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Learning Outcomes
You Will Learn:
to describe the change in world
to describe the distribution and density of
world population
to explain the causes, consequences and
responses to high and low rates of
population growth

Living in a Crowded World
High-rise buildings are
common in land-scarce
Tokyo (see picture on
right) as compared low-
rise shop-houses found in
remote Japanese towns
and villages (see picture
on left).
For years, major cities around the world have been
facing increasing population growth.
This has led to overcrowding conditions due to limited
space and resources.
How are the lifestyles of people living, working
and commuting in such cities affected?
World Population Growth
Population growth refers to a change in population
This change can be positive, negative or none at
all. When there is no change in population size, it is
known as zero population growth.
A rapid increase in population is called a
population explosion. The world population has
been increasing at a rapid rate since 1950.
This rate is known as an exponential growth rate.
The graph shows
that population
growth in the world
has been increasing
since 1750.

Factors Affecting World
Population Growth Rate
A rise in birth rates and a fall in death rates can
affect changes in the world population growth

Birth rate refers to the number of live births per 1000
people per year

Death rate refers to the number of deaths per 1000
people per year.

The rate of natural increase will determine the
speed of population growth.
Example 1
Birth rate
(per 1000 people)
Death rate
(per 1000 people)
Rate of natural increase
= Birth rate Death rate
31 11 20 (positive)
22 24 -2 (negative)
23 23 0 (zero)
Example 2
If a country has a population size of 100000 has 800
live births and 150 deaths in a particular year, what is
the birth rate and death rate of the country?

Birth rate = 800/100000 x 1000
= 8 per 1000 people

Death rate = 150/100000 x 1000
= 1.5 per 1000 people

Rate of natural increase = BR DR
= 8 1.5
= 6.5 per 1000 people
Example 3a
Country A has a population of 5 million. In 2014, there
were 60 000 live births and 22 000 deaths.
Calculate the birth rate and death rate in Country A.

Birth Rate = live births/ population x 1000
= 60000/5000000 x 1000
= 12 births per 1000 people per year

Death Rate = deaths /population x 1000
= 22000/5000000 x 1000
= 4.4 deaths per 1000 people per year

Example 3b
Using the birth rate and death rate calculated in Eg
3a, determine the number of births and number of
deaths for a group of 5000 people.

No of births = 12 x 5000/1000
= 60 births
No of deaths = 4.4 x 5000/1000
= 22 deaths
Example 3c
In Country A, there were 4800 immigrants (people entering
the country) and 6200 emigrants (people leaving the
country) in 2014.
Calculate the Net Migration and Net migration Rate

Net migration = immigrants emigrants
= 4800 6200
= -1400 migrants

Net migration rate = net migration/total population x 1000
= -1400/ 5 000 000 x 1000
= -0.28 migrants per 1000 people per year

Example 3d
Using your calculations from Eg 3a, 3b and 3c,
calculate the population growth rate of Country A
in 2014.

Population growth rate
= rate of natural increase + net migration rate
= (BR- DR) + net migration rate
= (12-4.4) + (-0.28)
= 7.32 people per 1000 people per year

Population Distribution
The way in which people are spread out over an
area of land is known as the population distribution.
The population distribution of the world is uneven
with most of the worlds population concentrated
in different parts of Asia, such as China, India and
Indonesia (2005).
Factors affecting population
Physical environment
People tend to live in areas with fertile soil and
where the climate is not extreme.
People do not favour places with climates which
are too hot, too cold or too dry because these
conditions are not suitable for the cultivation of
crops or settlement of human beings.
Harsh environments such as
deserts are not attractive places
to stay because of the hot and
dry climate.
River deltas are usually heavily
populated because fertile sediments
deposited by the river are favourable
for growing crops.
Level of technology
Improvements in technology can enable people to
convert environments which were previously
unsuitable for living into suitable living environments.
For instance, water can be transported to various
places through pipes and canals. This has allowed
people to live in deserts.
Despite Las Vegass dry
climate, technological
advances have allowed the
city to support a large
population and a vibrant
entertainment industry.
Factors affecting population
Population Density
Population density is the number of people living in a
unit area of land.
It is expressed in terms of the number of people per
square kilometre of the land. A dense population
would have more people per square kilometre
compared to a sparse population.
For example, Singapore has a dense population of
about 6 000 people per square kilometre, compared
to Canadas population density of 3 people per
square kilometre.
Population density =
Total number of people
Total land area
Population Density
People are not evenly distributed in a country and
some regions are more crowded than others.
Cities generally have high population densities while
areas such as countrysides and deserts usually have
low population densities.
Countrysides usually have
low population densities
with few people per
square kilometre.
Cities have high
population densities with
high number of people
per square kilometre.
High Rate of Population Growth
A triangular-shaped population
pyramid with a broad base is
characteristic of a country
where the population is growing
rapidly. There are many more
young people than elderly
people and few people are
expected to live up to 80.
Less developed countries with low levels of
economic wealth and poor living conditions usually
experience a high rate of population growth (e.g.
countries found in Africa, South America and some
parts of Asia).
A population pyramid can be used to show the
pattern of population growth. It is a graph that
provides information about the number or
percentage of people in different age groups, and
the proportion of males to females in a place.
High Rate of Population Growth
Causes of a high population growth
There must be a low death rate and a high birth rate to
result in a rapid increase of a population.

Factors that lead to a low death rate
Better medical and health care can result in
improving the survival rate of babies beyond their
first year and thus reducing the infant mortality
rate*. It can also lead to the increase in life
expectancy* of the elderly.
People are less prone to falling
sick and contracting diseases
with better hygiene and
clean living conditions.

Infant mortality rate refers to the number of infants who die
before the age of 1 for every 1000 live births.
Life expectancy refers to the average number of years a
person in a country is expected to live until.

High Rate of Population Growth
High Rate of Population Growth
Factors that lead to a high birth rate
Lack of family planning can result in a couple having
many children. This is especially so in less developed
countries where people are less educated and aware
of family planning methods.

Couples who enter into
early marriages can increase
the number of childbearing
years for the women. This can
result in couples having more
High Rate of Population Growth
Factors that lead to a high birth rate
The preference for sons in some societies (e.g. China and
India) has led to couples continuing to have children until
they succeed in having sons.

The need for farm labour in less developed countries has
resulted in people having large families to provide more
hands to work in the fields.
Consequences of High Rate
of Population Growth
The demand for resources such as food and water
increases with more people. Many less developed
countries often suffer from the shortage of food due to
insufficient production of food.

The higher demand for housing has resulted in
inadequate housing for growing populations in cities of
less developed countries.
Squatter settlements and
make-shift houses have
sprouted around the
outskirts of cities of less
developed countries due
to the lack of proper
High Rate of Population Growth
There are times when rapid population growth can also
lead to intense competition for limited number of jobs.

Environmental problems may arise if there is a lack of
proper waste disposal services to deal with the waste
produced by people.
Waste left
unattended to can
lead to pollution of
the environment and
the deterioration of
living conditions.
High Rate of Population Growth
Actions to control a high rate of population growth

Education and the inculcation of proper family planning
methods can teach couples to control the size of their

Incentives and penalties can be used to control
population growth. For instance, tax subsidies may be
given to couples who have fewer children while those
who have more may be penalised with higher taxes.

Chinas One Child Policy which was implemented in
1979 used such methods by fining couples who had more
than one child while providing education and housing
subsidies to those who complied with the policy.
Low Rate of Population Growth
A beehive-shaped population pyramid is characteristic of a country
where the population is growing very slowly. The number of youth and
children are decreasing as people are having less children. Many
people can expect to live up to 80 or longer.
Developed countries with high levels of economic
wealth and living conditions usually experience a low
rate of population growth (e.g. Japan and the
United Kingdom).
Low Rate of Population Growth
Causes of a low rate of population growth
Countries that experience a low rate of population
growth usually experience a low death rate as well as a
low birth rate.

Factors that lead to a low death rate
People living in countries with high standards of
hygiene are less prone to diseases associated with
unhygienic living conditions (e.g. cholera).

People living in developed countries have higher
levels of income and are able to afford better nutrition
and do not suffer from food shortages.

People are able to enjoy longer and healthier lives
with better medical and health care.
Low Rate of Population Growth
Factors that lead to a low birth rate
Couples who enter into late marriages tend to have
fewer children because they are left with fewer years to
have babies.
As more people choose to remain single, fewer
marriages can result in fewer families and a fall in birth
There is an increasing trend of people in developed
countries who prefer to have smaller families. This is
attributed to the increase in cost of living and raising
The difficulties of
balancing between
work and family life
have led to couples
preferring to have fewer
Low Rate of Population Growth
Consequences of a low rate of population growth
Such countries will face an ageing population. The
burden on the working population will increase as there
are more elderly, and fewer youths joining the

A shrinking population will result in fewer people in the
workforce. This will in turn lead to higher taxes on each
working person to fund public amenities and projects.

There will be a smaller talent pool to lead and serve the
country. This problem will be further worsened for
countries which already have small populations
(e.g. Singapore).
Low Rate of Population Growth
Actions to manage a low rate of population growth
Encouraging marriage and childbearing can increase
birth rates. For instance, the Singapore government
gives incentives in the form of tax rebates to couples
who have more children.
The needs of an ageing population,
which is a consequence of a low rate
of population growth, have to be met.
These include building special facilities
for the elderly and encouraging their
families to care for them.
There is an increased need to build special facilities
such as specialised hospitals to treat illnesses
associated with the elderly and homes catering to the
Low Rate of Population Growth
The elderly need to be kept healthy and active. In
Singapore, there are exercise classes and courses for
lifelong learning at community centres available.

To reduce the burden on the working population to
support the elderly, the retirement age can be raised to
extend the working life.

There is also a need to encourage financial planning.
This is a form of early planning to ensure people have
enough financial resources when they retire to meet
their lifes goals.