The object of this exercise is to further an understanding of population structure – and its importance to development.
You will begin by answering simple questions about a fictitious population.
Some questions will require basic
calculations and others will ask you to analyze the meaning of your calculations.
It is important that you take the time to
think through the analysis.
Of course accuracy in calculations is important, but what it more important is that you
understand the “why” of your results.
You will then be asked to provide data on a developing country of your choice.
Pick this wisely.
You will be working
with the developing country you choose for the remainder of the semester.
Calculating Population Growth
Complete the following table:
(Population increase in a year
/ Population at the start of the year) X 100 = Annual Population Growth Rate (%)
Population at the
start of the year
Population at the
end of the year
during the year
growth rate (%)
Population growth rates seem to be small numbers, but the affect of these rates on a population are large.
Assume the world population at the beginning of 2000 was 6 billion.
If the projected average annual population
growth rate for the world was 1.1%, how many more people would be added to the world’s population by 2001?
66,000,000 people would be added to the world’s population by 2001.
If the 2000 world’s population grew at 0.2% (the growth rate found in some Western European countries), how
many people would be added to the world by 2001?
12,000,000 people would be added to the world by 2001.
If the 2000 world population growth rate was 1.7% (the average in many developing nations), how many people
would be added to the world by 2001?
102,000,000 people would be added to the world by 2001.
Just considering the population growth rate, what can you say about the level of development and possibly future
issues in relation to the countries in questions 2 and 3?
The country in question 2 is exhibiting little annual population growth.
Such a low population growth rate
could mean that this country is in the industrial stage of the demographic transition, exhibiting a very low
birth and death rate like some Western European counties.
The low death rate is due to improvements in
health care, sanitation, and quality water sources. The low birth rate is mostly due to the education of
women and the widespread use of different types of birth control. With such a low growth rate, the country
in question 2 most likely has an aging population.
As a result, health care costs will rise to take care of the
elderly, and the country’s workforce could become smaller.