Human Geography Case Studies

A set of revision cards to help when learning human geography case studies.

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Ageing Population - The UK

In 2005, 16% of the population were over 65 due to:

  • Increasing life expectancy (81.3 for women, 76.9 for men)
  • Baby booms in the 1940's and 1960's
  • Falling birth rate (less young people in proportion)

Problems Caused:

  • Pressure on pension system
  • More elderly people living in poverty 
  • Pressure on the health service 

Strategies used:

  • Increased age of retirement (will be raised to 68 by 2050)
  • Encouraging immigration of working age people
  • Encouraging more women to have children (working family tax credits)
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Youthful Population - Uganda

In 2007, 50% of the population were under 15, due to:

  • High birth and fertility rates (women have an average of 7 children)
  • Low life expectancy 

Problems Caused:

  • Pressure on the health service (HIV/AIDS, women die in childbirth)
  • Unemployment could worsen (not enough jobs)

Strategies used:

  • Encouraging contraception and family planning (free condoms etc.)
  • Policies to combat spread of HIV/AIDS (ABC approach - Abstain until marriage, Be faithful to one partner, use Condoms)
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Urban and Rural Characteristics - Preston

Areas in Preston:

  • Fishwick - Inner City - High-density 19th century terraced housing, a few corner shops, no shopping centres
  • Ashton - Suburban Area - terraced housing to the east of the ward, larger semi-detached housing to the west, Lane Ends shopping area, many bus stops
  • Lea - Rural/Urban fringe - large semi-detached and detached houses with gardens and driveways, small shopping parades, a supermaket, regular bus service, golf course
  • Longton - Rural Area - new housing estates, large detached and semi-detached houses with gardens and garages, easy access to city centre, supermarket, shops and services (more than would be expected)

Social Welfare:

  • Better general health in Longton and Lea
  • More crime in Fishwick
  • Level of education low in Fishwick 
  • Low-skill and low-paid work in Fishwick 
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Health Care Approaches

Local Health Care Workers in Ethiopia:

  • Widespread poor health, low life expectancy, high infant mortality rate, poor sanitation/nutrition, lots of infectious disease, 3 doctors per 100,000 people
  • The government recieves foreign aid to improve health. Some of this money is spent on preventative health care (e.g. mosquito nets)
  • Foreign aid funds the Health Extension Programme, which trains local health care workers in rural areas to deliver basic health care. 

Preventing Cervial Cancer in England:

  • Nearly 3,000 women diagnosed each year. 
  • Some forms are preventable with the HPV vaccine, which is now offered to all girls aged 12-13.
  • Cervical screening is offered to all women over 25, and death rates have decreased by 70% since screening began.
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TransNational Corporations - GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Research and Production:

  • GSK produces four billion packs of medicine and health care products per year and 1/4 of the world's vaccines
  • Produces for MEDC's and LEDC's

Distribution and Sales:

  • GSK makes a large profit from drug sales, but also donate some drugs to LEDC's for free
  • They invest a large amount of profit (3.8%) in community programmes to help people in need


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Tobacco Companies - Philip Morris International

Research and Production:

  • In 2005, PMI sold 805 billion cigarettes worldwide
  • They research and develop some potentially less harmful tobacco products 

Distribution and Sales:

  • PMI sticks to the 'Framework Convention on Tobacco Control' in the countries that have signed it.
  • Other advertising and marketing strategies are used in countries that haven't signed it (e.g. free samples)
  • They have a 'responsible marketing policy' and have agreed not to market to children and have health warnings on packets. 
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