THE IMPLICATIONS OF POPULATION CHANGE
Optimum population is the population size at which the quality of life of the people of a country or region is the highest possible, at a given level of technological development. It is the best possible balance between people and resources.
Overpopulation is where an increase in population reduces the average quality of life of the population. There are too many people in the area relative to resources and level of technology locally available. Overpopulation is characterised by low per capita income, high unemployment and outward migration.
Underpopulation is where an increase in population size would increase the quality of life. There are too few people in an area to use resources efficiently for a given level of technology. Underpopulation is characterised by low high per capita incomes (though not maximum), low unemployment and inward migration.
The global carrying capacity is the maximum number of people the world can support given the level of technology available.
A youthful population is where a high proportion of the population are under 15s.
- High birth and fertility rates
- More money has to be spent on education
- There is a shortage of resources and jobs
- Pressure grows on the healthcare system, housing and food supplies
- There is further potential for population growth as the children reach reproductive age
- There is the possibility of a demographic dividend - where, if the country can develop, the large work force will attract investors and boost development in the country
Where the median age of the population rises.
- Increased life expectancy
- Reduction in birth rates
- The government needs to introduce pensions
- Effective long-term medical care needs to be put in place
- There needs to be more retirement homes and care homes
- There is a smaller proportion of taxpayers
- There's less money to spend on education
- Labour shortages
- 'Grey vote' - the greater proportion of elderly leads to them having more say in politics
- 'Grey euro' - affluent pensioners spend money
- 'Nightclubs to bingo halls' - changing nature of services to cater for elderly
Solutions to an ageing population:
- Raise taxes to solve problem of less taxpayers
- Raise retirement age to solve…