GCSE Revision - Population - Change


Important Facts

  • The world's population is growing rapidly.

  • Every day the global population grows by 225 000 - more than 82 million a year or by more than 3 every second.

  • This rapid population growth is comparatively recent. Having reached its first billion in the early 1800's the global population now stands at over 6 billion.

  • Population growth will continue well into this century and is estimated to stabilise at about 8 - 12 billion

  • The greatest amount of growth is in the less developed world


The Demographic Transition Model

  • The demographic transition model describes what has happened to birth and death rates in MEDC's since 1800 and is based on the UK. It has five stages.

  • Not all countries go through the five stages as is the case with many LEDC's.

  • Most countries can be allocated to a stage of the model and this can also indicate the countries state of development.

  • As well as economic development, other important influences affecting population growth include social, religious, political and environmental factors.

Stage 1

High birth rates and high death rates, so lo natural increase and little population growth. Very few, if any populations in stage 1 now

Stage 3

Lower death rates and the birth rates start to fall. The population growth rate starts to slow down. The birth rate starts to fall because of family planning, improved medical care and women marrying later.

Stage 2

High Birth rates but as death rates fall population grows rapidly - Main reasons -

  • No birth control

  • High infant death rates

  • More children to work on farms

  • Religious beliefs

  • Improved medical care

  • More vaccinations, hospitals etc

  • Cleaner water supplies/sewage

  • Improved Food supplies

Stage 4

Low birth and death rates. A low natural increase and steady population. Most MEDC's are at this stage

Stage 5

The birth rate falls below the death rate and the population decreases. Countries such as Spain, Italy, Japan and Britain are in this stage.

Links - Revision Video

  • Population Change

  • Population Boom

  • Population Web site - Excellent for pop change - just click on the link below
    6 billion Human Beings

Common Questions

  • Describe and explain the problems associated with rapid population growth

  • Why does the birth rate vary in different parts of the world

  • Give the main features of a country in stage 3 of the Demographic Transition Model