Population Change

Case Studies:

China- (one child policy)

Singapore- (pro-natalist)

UK- (ageing population)

The Gambia- (Youthful population)

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Key Definitions


All the people in an area eg. village, town, city, country, the world.

Population growth rate:

The increase in a population over a year, expressed as a percentage (%).

Population Distribution:

Where are people located within a given area.

Population Density:

The number of people in a certain unit area, usually per km squared.

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Population Distribution


Most people live in and around major cities, for example, London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Shefield, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds. This is because there are good transport links to other areas of the UK and the world because there are airports such as Gatwick. Also, the relief is flat so it is easy to develop and build on. Furthermore, generally, there are more job opportunities in major cities.


Most people live in and around Beijing, as well as along the southern coastline, in eastern China. This is because there are lots of train links between different areas of eastern China. Also, the relief is flat compared to western China which includes the Himalayas. Furthermore, there are numerous airports in eastern China such as Hohhot and Nanjing. Moreover, there is high employment rates in Beijing, as there are lots of jobs avaliable.

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Population Density

Key definitions:

Sparsely populated:

Low number of people living in that area, per km squared.

Densely populated:

High numbers of people living in that area, per km squared.


Sahara desert:

The Sahara desert is sparsely populated because, the Sahara is a desert environment and therefore recieves little rainfall. Is is not possible to grow food to eat because of the climate.

London, UK:

London is densely populated becuase there's a lot of transport, housing and food is easy to obtain. Also, there are lots of jobs avaliable.

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Population Pyramids

What is a population pyramid?

A population pyramid shows the structure of a population, gender and age. Population pyramids can be applied on a variety of scales, from whole countries, regions, or settlements.

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Key Definitions

Birth Rate:

The number of births per year, per 1000 people.

Death rate:

The number of deaths per year, per 1000 people.

Life expectancy:

The average age which a person is expected to live to.

Infant mortality rate:

The number of children, under the age of 1 which die each year, per 1000 people.

Natural increase:

The increase in a population in a year due to natural factors, (higher birth rate than death rate).

Natural decrease:

The decrease of a population in a year due to natural factors, (higher death rate than birth rate).

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Case Study: China



Background information:

  • The Chinese government had concerns over food security due to overpopulation
  • The policy was created to help overcome social, environmental and economic issues in China
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China- Incentives and disincentives


  • Families would recieve priority housing, pension and family benefits, including free education for the single child
  • Adults with one child recieved a "one child certificate" in return for promising to have no more children
  • Couples would recieve a 5-10% increase in their salary for limiting their family to one child


  • Women must have any future pregnancies aborted
  • Couples must not marry until late twenties
  • Women only allowed to have one successful pregnancy
  • 10% salary cut was enforced for couples with a second child
  • Couples with two children had to pay a large fine, (leaving many bankrupt)
  • Families with two children would have to pay to educate and the healthcare for both children
  • Penalties did not apply to children born abroad, but that child could never become a Chinese citizen
  • Men and women to be sterilised after first child
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Case Study: China- Impacts

Impacts of the one child policy:

  • Gender imbalance, men outnumbered women
  • Over 1000 abortions took place every hour
  • Generation of "princes" was created--children were spoilt and many of them were male

Why didn't people want female children?

If a child was female they would be married off to another family, therefore, not being part of the family anymore. Also, women don't carry the family name.

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Case Study: Singapore (pro-natalist)

Background information:

  • The population doubled from 1947 to 1970
  • The anti-natalist policy was from 1966-1982
  • Government only wanted 2 children per family
  • Policy worked too well

The pro-natalist policy:

  • Introduced in 2001
  • The slogan switched from, "stop at two" to, "have three if you can afford it"
  • The target was to increase the population size by 40% over 40 years
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Singapore- Incentives and disincentives


  • Baby bonus scheme
  • Tax relief on third child
  • Increased maternity leave from 8 weeks to 12 weeks
  • Shorter working hours so singles have more time to meet
  • Introduced paternity leave for fathers
  • Weekend cruises were set-up by the government to match-make couples


  • High cost of living
  • Parents wanted higher standard of living for their children therefore, they work longer and have fewer children
  • If you did not have a third child you would not recieve any of the bonuses
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Case Study: The Gambia (youthful population)

Definition of a "youthful population":

If a country has a youthful population it means there is a higher proportion of young people living in that country.

Location of The Gambia:

West of Africa, North West of Ginea.

Why does The Gambia have a youthful population?

The Gambia has a youthful population because the birth rate is high, because there is a high infant mortality rate. Also, there is a lack of contraception and education.

What is the percentage of the population under the age of 25?


The Life expectancy of a male and female:

Male: 53

Female: 57

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Advantages and disadvantages of a youthful populat


  • There will be a large work force to help the economy grow
  • Helps economic growth
  • The older generation have someone to look after them


  • Financial problems--not having enough money to feed and support the family. Leading to malnutrition
  • Sanitation is poor and homes are often overcrowed, and don't have electricity
  • Desertification of the forests--people use the wood for fires, housing and to sell
  • Not enough education--there is a shortage of toilet facilities and educational materials
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Case Study: UK (ageing population)

Why has the UK got an ageing population?

  • Baby boom of 1946
  • High rates of immigration
  • Increased healthcare quality

Why did the baby boom occur?

  • Lack of education
  • Lack of contraception
  • Post-war happiness
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