Populations in Transition - CASE STUDIES

Case studies useful for Core Topic 1 - Populations in Transition

  • Created by: Meredith
  • Created on: 05-04-13 18:03

Youth Bulge - The Ivory Coast

1960's improvements in service, like health care, = population explosion

  • Lack of school spaces and resources = more children selling water on streets than in school
  • Pupil teacher ratio 1:76
  • The educated are leaving rural areas but no jobs in the cities
  • Not enough University spaces

= Forming rebel groups like the GPP (Group for Patriotism and Peace)

--> Young people = highly aspirational

--> ICT & Communications makes them aware of poor quality of education in their country

--> Results in violence and turning to drugs

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Ageing Populations - JAPAN

Since 1945 increasingly ageing - birth rates and death reates declining!

Currently 15% = +65  --> By 2020 it will be 25%


  • inadequate nursing facilities
  • depletion of labour force --> Japanese businesses moving abroad
  • high costs of funding pensions and healthcare
  • falling demand for schools and teachers
  • increase burden on working population
  • need for in-migration of workers


  • Increased friendship + social bonds
  • Many continue to work - especially in fields
  • " Grey economy" - spending power

N.B. Disney World have special yearly passes for elderly! :)

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Ageing Populations - UK

By 2014 there will be more over 65's than under-16's

  • Life expectancy increasing --> living longer and having fewer children
  • Dependancy ratio is rising , causing concerns....
  • Harder to maintain living standards for dependant population
  • Workforce = put under strain
  • Widening gap between have and have-nots

SO had to - 

  • Raise retirement age
  • Younger people having to pay into personal pension schemes
  • People having to care more for elderly 

Although there are some benefits...

  • Eldery = spending power
  • 35% of people 75+ volunteer to help others
  • Market in 'late love' dating websites
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Migration - POLAND ==> UK

WHY are Polish moving to the UK?

  • Creation of the EU - allows free movement and employment within EU
  • UK did not place limits on number of Polish immigrants
  • English already second language of many
  • UK skills shortage - lack of manual labourers
  • Up to 5 times higher wage in UK + high unemployment in Poland
  • Better technology and communications e.g. Skype make travel easier + cheaper transports


  • Work for less money and longer hours 
  • Available workforce + fill skills gap  
  • Strong work ethic 


  • - Perception of 'taking jobs' 
  • - low wages -> UK mortgages = house share
  • - discrimination = social instability
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CHINA : Rural - Urban Migration

1979 China established 4 SEZ's --> received most investment - economic boom

Why are people moving to the city?

  • Inland rural areas received little investment - underdeveloped with harsh conditions
  • Surplus of labour in countryside - 600 million farmers but only 170 million needed to farm --> Due to MECHANISATION
  • Relaxation of rules - used to not be allowed to move away from birth neighbourhood
  • Effects on RURAL areas:
  • Remittances = more money in rural economy
  • Fewer people = less resource pressure
  • Old and women remain - land cultivated less efficiently - future of agriculture?
  • 'Host generation' - parents leaving children --> social issues
  • Effects on URBAN areas:
  • Cheap labour available fuelling growing economy and manufacturing
  • Spreading urbanisation of rural and coastal areas - infrastructural improvements
  • Loss of culture and history 
  • Overcrowding + lack of resources
  • Pollution: especially air in Beijing
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Reducing Gender Inequalities - Zambia

Chikumbuso Widows CentreHelp for HIV positive Women and Children

Take plastic bags and crochet / weave them into art 

e.g. bags, wallets, phone holders

Products sold domestically and internationally

  • Profit shared between maker , centre and the rest of the widows
  • Making the women self - sufficient 
  • Creating community bonds
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Refugees - ZIMBABWE

People fleeing from Zimbabwe to SOUTH AFRICA

What conflict are they fleeing?

  • Economic collapse + Political violence under Mugabe - Secret Police - beating people
  • Facing extreme hunger after crop failure

Impacts on the refugees?

  • Often no belongings, no shelter or employment
  • Targeted by locals who fear unemployment - violence
  • Sexual predators  and robbers on borders taking advantage of illegal immigrant status
  • People fear to go to hospitals and doctors in case they are arrested = bad health

Impacts on South Africa?

  • Under pressure to accommodate refugees and pressure Zimbabwe to resolve issues
  • Pressures on resources + overcrowding
  • Churches housing people and being used as classrooms
  • Looking very permanent!
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Anti-Natal Policy - CHINA

China's one-child Policy - Imposed 1979

People only allowed one child - few exceptions: if both parents are only children, if one child died in sichuan earthwuake

One child given free nursery at work

If you have a second child, you must pay back all costs of first child e.g. healthcare

Has dramatically reduced bith rates :D 33-17/1000


  • Girls being abandoned and neglected : people value males more highly --> can work
  • Only children - having social issues / communication problems
  • Highlights wealth gap : rich families can afford feed : poorer families protesting
  • Future problems : high dependancy ratio, not enough children to care for elderly
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Pro-Natal Policy : FRANCE & ROMANIA

FRANCE : 1939 - 'Code de Famille'  --> Sucess: France = second highest birth rate in Europe

  • Cash incentives + subsidised holidays 
  • Banned contraception untill 1967
  • Total 26 months parental leaves
  • More money for those families with 3 children
  • Childcare facilities subsidised by government
  • 16-26 paid maternity leave

ROMANIA: 1960 reached near 0 population growth

  • 1966 government banned abortion on demand
  • People who remained childless after age 25 taxed 10-20% of income
  • Divorce made more difficult
  • Family allowances raised + monetary prizes on birth of 3rd child

Initially a success: in first year live births increased 92.8%

BUT - success was short lived: Police relaxed control, abortions increased + incentives weren't enough to sustain rate of incresae

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Moroccan Family Law - Gender Inequalities

Family law drafted in 1957 - Women subordinate to men

Recently Moroccan Civil Society becoming more organzied and aware - campaigns to raise awareness of womens rights

Progrees was slow, but in 2004 campaign to reform the Family Law approved:

  • Husband and wife share joint responsibility for family
  • Wife has no legal abligations to obey husband
  • Men and Women have right to divorce
    • Women can also now have right of custody of children
  • Men and women legal age of marriage = 18
  • In marriage contract women can impose condition that husband cannot take other wives
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Mr A Gibson


Great resource covering all aspects of Population issues in the form of succinct and accurate case studies. Use for exam preparation for any specification's population section.

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