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Population Geography Chapter 2
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Population Geography

Chapter 2

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PopulationPopulation• Demographics is the

study of human population distribution and migration.

• Key Issues of Demographics are:– Food Supply– Health and life

expectancy– Status of women– Migration

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People are NOT distributed evenly across the Earth. Population is clustered in the mid latitude climates and

relatively sparse in the dry and polar climates or the highlands.

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• Distribution- ¾ of the world’s population lives on only 5% of the land. Very uneven distribution was intensified in the 20th cent. as population soared. 2/3 of the pop. lives near an ocean or river.

• Carrying capacity-the number of people that can be supported in an area given the technology of production.

• Density-the measure of the number of people per square mile/kilometer, etc.– Arithmetic density-total number of people

divided by the total land area. It is the most common statistic given.

– Physiologic density-is the number of people per unit of arable (farmable) land.

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World Population Density

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Physiologic Population Density –

number of people per unit area of agriculturally productive land (takes this map into account).

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Physiologic Population Density Luxor,Egypt. Egypt’s arable lands Egypt’s arable lands are along the Nile are along the Nile River Valley.River Valley.

Moving away from the Moving away from the river a few blocks, the river a few blocks, the land becomes sandy land becomes sandy and wind-sculpted.and wind-sculpted.

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World Population CartogramCountries named have at least 50 million

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SE Asia

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Major Population Concentrations• East Asia-1/4 of the

world’s population is here-China with 1.3 billion.

• There are ribbon like extensions in China along the Chang and Huang rivers, but most live on the east coast.

• Other areas include Japan, Korea and Vietnam.

• Most people are farmers, not city dwellers.

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Asia• India has reached

1 billion and rising.• China imposed 1

child policy in the 1980s and growth rate dropped from 1.2% to 1% by late 1990s, but has 1.3 billion.

• East Asia as a whole has a growth rate of .9% which is half the rate of 20 years ago.

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Major PopulationPopulation Concentrations• South Asia-the 2nd major

population cluster.

• Like East Asia there are finger-like extension of dense pop. that follows the Ganges and Indus rivers.

• There are 1.5 billion in South Asia and India recently passed the 1 billion mark.

• Bangladesh (size of Iowa) with 125 million.

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Major PopulationPopulation Concentrations• Europe-the 3rd in population

with 700 million.• Europe is very urbanized

with 75% to 90% living in cities.

• Europe’s population distribution is not closely tied to terrain, but more closely tied to coal fields.

• Population density varies from the highest in the Netherlands to very low in Iceland.

Closely spaced houses inAmsterdam, Netherlands

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Major PopulationPopulation Concentrations• North America- East Central

US and SE Canada equals ¼ the size of the smallest Eurasian concentration.

• Unlike Europe, North America has large areas of sparsely populated regions.

• Megalopolis Boston to Washington, D.C. which includes New York, Philadelphia and Boston.

• Other major population concentrations: Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Skyscrapers of ManhattanNew York

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• Demographic Change is calculated by looking at the original population, adding births, subtracting deaths, adding immigrants and subtracting emigrants to equal total population.

• Or OP = B – D + I – E = TP

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Population Growth• From Dawn of

History to 1820 to reach 1 billion

• 1820-1930 to reach 2 billion

• 1970s only 12 years to add another billion.

• Then a decade for another billion.

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World Population Growth –Rate of natural increase (does not take

into account immigration and emigration).

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Today, the pace of world population growth is slowing. Where have Total Fertility Rates (TFRs) fallen below

replacement level and why?

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• 80 million people added to the world pop. each year.• Demographers estimate growth will stabilize in the 21st

cent.• Doubling time-the number of years needed to double

a population-divide the % of increase by 70 to get doubling time in years.

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Geography of DemographyGeography of Demography• India has explosive

growth in Assam (northeast) & those states that border Bangladesh on the Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin.

• India will overtake China as the most population nation-1.9% growth with 18 m. added each year.

• Population planning began in the 1950s with little money.

• 1960s more serious efforts

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Geography of DemographyGeography of Demography• State of Maharashatra

planned to sterilize anyone with over 3 children-a riot erupted-plan was dropped.

• Today advertising to encourage families to have fewer children-a low key, noncompulsory approach.

• Some Indian states have over 100 m. more than many countries

• Religious diversity makes a national population policy difficult

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Maharashtra, India. A sign reads “free family planning

sterlization operation” closed in 1996.

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World Birth Rate – number of births in a year per 1,000


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World Mortality Rate – number of deaths in a year per 1,000


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South America

• Brazil has dropped its growth rate from 2.9% to 1.3% in 30 years.

• Argentina, Chile and Uruguay are well below the world growth rate.

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• In 1798 he published An Essay on the Principle of Population

• Malthus was the first to sound the alarm that the world’s population was expanding more rapidly than food production.

• He was the first to recognize exponential or geometric population growth.

• Today those who share his concerns are Neo-Malthusians

Rev. Thomas Malthus 1766-1834

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• Demographic cycles of population growth– Stage 1 High Stationary Growth with high birth rates 40/1000 or

higher and high death rates.

– Stage 2 Early Expanding with high birth rates and declining death rates (birth 40s/death 20/1000) = rapid growth in pop.

– Stage 3 Late Expanding with declining birth rates (30s) and low death rates (10) = still significant growth

– Stage 4 Low Stationary has low birth rates and low death rates (birth 15 and death 10 or lower) SPL Stationary Population Level

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The Demographic Transition

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Second Agricultural Revolution and Industrial Revolution

• 18th century gains in agricultural production:– Crop yields improved with better farming methods– New crops such as potatoes, turnips and alfalfa– Storage and distribution improved which alleviated

famines and shortages.

• Industrial Revolution was also a factor:– Improved sanitation– Improved medical care– Disease prevention such as smallpox vaccine

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• Crude death rate-the number of deaths per 1,000 each year.

• Crude birth rate-the number of births per 1,000 each year.

• Natural increase (NIR)rate-the % by which a population grows in a year. Computed by subtracting the % of CBR-CDR.

• Total Fertility Rate (TFR) the number of children born to women of childbearing age-usually reported as a percentage.

• Dependency ratio-the number of people who are too young or too old to work compared to the number of people old enough to work.

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Crude Death Rates

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Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 2.1 to 2.5 children per woman is considered “replacement level.”

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• Maternal mortality ratio is the greatest health disparity between the developed and developing countries.

• The World Health Organization reports that 600,000 women die each year from complications of pregnancy.

• Social, cultural and economic barriers prevent women in the developing countries from receiving proper health care.

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Population Pyramids –

Charts that show the percentages of each age group in the total population, divided by gender.

For poorer countries, the chart is shaped like a pyramid. Infant mortality rates are high, life expectancy is shorter.

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• Population Pyramids-display a country’s population in a bar graph form.

• Each 5 year group with the youngest 0-4 years old at the base of the pyramid are called cohorts.

• Males are shown on the left side and females are shown on the right.

• A wide-based pyramid indicates a country in Stage 2 of the Demographic transition.

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Population Pyramids

Charts that show the percentages of each age group in the total population, divided by gender.

For wealthier countries, the chart is shaped like a lopsided vase. Population is aging, TFRs are declining.

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• Four Patterns of Population Structure• Each nation faces different problems due to a large

base with many young or negative growth.

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In poorer countries, Infant Mortality Rates are usually high, which is reflected in the

pyramid shape.

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In poorer countries, Life Expectancy is usually shorter, which is also reflected in the

pyramid shape.

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Affect of AIDS on population pyramid for

South Africa.

Predicted population for 2035, without and with


With AIDS, looks like a population “chimney.”

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AIDS is leaving large numbers of AIDS orphans.

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• 1995 Population Pyramids reflect the economic prosperity of Western Europe and the less developed countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. In the mid-1990s almost 50% of Africa’s population was under 15 years of age.

• By contrast the number of people 65 and older in Western Europe is 5 times that of sub-Saharan Africa.

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Age Structure of a PopulationAge Structure of a Population

• The populations of many countries are aging.

- eg. Europe

- eg. Japan

Bordeaux, France

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Population PoliciesPopulation Policies

• Under Mao, China refused to cooperate in pop. Control-viewed it as a “capitalist plot”

• Soviets in 1970s promoted population growth due to the loss of 26 million in WWII, Stalin exterminated another 30 million farmers, political opponents, etc.-gave awards for women with 10 or more kids.

• US Reagan, a conservative, refused to support family planning

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Population PoliciesPopulation Policies

• Expansive Policies or Pro-Natalist policies encourage large families e.g. Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, Soviet Union & Ceausescu’s Romania & Mao’s China.

• Eugenic Population Policy-Nazi Germany favored “Aryans” over mentally ill or other undesirables.

• The Nazis tried to breed the super race of Nordic or Aryan types.

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Population PoliciesPopulation Policies

• Restrictive or Anti-Natalist Policies discourage births.

• Policies vary- e.g. despite Vatican policies, most Catholic Italians practice artificial birth control-Philippines (only Asian Catholic country) a different case-govt. restricts birth control.

• Some countries have learned that industrialization & urbanization do as much as government policy in controlling births.

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Geography of DemographyGeography of Demography• Mao Zedong encouraged

population growth-after his death Deng Xiaping called for control

• 1979 launched the One Child Policy with goal of stabilizing at 1.2 billion by end of 20th cent.

• 1970s growth rate 2.4%• 1985 growth rate 1.1%• After 1982 more serious

enforcement-mandatory contraception after 1st child.

• If a 2nd child was born-parents were sterilized.

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China’s One Child PolicyChina’s One Child Policy

What are some of the limitations, unintended consequences, and contradictions found in government policies toward population


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Geography of DemographyGeography of Demography• Recognized minorities (3%)

of pop. were exempt• Many rural Chinese defied

rule, hid pregnant women, failed to register births, prevented inspectors from visiting rural villages.

• Government took drastic action:– Violators were fired– Land was confiscated– Lost all benefits– Pregnant women were arrested

& forced to have abortions

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Geography of DemographyGeography of Demography• First 6 years 70 million

abortions • 1980s about 20 million

sterilizations a year-3X as many women as men.

• Party Members were birth control police-got cash and promotion for enforcing the laws.

• 1984 One Child Policy was relaxed in the countryside-a couple with a daughter-2nd child after 4 years.

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Geography of DemographyGeography of Demography• Corruption a major problem-

permitted to evade rule-bribe.• Fertility rates are rising as the

rules are relaxed.• One Child Policy was

practical-but rural tradition opposed the rule

• Drive for Zero Population Growth eroded the traditions of Chinese society.

• Female infanticide a common occurrence.

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Population ofGermany, 1989

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• Attendants or “pushers” on the Japan Train system.

• Despite having a declining population, Japan has a very high population density.

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Low Growth in DenmarkLow Growth in Denmark

Since the 1970s, with little population growth since then. Its 1970s, with little population growth since then. Its population pyramid shows increasing numbers of elderly population pyramid shows increasing numbers of elderly

and few children.and few children.

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• Japan has a problem of an aging population & low birth rates.

• Japanese govt. bars immigration of foreign workers-solution automation-but it won’t solve the problem of an aging population.

• Singapore imposed a campaign of sterilization & abortion to curb growth-it worked.

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