Population Dynamics

Notes, Case studies, useful facts etc.

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  • Created by: safia
  • Created on: 07-05-11 11:30

Population Increase

Describe and suggest reasons for the rapid increase in the world's population in recent times (known as ''the population explosion.'

Population Explosion - used to describe a rapid growth

Why do populations grow at different rates? Identify and suggest reasons for contrasting patterms of population growth in different world areas as influenced by differences in birth rate, death rate and migration.

Social/Cultural Reasons

  • In some societies, like Africa, tradition demands high rates of reproduction.
  • Some cultures and traditions value large families.
  • Muslim and Catholic religions oppose artifical birth control.
  • In some areas, having many children improves a person's status.
  • Women do not have the same rights as men. They can't choose whether to have children or not. (This only applies to LEDC countries like Africa, Bangladesh etc.)
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Economic Reasons

  • Children are seen as an economic asset.
  • Children are needed to look after their parents in their old age.
  • In MEDC, more women are choosing to work and delay marriage; this leaves less time for having children.

Political Reasons

  • During 1930s, Germany, Italy and Japan offered inducements and concessions to those with large families. Malaysia has adopted a similar policy.
  • Governments are wanting to change the rate of population growth for economic and strategic reasons.
  • China's 'one child policy' agrees that couples must have one child. Couples must have permission to have a child. There are many other rules evolving the 'one child policy.'
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Factors influencing Population Increase

Birth Rate - the number of births per 1000 people per year

Death Rate - the number of deaths per 1000 people per year

Immigration - the movement of people to a specific place

Emigration - the movement of people away from a place

Scenarios changing birth rate

  • more women are delaying to have children.
  • family planning
  • male children are more desirable to parents
  • population explosion
  • childrem seems valuable (child labour)
  • religious beliefs
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Scenarios changing death rate

  • AIDS/HIV (UN report says that lack of sex education is to blame of it.)
  • war
  • epidemic flu (H1N1)
  • natural cause (flood, landslide, earthquake, tsunami etc.)
  • hospital charges more, people can't afford.
  • healthcare is improved, life expectancy is high.
  • poor medical facilities
  • crime rate is high, car accidents.

Scenarios changing migration

  • economic activity
  • job opportunities
  • lack of jobs
  • unpopularity of ethnic minorities, so they migrate to other countries.
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Population Structure

Population Pyramids

  • the higher the pyramid, the higher the life expectancy is.
  • a wide base at the bottom conveys a high birth rate.
  • a wide base at the bottom also implies that infant mortality rate is low.
  • idents shows a higher death rates than usual. It could be due to war, famine, disease (epidemic).
  • idents could imply that people are emigration.
  • when population of men and female at a specific age group is balanced, it shows that it's stable.
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Demographic Transition Model

Stage 1 - High Stationary
the birth rate is high and stable while the death rate is high and fluctuating. Life expectancy is low. Examples of high stationary includes countries in Africa, like Gambia.

Stage 2 - Early Expanding
the death rate declines to levels never before experienced. the birth rate remains at its previous level. the death rate is slow. it is possible for most people to migrate from rural to urban.

Stage 3 - Late Expanding
the infant mortality rate and birth rate starts to decline. death rates start to decrease as women becomes more educated. Life expectancy begins to increase. Examples of late expanding includes Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.

Stage 4 - Low Stationary
both birth and death rates are low. The population is stable. Population growth is slow. Life expectancy is high. Examples of low stationary is London in England and numerous MEDC.

Stage 5 - Natural Increase
the birth rate has fallen below the death rate. countries at this stage rely on immigrants. Examples of natural increase include Germany, Belarus, Bulgaria and Ukraine.

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Population Distribution and Density

Population density - the average number of people per square km in a country.

Population distribution - a way that the population is spread out over a given area, from a small region to the Earth as whole.

  • Densely populated - areas with a high population
  • Sparsely populated - regions with a low population density
  • Dispersed - when people are spread out in a country
  • Concentrated - when people are cramped in a country
  • Physical reasons (climate, soil fertility, natural vegetation)
  • Economic reasons (raw materials, transport systems, employment opportunities)
  • Social reasons (standard of living, services available, people for support)
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Case Study - The Sahara (Sparsely Populated)

  • - 2,500,000 people live in Sahara Desert.
  • - Population density: 1 person per km squared.

Physical reasons:

  • - Bad soil fertility due to bad climate - 5 inches of rainfall per year, temperature changes rapidly from -5 to 58 degrees.
  • - Only snakes, lizards, foxes etc can survive. Animals can't survive and crops can't grow. There are many sand dunes up to 400 feet high.

Social Reasons:

  • - 80% are of Islamic religion, which encourages to restrain from sex.
  • - People can only live in areas with oases, which is only 1.41% out of the whole area

Economic Reasons:

  • - lack of transport - bad landforms.
  • - No raw materials due to bad soil fertility - can't support human community.
  • - Little vegetation.
  • - Only one area which is rich in vegetation which is Zellaf Nature Reserve, an area of 1000 km squared.
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Case Study - London, England (Densely Populated)

  • - Estimated population in July 2007: 7,600,000
  • - Population density: 4542 people per square


  • - has a climate of temperate marine climate.
  • - a relatively dry city with regular but light rainfall per year
  • - only in the outskirts of London that natural vegetation lies ahead.


  • - home to more than 100 of Europe's largest companies.
  • - largest city GDP in Europe
  • - Tourism is one of London's prime industries - tourism employs 350 000 full time workers in 2003. BBC is a significant employer.
  • - London's bus network is the largest running network with 8000 buses for 24 hours.
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London, England (Densely Populated)


  • - London is a major center of higher education and research.
  • - Many services to entertain citizens and tourists. - West End: "Les Miserables, Mamma Mia, Cats, Phantom of the Opera etc.
  • - Oxford Street (London's busiest shopping street)
  • - "Homeless London" accommodates homeless people in London and puts them in day centers and hostels.
  • There are many museums for tourists/citizens to go to like Ripleys Believe it or Not Museum, Natural History Museum, Madame Tussauds etc.
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Case Study - Gambia, West Africa (Youthful Populat

Population Statistics:

  • - birth rate: 40 per thousand
  • - 11 mothers die per year
  • - infant morality rate: 73 per thousand (1/10 die before the age of five)
  • - life expectancy for male is 53
  • - life expectancy for female is 57
  • - the birth rate doubles every 28 years
  • - In 1990, an average female would have 7 children.
  • - 45% are under 15 years of age.


  • - tradition to have large families
  • - having more children improves a person's status
  • - 95% of the population are Muslims and 8% are Roman Catholics (prevents artificial birth control) (Muslim religion allows polygamy)
  • - adults are growing crops. therefore, they need more children to take over.
  • - women are not educated about sex education and contraception.
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Gambia, West Africa (Youthful Population)


  • - overcrowding in schools
  • - can't afford living space for a large family, good, contraception.
  • - 6 toilets - 1 toilet for 250 people (sanitation is low - spread disease)
  • - 3 thousand and 26 children in a class
  • - lack of teachers (teacher has to spend 12 hours a day)
  • - within 50 years, all the trees will be gone due to overcrowding. (2/3 of the forest is gone)

Attempts being made to reduce Gambia's population?

  • - educating women and girls (61% of girls didn't go to school, now it has doubled.)
  • - contraception is being widely used. during the first month of selling condoms, half a million condoms were already sold. Made contraception affordable.
  • - forest management plan to save the trees.
  • - educate mothers to take care of their well-being
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Case Study - Devon, South-West England (Ageing Pop

Population Statistics:

  • 10 million are 65 and over.
  • life expectancy: 75 years for male
  • life expectancy: 81 for female
  • By 2040, the population of elderly will double.

Causes of an Aging population:

  • amazing scenery attracts elderly as a retirement country
  • better health care and better diet
  • late marriages leads to low birth rate (women are choosing career than family)
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Devon, South-West England (Ageing Population)

Effects: Negative

  • - expensive health care and pension will be needed to support them.
  • - government have to pay off debts for suitable facilities for the elderly, like transport buses (Ring and Ride are popular that the elderly use)
  • - government needs to provide activities to keep them mentally and physically fit (swimming pools, gyms and mental games are provided)


  • - the elderly contributes to the society such as doing volunteer jobs
  • - they aid the economy as 'the grey pound' used by the elderly, which happens to worth 215 billion pounds per year.
  • - elderly spends money on medical attention, transport buses, housing facilities, which helps industries and boost employment.
  • - housing facilities: adding emergency buttons, CCTVs
  • - doctors and hospitals gets more money because people are having monthly check-ups (East Denn Health Authority gets more elderly visits)
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