World Population Growth

• • Global population is almost 6.5 billion o 3 billion people in their reproductive years 50 million abortions in the world per year o 1/4 pregnancies in developed countries end in abortion The Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich, 1960s o Predicted hundreds of millions of people would die in the 70s and 80s o Need for population control o Predictions weren’t true Thomas Malthus’s (demographer) predictions in 1798 o Only finite population could be supported o Human population increases in geometric progression o Food production increases in arithmetic progression o Result: a) preventative checks (eg fewer children per family); b) famine, disease, war o Predictions weren’t true Predictions about the earth’s carrying capacity o Ravenstein (6 billion) in 1891, Penck (7.7-9.5 billion), Pearson and Harper, Gilland, etc. o Julian Simon: no limit Rate of population increase has begun to slow Death rate: proportion of the population that dies in a particular year Infant mortality rate: death rate of young children (under 5) Average life expectancy: number of years that a child born in a certain country can expect to live Since 1820, decrease in death rates has been much sharper: main cause of population growth Greater increase in life expectancy in developed countries than in less developed countries since 1820 Population growth unevenly distributed o 90% of future population increase will be in developing countries o Greatest increase has been and will be in Asia, smallest in Europe o Africa will double its population in 25 years o 20% of world population lives in developed countries, will drop to 16% in 2020 o 74 countries will double their populations in 30 years or less o These countries have a large population base, and more women are entering their reproductive years Annual number of births worldwide is 132 million Over the next generation, more people entering their reproductive years than leaving that phase of life

• • •


• •

Population structure

• • • •
• • • •

Population structure: age and sex distribution of the population Population pyramids, or age-sex diagrams: number or proportion of each age group shown as horizontal bars, male usually on the left LEDCs: Less Economically Developed Countries MEDCs: More Economically Developed Countries LEDCs have population structure with wider base, MEDCs have narrower base Fertility rates: average number of births per woman Replacement level is 2.1 children per woman Fertility rates have fallen everywhere (eg 6.7 to 3.1 in Bangladesh) Africa: 5.3 births/woman; South central Asia: 3.8 births/woman; World: 2.8 births/woman

• •

19 countries with below-replacement fertility rate in 1970, 51 in 1997 Concerns over population “implosion” Declining population (eg in Europe)  more strain on social security and pension funds Dependency ratio: # of dependent people x 100 / # of people of working age o For every 100 working people, the number of people dependent on them Working age: 15-65

• •

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful