Population change

Population change

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Introduction - The Growth of The World Population

The population of an areas alters as a consquence of both natural change & migration. The annual population change of an area is the cumulative change in the size of population after both natural change & migration have been taken into account. In 1999, the world's population reached 6 billion. It has grown rapidly in the last 200years, particulary since 1950. Natural increase peaked at 2.2% globally in the 1960's. Since then, falling birth rates have reduced this increase to 1.2%. However, the global population is still expanding by 80 million every year. Estimates suggest that by 2050 the global population will be 9 billion, with zero growth occuring only towards the end of the century.

The growth in the world population has not taken place evenly. The populations of some continents have grown & continue to grow at faster rates than others. Europe, North America and Australasia have very low growth rates. In 1995, their share of the world's population was 20%. This is expected to fall to 12% by 2050. It is estimated that Europes population will shrink by 90 million during this period.

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Introduction - The Growth of The World Population

Asia has a rapid, but declining rate of population growth. Between 1995 and 2050, China, India & Pakistan will contribute most to world population growth. Indeed, it is estimated that by 2050 India will overtake China as the worlds most populous country. Another potential area of rapid population growth is sub-Saharan Africa, particulary Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Causes of Population Growth

Several different factors interrelate to cause growth in the world's population:

  • health - the control of disease, birth control measures, infant mortality rates, diet & malnutrition, the numbers of doctors and nurses, sexual health and sanitation.
  • education - health education, the age at which compulsory schooling finishes, females in education, levels of tertiary education and literacy levels.
  • social provision - levels of care for the elderly, availability of radio and other forms of media, clean water supply.
  • cultural factors - religious attitudes to birth control, status gain from having children, the role of women in society, sexual morality.
  • political factors - -taxation to support services, strengh of the economy, impact of war and conflicts, access to healthcare and contraception.
  • environmental factors - frequency of hazards, environmental conditions that breed disease.

All countries and regions of the world are dynamic and changing. They develop both economically and socially and this affects population change over time.

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