Windermere and Ulverston
  • region is relatively prosperous, wiht household incomes close to national avearge & few areas of deprivation
  • quality of life is high, wiht a large part of the area located in the Lak District national park
  • standardised mortality rates are relatively low, wiht life expectancies of 79 yrs for males  & 83 yrs for females
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Healthcare provision and Age structure in South La

Healthcare provision:

  • primary healthcare is provided by 21 GP practises
  • secondary care is available at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal.
  • for more specialist hospital treatment residents must travel to Lancaster 

Age structure:

  • 23% of popn in South Lakeland are aged 65 & over
  • this is well above the national average(16%) & is the highest in Cumbria
  • ageing will continue in future
  • the aged structure is the result of out-migration by young people, and large influxes of retirees in the past 30 yrs
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Health issues in South Lakeland

Healthcare issues:

  • healthcare issues centre on the large & growing proportion of elderly residents
  • rates of degenerative illnesses such as cardio-vascular diseases & dementia are high ny national standards
  • access to healthcare for elderly patients living in isolated rural locations & without access to private transport is a problem
  • many villages are more than 8 km frm a GP surgery
  • other health issues are common to other parts of UK, excessive alcohol consumption, childhood obesity, low uptake levels for flu & MMR vaccines & responses to screening programmes
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Health implications in South Lakeland

Health implications:

  • ageing of popn will continue
  • by 2031, over one third of popn will be 65 yrs and over
  • large numbers of elderly pple will live alone increasing loneliness & risk of depression
  • as popn is relatively affluent & life expectancy is well above  the UK average, increasing numbers of old pple are likely to suffer frm mental illness & dementia in future
  • already rates of dementia are higher than the national average, & a 60% increase is forecast by 2025
  • this has resource implications for social/care services as well as healthcare, & cud place considerable burdens on local NHS trust.
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