Population Change

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Geography Definitions

Birth Rate: A measure of an areas fertility., it is expressed as the number of live births per 1000  people per 1 year. UK = 12 NIGER = 51

Death Rate: The number of deaths per 1000 people in 1 year. UK = 10 NIGER = 14

Life expectancy: The average number of years from birth that a person can expect to live.

Natural Change: Change in size of the population caused by the interrelationship between birth and death rate. If BR exceeds DR it results in a natural increase.

Fertility Rate: Number of live births per 1000 women ages 15-49 in one year.

If 2.1 or higher the population will replace itself and remain stable or grow.

Infant Mortality Rate- The number of deaths of children under the age of 1 expressed per 1000 live births per year.

Replacement Level- total fertility rate in which women would have enough offspring in order to replace themselves and their partner.

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Causes of a growing population

  • Better healthcare- birth control measures, increased malnutrition, number of doctors, improvement in sanitation leads to a higher life expectancy.
  • Medical Advances and technology
  • Improved transport and navigation allow technologies to spread from boarders.
  • Education- more people educated know how to live a healthy life and hygiene.
  • Social Precision- Healthcare for elderley and clean water
  • Culture- Role of women in society, women are allowed out more
  • Political factors- Strength of economy, distribution of condoms, access to healthcare
  • Environmental Factors- frequency of hazards and environments that spread disease
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Densely and Sparsely populated

Why is China densely populated?

  • Physical Factors

Has a flat relief, with fertile soils which draw farmer to plant their crops. Comfortable temperature of 23C- adeqaute temp for growth. Chinas coast attracts people in the East. Sufficient amount of resources, goof fish stock, minerals and clean water.

  • Human Factors

Social factors- traditions, religeons and beliefs believe it is essential to have children when a couple is married. Children are needed to work on the farm- economic assets. Economic factors- good range of employment opportunities and infrastructure. No war and has been settled for a long time

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Factors affecting Fertility

  • Demographic Factors Families compensate for high IMR by having more children, this is in hope that some children will survive. If IMR declines there will be a high dependency ratio and more children living in to adulthood. This has long term implications e.g more female children will survive reaching to childbearing age and so BR remains high even if fertility rates have declined.
  • Economic factors children regarded as economic asset- viewed as producers rather than consumers so parents will encourage them to contribute in the family income. Developing countries: income generators, developed countries = financial burden.
  • Social and Cultural factors Low literacy rates and high drop outs, women get married at an early age and so have children earlier. Womens reduced access to formal employment means they are forced their time and energy into childbearing. Cultural- some African countries require babies to be named after dead relatives to keep ancestry. Therefore lack of children is viewed as evil. "Bride Price" women produce as many children as possible to their husband so when they die they can claim on their deceased husbands property which suggest why many women would like to have as many children as possible.
  • Modernisation- Adopt Western Culture in many developing countries, traditions become less important such as high fertility, particularly with a declining IMR and increased family planning programmes.
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Key terms

Dependency Ratio- the relationship between the economically active and the non-economically active population.

Migration- A permanent or semi permanent change of residence of an individual or group of people.

Forced Migration- Migrants forced to migrate because of circumstances. These include war, environmental catastrophe, economic conditions and persecutions for ethnicity, religion, political beliefs or sexual orientation.

Refugee- someone who has fled their country of nationality through fear of persecution and unwilling to return. e.g fleeing civil war, religious andethnic violence and environmental disasters

Asylum Seeker- Someone seeking to be recognised by a government as a refugee in order that the may obtain the legal protections of official refugee status.

Voluntary migration- Someone freely makes the decision to migrate.

Social Welfare- This refers to the well-being of countries. e.g housing, jobs, healthcare

Cyclic movement- movement away from home for a short period of time e.g seasonal

Periodic movement- movement away from home for a longer period of time e.g military service


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Factors affecting death rates

The rapid growth of the worlds population, is not due to the increase in birth rate, but a decline in death rates. This is due to:

  • Better nutrition because of increased food production and better distribution.
  • Low infant mortality and less infant deaths and increased average life expectancy because of a reduction in the incidence and spread of disease.
  • Improvements in medical and public technology including antibiotics, immunizations.

2 of the best indicators to measure health in a country is life expectancy and infant mortality rate.

High infant mortality rate usually indicates insufficient food, poor nutrition and a high incidence of infectious disease and contamination, HIV/AIDs and natural disasters.

However, need to be careful as the increase of disease could be because of the spread of it and therefore it is not an accurate measurement for development.

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DTM- shows how a countries population changes over time through four distinctive stages, based on a countries birth and death rate.

DTM in Kenya- Stage 2, was once stage 1: high DR & BR IMR, little medical support, food shortages due to hazards. Then became stage 2 as death rate began to fall for several reasons:

  • Health care programmes- children immunised against many diseases
  • Nutrition advice- children growing up healthier due to advice women are receiving
  • Hygiene & water supply- Kenya now has more access to safe water supplies
  • Young Population- most of population is under 35, so death rate is low.
  • Family Planning- women plan when to have children, so they are healthier and more likely to survive pregnancy and birth

UKs transition through the DTM

  • Stage 1: Little medical care, no effective contraception and subsistence farming.
  • Stage 2: Public Health Act, Education Act, Food begins to be imported
  • Stage 3:Peniclin first anitbiotic, free school meals, children under age of 11 dont work, vaccines and contraception
  • Stage 4: Welfare state created, NHS provides free healthcare, contraceptive pill, abortion legalised, women get equal career opportunities, improvement in science and technologies
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Evaluation of DTM

Criticisms of DTM:

  • Model is eurocentric- assumes all countries pass through the same stages.
  • Doesnt take migration into accountas a component of population growth.
  • Irons out major fluctuations caused by natural hazards
  • Originally no 5th stage
  • Recent diseases such as AIDs are not considered.
  • Doesnt look at the positives and negatives the government play

Positives of the DTM

  • Easy to understand countries can be compared
  • Globally applied
  • Starter for all demographic studies
  • useful generalisation of population change over time
  • Predictive tool, future changes can be forecasted
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Ageing population

Social ImpactsIncreased pressure on public services- greater demand on hospitals and doctors for hip replacements for example and beds. More people needed to care for elderley so more nurses will need to be trained. Relatives act as carers putting financial and social pressure

  • Unequal distribution of old people- inadequate facilities for the younger generation e.g bars
  • Longer working life- state pension is low because there is so many retired people. People have to work longer to build up personal pensions and savings.
  • High dependency ratio

Economic ImpactsReduced work force- slows economic growth as less people are providing a service

  • Increased taxes- greater proportion of older people claiming pensions so taxes are raised for economically active
  • Spending- the 'grey pound' have disposable incoe to spend on services

Demographic factors: Reduced population growth,economically active may have fewer children because looking after elderley  Immigration of working age people.

Political Factors- government investment in order to increase health care provision, e.g nursing homes, and care workers

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Positives of ageing population


  • Rise in volunteerinism in the tertiary sector
  • A more cohesive society- binding families and communities together


  • Increased availability of social support, they are the net providers: childcare, financial, practical and emotional assistance to family members
  • More vibrant economy- new consumer market e.g rejuvenation products
  • Grey pound- spend their disposable income on local facilities


  • Lower crime rate and resultant reduction in spending- results in substancial savings in prison and policing costs.
  • Governments encouraging larger families, results in a larger working population
  • raising retirement age- makes work force larger 
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Youthful population


  • Lack of family planning, no education about contraception, high infant mortality, immigration of young dependents, tradition and status of large families.

Negative Impacts

  • Cost of childcare and education
  • Increased dependency ratio
  • Increased cost of child benefits paid by the government
  • Shortage of workers
  • Cost of healthcare (midwives)

Positive Impacts

  • Lower death rates so less money spent on care homes and hospitals
  • Educated and literate IT population
  • Abundance of future workers, large future market who are modernised
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Overpopulation- a condition where there are too many people living in a nation or area relative to natural resources (food, water, fuel) e.g Bangladesh

158 million in 2010, $1,600 GDP per capita. 80% of country on floodplain, coastal areas vulnerable to flood-hindered economic development. Weak political institutions. Prevents adequate health and education institutions to prevent growth of pop. High levels of poverty. Plan: introduce single child policy by 2015

Underpopulation- there are too few people living in an area to efficiently exploit and use the natural resources within that area e.g Canada

39 million $38,400 GDP per capita. Surplus amounts of food, energy, water that are exploited. High incomes, good living conditions, technology and immigration. Deforestation due to economic demand, settlements and transportation

Optimum population- there is a balance between population size and the amount of resources available e.g UK

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Sustainable development

Dilemma: developed countries continue to demand resources for their populations. Less developed countries are supplying the resources that make the developed countries affluent. Rapidly increasing populations of developing countries are demanding more and more resources.

Agenda 21 - a UN sustainable development programme. It states that government are abliged to formulate national plans for sustainable development.


  • Train sufficient medical care workers to care for elderley
  • Consider issues arising from falling birth rates, fewer children and reduced work force


  • Train community nurses, increasing female literacy rates, make contraceptives available

Stratergies by local authrities

  • Monitoring air and water quality, promoting energy efficiency, establish recycling, efficient public transport

Solutions: states support an open economic system, environmental & natural resources should be protected.


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Chinas 1 child policy

What was the policy?

  • 1979- Anti- natalist strict limit of one child per couple. Aimed to reduce population to 700m by 2080 and fertility rates at 1.5. 

What did they do?

  • special family planning workers, strong pressure on women for contraception, granny police to make sure people were using contraception, report pregnancies, couples needed to apply to marry and have children. Offered incentives such as free education, housing pension, benefits for 1st child. Fines if 2nd child was born.

Why did the govenrment do this?

  • Serious famine in 1959 due to overpopulation. 1960 there was a population boom and population increased by 55m.Nothing was done to reduce spiraling birth rate.

Did it work?

Successful in urban areas, not rural where disobedience was more common. 2006 fertility rate = 1.6. Negative aspects- boys were culturally more desirable so girls were aborted, lead to demographic imbalance. Every 120 men, 100 women

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France- pro natalist policy

What was the policy?

  • Aimed to increase the population by cash incentives to mothers who stayed at home with kids. Subsidisation of holidays, cheaper & easier. £1064 for having  3rd child. 30% fair reduction for 3 child families on public transport. Pension chemes for mother and housewives. Generous maternity grants.

Why did the government do this?

  • 36% population are dependents. Ageing population, low birth rate. Decrease in labour meaning 36% cant support 64%. long term population decline.

Did it work?

  • BR=1.98 in 2015. However... increased due to immigration as they are of child bearing age. Net migration = 1.46/1000 so wont affect total fertility rate. If pro natalist fails, country will be bankcrupt.
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Transmigration in Indonesia

What was the policy?

  • Government provided transport to a new settlement in a less populated part of the country to begin farm life elsewhere. This was due to their rapid population growth, in 2010 BR= 18/1000 DR = 6/1000

Why did the government do this?

  • Burden of a large population crowded in a very small area. Solution to move landless peasants from crowded central islands of Java and Bali to outer islands. The idea is to use these migrants to develop infrastructure, schools and hospitals. Past 2 decade 6m transferred.

Did it work?

  • Conflict & violence between settlers, very contreversial, critics accusing indonesian government of trying to use these migrants to reduce the proportion of native populations in recieving areas. Instead is redistrubed poverty due to poor planning of land and water management. Spiralling debt problems, cost of resettlement was very expensive for migrants, deforestation lead to loss of habitat.
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Kerala, India

What was the policy?

  • Launched a natural family planning programme. Encouraged the use of contraception, included many social changes such as health care and education

Why did the government do this?

  • India has one of the highest population growth rates in the world at 1billion. 

Did it work?

  • Kerala has managed to control its population growth by investing in social changes while still allowing people the freedo to choose their own family size.

Positive aspects

  • Improving education standards, gender equality, providing adult literacy classes in towns, reducing infant mortality, improving child health through vaccination programmes, providing extra retirement benfits, allow maternity leave for first 2 babies.
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Issues of economic migration

Source Country

  • Economic Costs: Loss of young adult labour force, loss of those with skills and entrepreneurial talents-slow economic development. Regions where there is out-migration may suffer a spiral of decline. Dependency ratio increased
  • Economic Benefits: reduced under employment, returning migrants bring new skills to country-revitalise home economy, Migrants send remittances home and this money is reinvested in economy for infrastructure. Less pressure on resources
  • Social Costs: disproportionate number of females left behind, non return of migrants cause an imbalance in population structure. Returning retired immigrants may impose a social cost on community and healthcare.
  • Social Benefits: population density is reduce and birth rate decreased as its the young adults who move. Remittances sent back home can help improve health and education services. Returning retired immigrants increase social expectations , for example the demand for better leisure facilities.
  • Political effects: policies to encourage natural increase, policies to encourage immagration to counteract outflow or to devlop resources, request for international aid.
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Issues of economic migration

Host country

  • Economic Costs: Cost of educating migrants' children, over dependence on some industries, much of money earned, including pensions, are sent back to country of origin. Increased number of people adds to pressure on resources.
  • Economic Benefits: economic migrants tend to take up th less desirable jobs, gains skilled labour at reduced cost. 'Skills gap' that exists is filled by qualified migrants
  • Social Costs: dominance of males is reinforced, aspects of cultural identity are lost, segregated areas of similar ethnic groups are created and schools dominated by migrants.
  • Social Benefits: multiethnic society increases understanding of other cultures, influx of new or revitalised providers for services. growth of ethnic retailing and areas with ethinic food outlets e.g curry mile
  • Political Effects- discrimmination against ethnic groups, lead to civil unrest and extremism, calls for controls on immigration, many attitudes which may encourage fundamentalism.
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Economic migration

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai is located in the middle east and is one of the 7 emirates that make up the country, UAE. In 2007 Dubai was the fastest growing city. Half of the worlds cranes are at work with projects worth $100billion.

People move to Dubai because the average pay for an unskilled labourer is $4 a day and that is enough of a lure for the impoverished of India, Pakistan.

Migrants comprimise 90% of UAE workers. 1 million out of 1.5 population are migrants. Many migrants come from South Asia, Egypt, Lebanon, Morroco. Remittances are sent back home and act as im portant sources for developing countries.


  • Passports confiscated to prevent absconding whilst they are on contract.
  • Long hour shifts in cramped conditions for low pay
  • Discrimmination, intimidation, violence, including sexual assualt of women as domestic servants
  • Trafficking of children as camel jockeys or beggars
  • Accident and suicide rates amount migrant workers are very high
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Forced migration

Somalia- Forced migration

Located on the West Coast of Africa neighbouring Kenya. Somalia has experienced constant conflict since the collapse of central governmetn in 1991. Latest fighting has forced 20,000 people from residential areas of the capital, where battles are being played out by pro-government forces and fled to neighbouring coutries.

The Somali Civil War is ongoing, it grew out of resistance eventually. The decades of fighting between rivals meant that the countrywas ill-equipped to deal with natural disasters such as drought and around half a million died in the Somali famines of 1992. Conditions were so poor people migrated and fled fpr refuge in neighbouring contries. Little resources enter the country due to vast amounts of pirates around the coast, this causes little economic income and reduced amount of resources causing the quality of life to be very poor.

The UK is home to the largest Somali community in Europe with 103,000 in 2013.


  • Forced migration usually occurs in mass and so many migrants try to cross boarders of other countries at the same time. Therefore, it takes a long time to allow them to enter a certain country for example UK and locate them.
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Rural to Urban Migration

Mumbai: Rural to urban migration

Mumbai is a mega city 4th largest city in the world, off the west coast of India. Wetlands have now been reclaimed to form islands and it is now the biggest financial and commercial centre in India.

PUSH factorsLow wages & few paid jobs, poor housing with no running water or electricity, lack of schools & hospitals, crops fail

PULL factors: Better paid job, schools, decent house and health care, better IT and financial services

Problems caused by urbanisation:

  • Air pollution from shanty towns leads to poor health. Unemployment and widespread poverty due to so many people moving to the country and high birth rates. Poor education leads to underemployment as they dont have the skills and knowledge, increased housing prices due to land being so expensive. Poor transport links because they are so cramped and busy
  • Management stratergies: move ports, industrial markets out of old city to move workers, rehousing in temporary accomodation. 2 storey homes were replaced with 7 storey to accomodate more people and free accomodation to a few. New buildings will have to have infrastructure including roads, water, drainage, schools
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Polish Migration to UK

Poland was one of the 10 nations to join the EU on 1 April. The EU allows free movement of labour between its members in countires, this encouraged immigrants, the UK government predicted 15,000 migrants would move to the UK. In 2006, 370,000 polish migrants entered the UK and registered for work. Majority of migrants are unskilled, skilled or tradesman.

Reasons for migration:

PUSH: contrast between economies in both nations. Unemployment rate in poland is 18% but 5% in UK. PULL: availability of work, semi skilled and unskilled labour. They can fill shortage jobs such as construction and earn 5 times as much as they would in Poland, although cost of living in the UK is high. Immigrants are distributed in rural areas such as East Yorkshire.

Impacts of migration: contributed £2.5bn to UK economy, offset the problem of an ageing population, also they expect low rates of pay so interest rates are kept low. New migrants are much more enthusiastic and flexible attributes.


Polish migrants have been exploited by employers. Some 'gangmasters' have deducted unreasonable amount of money off wages for accomodation and transport.  There have been isolated incidents of offensive graffiti, abuse and violence towards them. A positive it some banks and other services offer Polish language facilities. They have realised the potential market that the migrants provide.

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Social Welfare

Social welfare- the well being of communities. It refers to the access that groups of people or individuals, have to job opportunities, housing, healthcare, education, an unpolluted environment, safe environment and freedom to practice ones culture, religion, availability of social services.

Consider, Housing, Ethnicity, Age, Wealth, Employment, provision of services. Most uncrease as you move out of the inner city.

Impacts on welfare in the city:

  • Environmental- old poor quality housing creating a poor living condition. High levels of graffiti and vandalism where there is a larger population of children in inner cities. Air pollution is higher due to high volume ot traffic
  • Social- Tensions between different ethnicities, crime rate is high in inner cities due to high levels of unemployment and poverty. Poor relationships between police and community. Lack of public transport can isolate elderley, out migration leads to closing of services.
  • Economic- industrial decline of investement and high levels of unemployment. Poverty if highest in inner city leading to high death rates, poor education & lack of access to services
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provision of services in UK

Moss side- inner city Manchester

  • Haven for migrants & asyluum seekers since industrial revolution. Attracting ethnicity since WW2. 45% of moss side is white. Unemployment at 8%. Age- dominant age group 20-24, high fertlity rates, schools 13% achieve 5A-C. Housing- Victorian terraces, flats, 450 homes built to sell for low prices, environment to discourage crime. Wealth & unemployment 21% of population have 5 A-C grades, 15% of residents on income support, new asda provided 400 jobs, underemployment 8%.

Didsbury- suburban manchester

  • Ethnicity- 85% white in 2011, most affluent group implying wealth of suburb. Age- increase in number of 65-69 year olds, limited number of teenagers. Increase in property houses and Parswood cinema centre. Housing- new detached houses, flats, well services public transport, victorian terraces. Wealth & employment- 4% unemployment, welath has encouraged influx of shops, 24 hour tesco on edge of didsbury.
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Longnor- Rural

Age- greatest concentration of 45-59, lack of 20 year olds as moved away for university. Many primary and secondary schools.

Ethnicity- population is 1504, 6 of which are ethnic minorities. Usually remain in inner city for place of familiarity and safety where dress customs and services can be freely exercised. Culturally rural areas do not provide social welfare for ethnic minorities.

Housing-pushed houses out of financial reach from the young, growth of tourist industry encouraged conversation of barns into homes. Invested in wooden lodges.

Wealth & employment- 4% work in finance, work from home due to better communication services, less young people limits economic scope. Introduced business enterprises, promotes tourism and improves local amentities and housing, many bed and breakfasts

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