Geography - Unit 2 - Topic 1 - Population Dynamics

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  • Created by: Lalala
  • Created on: 08-06-11 13:39

Global population growth

Population growth rates have fallen from 2.1% per year to 1.95% per year.  It took 118 years from 1804 for population to double from 1 billion to 2 billion.  The rate of population growth is predicted to slow down.  Zero population growth may be reached as early as 2020 or not after 2060.

NATURAL CHANGE - depends on birth rate and death rate!

If immigrants (incomers) exceed emigrants (outgoers), then there will be a gain in the country's population!

The more birth rate exceeds the death rate, the higher the rate of natural increase.  A rise in the rate of natural increase has a multiplier effect and adds even more population growth.

Population growth

Most responsible for rising rate of population growth has been the fall in the death rate.  Birth rate has also been decreasing.

Fall in mortality due to...

  • development of modern medicines
  • introduction of vaccination and immunisation programmes
  • better healthcare - more hospitals
  • more hygienic housing
  • cleaner drinking water
  • better sewage disposal
  • better diet
  • reduction in infant mortality!!

Demographic Transition Model


  • High death rates and birth rates, which fluctuate.
  • High birth rate because little or no birth control, high infant mortality rate and children seen as an asset and status symbol.
  • High death rate because high infant mortality, more disease, famine, poor housing and hygiene, no healthcare.


  • High birth rates, falling death rates.  Population increases rapidly.
  • Falling death rates because lower infant mortality, improved healthcare and hygiene, better nutrition, safer water and better waste disposal.


  • Falling birth rates and death rates.
  • Rate of natural increase lessens.
  • Falling birth rate - birth control, preferences for smaller families, expense of bringing up children, low infant mortality rate.


  • Low birth rate and death rates.
  • Natural change hovers between increase and decrease.
  • Population 'greys' - becomes older.
  • Low death rate - improving healthcare.
  • Low birth rate - birth control, more working women delaying age at which wanting to start a family.

Stage 5 - DECLINE

  • Death rate slightly EXCEEDS birth rate!
  • Natural increase = decline in population.
  • Population becomes even 'greyer'.
  • Modern medicine - keeps elderly alive.
  • Fewer people between age 15-50 - reproductive age range.
  • Only some European countries reach this stage.

Population structure

Most important characteristics of population - age and gender!  On population pyramid male population is on one side and female population is on the other side.  A vertical axis is divided up into age groups, usually of five years.  Horizontal bar shows number of males or females in a particular age group.  The bar is drawn proportional in length to either the number/percentage of all males or females in that age group.  Overall the shape of the pyramid tells us about the present balance between different age groups and between males and females.





omgg this is really useful! x

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