Population policies

  • examples of national policies
  • migration controls and schemes
HideShow resource information


A varitey of social policies aimed at the control of population growth have been established around the world:

  • policies that aim to tackle rapid population growth by reducing fertility are known as anti-natalist. An example is the Chinese one-child policy. Family planning programmes are usually the main stratergy.
  • for economic and political reasons, a few countries have pro-natalist policies designed to increase the population. Examples include France after the Second World War and Russia and Romania in the 1980s. These policies may be either voluntary or imposed on the people.
  • other countries try to manage population numbers by controlling immigration (e.g. Australia and the USA) or by encouraging emigration (e.g. Phillippines) or transmigration (e.g. Indonesia).
  • many countries that do not have population policies try to influence fertility indirectly through fiscal measures sich as child allowances and tax concessions for young married couples.
1 of 5

Examples of national policies

Thailand - In 1969, women in Thailand averaged 6.5 children each, 16% of the population used contraception and population growth was 3% each year. The government tried to reduce the birth rate through nationwide family-planning programme that began in 1970. It included free contraception, trained family-planning specialists and government campaigns, especially among rural communities. By 1999, contraceptives were being used by 72% of people, women averaged 1.7 children and population growth was only 0.8% a year. The policy is community based rather than coercive.

The Philipinnes - Opposition to birth control from the Roman Catholic Church (83% of the population are catholics) has countered government encouragement of contraceptive use in the Philipinnes. In 1999, only 47% of the population used contraceptives and the population growth rate was 1.7% per year. Women now average 3.4 children each and the population is expected to double by 2027. The government is seeking to increase food production through the Green Revolution, while at the same time not discouraging the out migration of labour to Singaport, Malaysia and the UK.

2 of 5

Migration controls and schemes - Immigration contr

In some parts of the world, migration means by which populations can be managed, either by preventing people entering a country (e.g. immigration controls on the USA-Mexico border), or by moving people from an overpopulated area to an underpopulated area (e.g. transmigration is Indonesia).

Immigration controls

The border between the USA and Mexico is the most closely monitored in the world. Everyday, 800,000 people arrive in the USA from Mexico. In 2001, over 300 million two-way border crossings took place at 43 crossing points. In the same year there were over 19 million predestrian crossings in Texas alone.

There are currently around 9150 border patrol agents working along the 3200km border. After the events of 9/11, President Bush asked Congress to approve the funding for an additional 280 border-patrol agents in 2002.

3 of 5

Migration controls and schemes - Immigration contr

The US Immigration and Naturalization Service has four operations to apprehend unauthorised border crossers as part of its southwest border-control stratergy: Operation Rio Grande in El Paso and Operation Safegaurd in Tucson. They use electronic detection devices and heat sensors, night vision telescopes, ground vehicles and aircraft, including Black Hawk helicopters.

In 2000, over 1.6 million immigrants were caught on the border, 100000 more than in 1999. This includes those who may have been caught several times.

Elsewhere in the world, policies that have been introduced to deal with the number of migrants include:

  • limiting the number of migrant workers at source - for example by making it more difficult to satisfy visa requirements.
  • insisting on pre-boarding arranagement - for example return ticket.
  • preventing illegal crossings - for example sea controls between Florida and Cuba.
4 of 5

Migration controls and schemes - Immigration contr

  • returning ineligible asylum seekers immediatley and requiring the carrier to pay for the return.
  • fast-track procedures to enable entry for genuine asylum seekers.
  • the use of holding bases in third countries where checks are made on visas - as used by Germany in collaborations with Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic.
  • proposals to charge people who have foreign visitors a deposit that is returnable once thier guests have gone home.
5 of 5


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all Population change and migration resources »