Population dynamics

Note: pop. means population

Summary of the topic 'Population Dynamics' including:

  • The demographic transition model
  • Population pyramids
  • Population distribution
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  • Created by: Ett
  • Created on: 26-05-13 18:52


Uses                                                         Limitations

  • Predict pop. of a country                    - Based on wealthy countries - resources vary

Stage 1

High birth rate DUE TO no family planning, children needed for work + lack of birth control and a HIGH DEATH RATE due to poor medical care, disease + famine

Stage 2 e.g. Egypt

  • HIGH birth rate. Decreasing death rate due to better healthcare, sanitation + clean water.

Stage 3

  • FALLING birth + death rates due to better healthcare + less children needed for work

Stage 4 + 5

  • LOW birth + death rate due to family planning, good healthcare, later marriages. Stage 5 countries have a natural decrease, so their pop. is decreasing.
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Population pyramids

Ageing population problems

  • More pensions, more health care needed e.g. more retirement homes, more hospital beds + more undertakers

Large youthful population problems

  • More schools needed + not enough housing. Lack of food supplies means there could be famine + pressure on health care as diseases 

A population pyramid in MEDCs

  • Narrow base due to low fertility rate - contraception is universal + later marriages
  • High life expectancy + low death rate - large elderly population

A population pyramid for LEDCs - pop. growing rapidly

  • Wide base - large families due to no family planning, little education + little birth control
  • High death rate + low life expectancy due to lack of clean water + poor healthcare
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Population distribution

Reasons for pop. distribution

  • Physical factors - part of the environment e.g. water supply, climate, natural resources, relief
  • Human factors - made by humans e.g. roads, housing, govt investment, education, healthcare 

Why birth + death rates vary:

  • Religious views - impact on use of contraceptives
  • Wars
  • Life expectancy
  • Govt policies - pro-natalist / anti-natalist

Decreasing death rates:

  • Vaccination - increases life expectancy
  • Better healthcare + medicine - less people die from diseases
  • Clean drinking water - reduces the risk of diseases e.g. cholera from dirty water
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Decreasing and increasing population case studies

Russia - a decreasing population      Natural increase = -0.6%   

Decreasing because...

  • Alcoholism + industrial disease mean a higher death rate
  • Later marriages - less children
  • A low fertility rate of 1.2 children per woman (contraception) + high abortion rates
  • Low immigration + outward immigration of the young

Yemen - an increasing population      Natural increase = 3.2% 

Increasing because...

  • Early marriage means a lack of education + little understanding of birth control
  • High unemployment means govt does't get as much money from taxes -> poor healthcare
  • Vaccinations mean increased life expectancy
  • High fertiity rate - 6.7 children per woman
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Ageing and youthful population case studies

Japan - ageing population because...

  • Better diet + healthcare - increases life expectancy
  • Women have children later -> declining birth rate below  the replacement level of 2.4
  • Later marriages

Problems created by an ageing population...

Less people are in the workforce and there are more pensions.There is an increase in nursing homes and higher taxes due to higher healthcare costs.

Mexico - youthful population because...

Mexico has a large percentage of young people and the average age is 26. There is a low death rate and vaccinations have increased life expectancy.

Problems created by a youthful population...

  • Increase in school places -> more schools built
  • High unemployment rates -> young people migrate to USA - pop. decrease
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Population policies case studies

China's one-child policy - anti-natalist

High birth rates in China were unsustainable as there wasn't enough food, water or natural resources. So, in 1979, the One-child policy was introduced to limit pop. growth. Couples having one child receive financial rewards + health care benefits. For those who have more than one child, heavy fines are imposed + there can be loss of employment

Negative effects:

  • May not be enough workers
  • Couples use abortion (illegal) to make sure their child is a boy
  • Serious imbalance of men to women - 113 boys for every 100 girls

Sweden - pro-natalist policy (since 1991)

  • Sick child benefit - 120 paid days per child per year
  • All-day childcare + all-day schools
  • Cash child benefit - €900 per child
  • Patenal leave - 13 months off at 80% income
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People migrate to join family, for a better education, employment opportunities + political reasons cause people to flee.

Advantages of migration - More people in the workforce boosts the economy. Migrants work hardDiversity increases as there are more languages + culturesImmigrants may set up their own workforce , creating employment

Disadvantages of migration - Not enough jobs leads to unemployment May be a lack of resourcesYoung immigrants put pressure on schooling, which means more schools are built + more teachers employed. Services may find it hard to adapt e.g. a maternity ward


Russia - a pop. strategy was created in 2007 to ensure enough workers for economic growth. It involves a cash incentive to encourage Russians to come back to Russia to work. It encourages migrant workers to work in high skilled professions.

UK - a points system was introduced in 2008 to limit the amount of migrant workers. To get a visa, you have to be English speaking + well-qualified.

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USA + Immigration

In 1990, the US passed the Immigration Act, aiming to attract skilled foreign workers and limit the number of migrantsPeople migrate from Mexico to America. 

Advantages are that they share culture with Americans + do jobs Americans don't want to do. They are seen as cheap labour + there are stronger political ties.

Disadvantages for America are that there is racial tension + Mexicans send money away from the economy back to their economy.

Advantanges for Mexico are that money can be sent back to Mexico as remittances + migrants develop new skills they can bring  back to Mexico. There is less pressure on food + housing as people have left.

Disadvantages for Mexico are that families are split up + there are less skilled workers.

  • Pull factors of an area are no congestion / pollution, no crime, fresh air, open space + mild climate, low taxes
  • Push factors of an area are that there is a need to travel  for most shopping, high living costs, it is remote + there is no local entertainment / a pub / a hotel
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Population density - measure of how crowded a place is
Natural increase = birth rate - death rate

Young Dependents - children under 15 yrs old dependent on the economically active
Elderly Dependents - people usually over 60 who rely on the economically active people
Economically Active - working population between the ages 16-65

Replacement level - number of births required to maintain population size

Emigration - people exiting an area / country
Immigration - people entering an area / country
Migration - the movement of people from one place to another

Push factors - reasons why people leave
Pull factors - reasons that attract people to an area

Anti-natalist policies - encourage people to have fewer children
Pro-natalist policies - incentives to encourage people to have children 
Population policies - measures taken by a govt. to influence pop. size, growth/distribution 

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