Population Growth

Population Growth Photo Credit: Clipart


This sheet provides suggested answers for the question which the students will be answer as they conduct the activities on the Population Growth student sheet.

Group 1

1. What factors influence a country’s population growth rate? (Births, deaths, and people migrating to and from the country affect a country’s population growth rate.)

2. Which income group makes up the majority of the population in all the years shown in Chart 1? Why do you think this is the case? (Low-income. Until society changes drastically worldwide, a few people will continue to have most of the wealth and the majority, little, no matter how the
population changes.)

3. Which income group will stay about the same from 1980 to 2015? What economic and social
factors play a part? (High-income people. The rich tend to have fewer children than poor and
middle-income people and will have relatively fewer as general birth rates decline.)

4. Which income group is projected to show the most population growth from 1980 to 2015? What economic and social factors play a part? (Low-income people. Even as the population growth rate has been decreasing in these countries, the number of people added to the population each year has been increasing because the population base has become larger.)

5. Based on Chart 2, which income group will cut its growth rate about in half between 1980 and
2015? How will this affect the total world population? (High-income. This large decline will not have much effect on the total population, since low- and middle-income people account for almost 90% of the growth.)

6. What is happening to the average annual population growth rate in low- and middle-income
countries over time? (It is decreasing.)

7. Why are birth rates declining for people at all income levels? (People have access to family
planning and are having fewer children because they realize that better health will ensure that
most of their children survive. Also, women are putting off childbearing to have careers, and so are having fewer children overall.)

Group 2

1. What is population momentum and how does it affect population growth? (Population
momentum occurs when a large percentage of the population is of childbearing age. It accelerates population growth, even if fertility rates are low.)

2. Based on Charts 3.1 and 3.2, what age constitutes the greatest percentage of the population in low-income economies? In high-income economies? (0–19; 30-49)

3. At what age does the gender balance of populations change? What is the effect of income at
that age? (75 and over. The elderly population of high-income economies is predominantly

4. Compare and contrast the age composition between low-income and high-income economies in 2000 and 2030. What are the differences between the two? Are there any similarities? (In low income countries, a large percentage of the overall population is under age 30, so the largest portion of the population is either in childbearing years or will soon enter childbearing years. In high-income countries, the largest segments of the population are middle-aged or older, and have either moved beyond childbearing years or will soon do so.)

5. How does having a mostly young population affect a country? Having a mostly elderly
population? (In both situations, a relatively small percentage of working people must support a
dependent population.)

6. What are the effects of migration and urbanization on a country? (Both migration and
urbanization can burden governments to provide for increased populations and deal with
conditions such as overcrowding, crime, and pollution in growing cities.)

Group 3

1. What effect does increasing population have on the GNP per capita? (It decreases, since the
wealth is distributed among more people.)

2. How might a growing population limit access to safe water? (More households and businesses compete for limited resources.)

3. What connection might there be between population growth and deforestation? (People may cut trees for fuel, building, and clearing land for crops.)

4. What other harmful effects might increasing population have on the environment?
(Desertification and pollution are some other harmful effects.)

5. What social strategies might help countries limit population growth? (Social strategies may
include access to family planning and healthcare; education, especially for women; and
government social services for the young, sick, and elderly.)

This teacher sheet is a part of the Population Dynamics lesson.

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