Population1 - Thinking about The Geography of Population A...

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Thinking about The Geography of Population “A study of population is the basis for understanding a wide variety of issues in human geography. To study the challenge of increasing the food supply, reducing pollution, and encouraging economic growth, geographers must ask where and why a region’s population is distributed as it is.”
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Birth Schooling Childbearing Death Marriage Occupational Choices Retirement Demography (demos = people, graphy = writing)
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Samuel Preston A couple of simple questions • When did the population of the world reach 1 billion? 4 billion? 6 billion • How long do you think it will take to add another billion? • How fast is the world’s population growing? • Is it better to have a planet with 2 billion happy people or one with 12 billion living a difficult life? Where is the world’s population distributed? Where has the world’s population decreased? Why is population increasing at different rates in different countries/regions? Why might we face an overpopulation problem?
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Thinking about Population Growth • The world’s human population at the end of the most recent ice age, about 10,000 years ago, was somewhere between 2 and 10 million people. It had taken perhaps 1 to 2 million years for the population to grow to this size. • From 8000 B.C. to A.D. 1 the population doubled almost six times, to between 200 and 400 million. • Between A.D. 1 and 1750, growth continued at about the same rate, ultimately reaching 750 million by 1750. Thomas Malthus T.R. Malthus, 1766-1834 English clergyman Two Postulates: Food is necessary to the existence of man The passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain nearly in its present state
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The Malthusian Trap arithmetic growth (food): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10… geometric growth (population): 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512… Malthus argued that the difference between geometric and arithmetic growth caused a tension between the growth of population and that of the means of subsistence. -- this gap could not persist indefinitely. Malthus's population predictions 1. subsistence severely limits population-level 2. when the means of subsistence increases, population increases 3. population-pressures stimulate increases in productivity 4. increases in productivity stimulate further population-growth 5. since this productivity can not keep up with the potential of population growth for long, population requires strong checks to keep
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Population1 - Thinking about The Geography of Population A...

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