NOTES - populations in transition

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Paper 1 - populations in transition


Explain population trends and patterns in births (Crude Birth Rate), natural increase and mortality (Crude Death Rate, infant and child mortality rates), fertility and life expectancy in contrasting regions of the world.


Crude birth rate = number of births per 1000 population in a given year

·       MEDC: High birth rates

·       LEDC: Falling birth rates


Crude death rate = number of deaths per 1000 population in a given year


Infant mortality rate = number of deaths per 1000 children under 1 year old


Child mortality rate = number of deaths per 1000 children under 5 years old

·       MEDC: Low infant mortality, access to medical care and nutrition

·       LEDC: High infant mortality, disease and malnutrition


Life expectancy = the average number of years a person can expect to live

·       MEDC: High life expectancy, medical care, high standards of living

·       LEDC: Low life expectancy, high infant mortality, disease,


Fertility rate: number of live per 1000 women (aged 15-49) per year


Total fertility rate: Average number of children per woman

·       MEDC: Low fertility (Contraception, women working, smaller families)

·       LEDC: high fertility (no contraception, need of children to work, young population)


Analyse population pyramids. Explain population momentum and its impact on population projections.


Carrying capacity = the largest population an environment can support


LEDC population pyramid

·       High infant and child mortality (poor sanitation, poverty, disease)

·       High birth rate (no birth control)

·       Small older population (war, disease, no medical care)


MEDC population pyramid

·       Low birth rate

·       low infant mortality

·       Increased life expectancy, larger number of older people


Population momentum: populations have a tendency for growth to continue beyond replacement level fertility

·       Global population has an annual growth of 1.2%, despite declining fertility rates

·       Due to large proportion of people in child-bearing years from past high fertility rates


Population projection: A prediction of future population changes based on current trends of mortality, fertility and migration. The UN uses assumptions (e.g. that fertility will naturally fall and stabilize at replacement level)

·       Used to inform government spending and predict population crisis (famine etc.)



Explain dependency and ageing ratios. Examine the impacts of youthful and ageing populations.


Dependency ratios

·       The ratio of dependents to the economically active

o   Old dependents: People aged over 65, usually retired

o   Young dependents: People under 16, cared for at home or at school

o   Economically active: people aged 16-65, usually working and paying taxes.

Factors contributing to high dependency ratios

·       Increasing life expectancy

·       Falling death rates

·       Rising birth rates

·       Immigration of dependents

·       Emigration of the economically active (brain drain)


Ageing ratio: The proportion of people over the age


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