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Chapter 4. The Human World. 1. World Population. Population Growth. Population growth varies from country to country and is influenced by cultural ideas, migration and level of development. The Demographic Transition. Demography – study of populations

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Chapter 4

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Chapter 4

Chapter 4

The Human World

1 world population

1. World Population

Population growth

Population Growth

  • Population growth varies from country to country and is influenced by cultural ideas, migration and level of development

The demographic transition

The Demographic Transition

  • Demography – study of populations

  • Birthrate – number of births per year for every 1,000 people

  • Death rate – deaths per year for every 1,000 people

  • Natural increase – growth rate, difference between an area’s birthrate and its death rate

  • Migration – movement of people from place to place, must be considered when examining population growth

  • Demographic Transition model – uses birthrates and death rates to show changes in the population trends of a country or region

The demographic transition1

The Demographic Transition

  • Falling death rates due to improved health care, more abundant food supplies , better living conditions

  • Most industrialized nations have reached zero population growth, where the birthrate and death rate are equal.

  • Families who live in agricultural areas tend towards having more children because of a need for their future labor on the farm

  • Doubling time – the number of years it takes a population to double in size

Challenges to growth

Challenges to Growth

  • Growing populations demand more food

  • Populations that grow quickly use resources rapidly, and can face shortages of water, housing or clothing, etc.

Negative population growth

Negative Population Growth

  • In NPG, annual death rate exceeds the annual birthrate

  • In countries that have NPG, it often difficult to find enough workers to keep the economy going

  • Creates a need for immigrant labor, which can create tensions between host populations and immigrants

Population distribution

Population Distribution

  • World population distribution is uneven and is influenced by migration and the Earth’s physical geography

  • Population distribution – the pattern of human settlement

  • Population distribution, related to physical environment.

  • Only 30 percent of earths surface is land, and much of it is uninhabitable

  • Most people live where fertile soil, available water and a climate without harsh extremes makes human life possible

  • Europe and Asia, most densely populated continents

  • Asia contains 60 percent of world population

  • Most people today live in metropolitan areas, cities and their surrounding areas.

Population density

Population Density

  • Population density – the number of people living on a square mile or square kilometer of land

  • Canada has a PD of about 8 people per square mile

  • Bangladesh (east of India) has a PD of 2,594 people per square mile

  • People can be distributed unevenly within a country too, such as Egypt, where most live on the Nile River, away from the desert

Population movement

Population Movement

  • People are moving in great numbers

  • Urbanization – migration of people from rural areas to cities and suburbs

  • Primary cause of urbanization is the desire to find high paying jobs

  • About half of the world’s population lives in cities

  • Refugees – people who flee their country to escape persecution or disaster

2 global cultures

2. Global Cultures

  • The world’s people organize communities, develop their ways of life, and adjust to the differences and similarities they experience.

  • Many people struggle to maintain some elements of their traditional cultures while establishing ties with the global community.

Elements of culture

Elements of Culture

  • Geographers divide the Earth into culture regions, which are defined by the presence of common elements such as language and religion.



  • Communicates information and experiences

  • Passes on cultural values and traditions

  • Even within a culture, language may vary, example: Alabama vs. South Dakota

  • Language families – large groups of languages having similar roots

  • English, Spanish and Russian all members of the Indo-European language family



  • Beliefs vary around the world

  • Can be a source of conflict

  • Also can enable people to find an identity

  • Can aid in creating community

Social groups

Social Groups

  • Social system that helps members work together to meet basic needs

  • Family is one form

  • Social classes – groups of people ranked according to ancestry, wealth, education or other criteria

  • Ethnic group – made up of people who share a common language, history, place of origin or combination of these elements

Government and economy

Government and Economy

  • Government:

  • Maintains order

  • Provides protection from outside dangers

  • Supplies additional services: i.e. police, hospitals, fire stations

  • Organized by levels: National, regional, and local

  • Organized by type of authority: single ruler, small group of leaders, body of citizens and representatives

  • Economy:

  • How a culture utilizes its natural resources to meet human needs

Culture regions

Culture Regions

  • Culture Region – countries that have certain traits in common, i.e. economic systems, form of government, social groups

Cultural change

Cultural Change

  • Internal and external factors change cultures over time

  • Internal factors – new ideas, lifestyles and inventions

  • External factors – trade, migration and war

  • Cultural diffusion – process of spreading new knowledge from one culture to another

Agricultural revolution

Agricultural Revolution

  • Earliest humans were nomads, groups of hunters and herders, no fixed home, moved from place to place in search of food, water and grazing land

  • About 10,000 years ago, many nomads settled and began farming. This shift from hunting and gathering food to farming is known as the Agricultural Revolution.

  • Eventually, civilizations were formed. Civilizations are highly organized, city based societies with advanced knowledge or farming , trade, government, art and science

Culture hearths

Culture Hearths

  • Culture Hearths – early center of civilization whose ideas and practices spread to surrounding areas, i.e. Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, China and Mexico

  • Possess mild climate and fertile land

  • Located near major source of water

  • Enabled people to grow surplus crops

  • Led to rise of cities and civilizations

  • Productive farming led to specialization, such as metalworking ands shipbuilding, spurred long-distance trade

  • Increased wealth led to more complex cities, governments, social systems, writing systems for recording information

Cultural contacts

Cultural Contacts

  • Contact among different civilizations through trade and travel promoted social change through exposure to different ideas and practices

  • Movement of people, or migration, fostered cultural diffusion

  • People migrate to avoid wars, persecution, famine

  • Some migrations are forced, i.e. Africans brought to America to be slaves

  • Some people migrate in search of better economic opportunities, higher quality of life

Industrial and information revolutions

Industrial and Information Revolutions

  • Cultural diffusion has increased rapidly during the last 250 years, due to improvements in transportation

  • Industrial Revolution – 1700’s and 1800’s, development of power driven machines and factors to mass produce goods. Led to people leaving farms for cities, jobs.

  • Information Revolution – end of 1900’s, computers, store lots of info, send it instantly

3 political and economic systems

3. Political and Economic Systems

  • Governments and economies of countries around the world are becoming increasingly interconnected.

  • Some countries or groups of countries, such as the European Union, have strong economies that allow them to help improve standards of living in other countries.

Features of government

Features of Government

  • Territory, population and sovereignty influence levels and types of governments in countries around the world

  • World includes nearly 200 independent countries

  • Sovereignty – freedom from outside control

  • Governments made and enforce policies and laws that are binding on all people living with its territory

Levels of government

Levels of Government

  • National, provincial, state, county, city, town, village

  • Unitary System – gives all powers to the national or central government. State, provincial or local governments exist, but are created and controlled by central government.

  • Examples: UK and France during Middle Ages

  • Federal System – divides the powers of government between the national government and state or provincial governments. Each level has authority in some areas.

  • Examples: US.

  • Confederation – loose union of independent territories.

  • Examples: Colonial America before the revolution created a strong central government. Today – Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Mexico, Brazil, and India.

Types of governments

Types of Governments

  • Autocracy – authority to rule belongs to single individual.

  • Forms of Autocracy include dictatorship ( Hitler, Germany), which come to power through election or take over, and monarchy (King/Queen, Saudi Arabia) which inherit their powers

  • Oligarchy – a small group holds power. Drives its power from wealth, religion, military power, social position or a combination. Example: China

  • Democracy – leaders rule with the consent of the citizens.

  • Direct Democracy – citizens themselves decide on issues, some local governments

  • Representative Democracy – people elect representatives with the responsibility and power to make laws and conduct government, national governments, US

  • Republic – votes elect all major officials, responsible to people, i.e. US, France

Economic systems

Economic Systems

  • The three major economic systems are traditional economy, market economy and command economy

  • Traditional Economy – habit and custom determine the rules of all economic activity, controlled by elders and ancestors. Example: Inuit of northern Canada

  • Market Economy: individuals and private groups make decisions about what to produce, based on free enterprise/capitalism, the idea that private individuals or groups have the right to won property or businesses and make profit with only limited government interference.

  • No pure market economy exists. US is a mixed economy, where the government supports and regulates free enterprise.

Economic systems1

Economic Systems

  • Command Economy – government own or directs the means of production – land, labor, capital (machinery, factories), and business managers – and control the distribution of goods.

  • Try to distribute goods and services equally among all citizens

  • Communism – strict government control of entire society, including economy

  • Socialism – allows wider range of free enterprise, attempts to distribute wealth equally, control society through government, and have public ownership of services and factories that are essential.

4 resources trade and the environment

4. Resources, Trade and the Environment

  • The growth of the global economy continues to make the world’s people increasingly interdependent or reliant on each other.

  • Natural resource, extracted, traded around the world

  • Resources are often misused, cause pollution and damage to the environment.

Resource management

Resource Management

  • Natural Resources – elements form the earth not made by people

  • Renewable resources – cannot be used up or can be replaced naturally or grown again in a short period of time, i.e. Wind, sun, water, forests and animal life.

  • Non-renewable resources – cannot be replaced, i.e. minerals, fossil fuels (oil, coal)

  • Natural resources must be managed to ensure that they meet future needs

Economies and world trade

Economies and World Trade

  • Natural resources are not evenly distributed throughout the Earth.

  • As a result, countries specialize in the economic activities best suited to their resources

Economic development

Economic Development

  • Geographers and economists classify the world’s economic activities into four types.

  • Primary economic activities – taking or using natural resources directly from the Earth. Examples: farming, fishing, forestry, mining

  • Secondary economic activities – use raw materials to produce something new and more valuable. Examples: manufacturing automobiles, assembling electronic goods, producing electric power

Economic development1

Economic Development

  • Tertiary economic activities – do not involve directly acquiring and remaking natural resources. These are activities that provide services to people and businesses. Examples: doctors, teachers, lawyers, bankers provide these services.

  • Quaternary economic activities – concerned with the processing, management and distribution of information. Includes people working in education, government, business , information processing and research.

Economic development2

Economic Development

  • Economies develop in stages

  • Industrialization – spread of industry

  • Developed countries –have a great deal of manufacturing and technology.

  • Newly industrialized countries – have moved from primarily agricultural to primarily manufacturing and industrial activities. Examples: Mexico and Malaysia.

  • Developing countries – those working toward greater manufacturing and technology. Agriculture remains dominant. Many people in these countries still subsistence form, or grow just enough to survive.

World trade

World Trade

  • Unequal distribution of natural resources is one factor that promotes a complex network of trade among countries.

  • Differences in labor costs and education levels affect world trade.

  • Multinationals, or firms that do business in many places throughout the world, often base their businesses in countries with low labor costs.

Barriers to trade

Barriers to Trade

  • Some governments place a tariff, or a tax, on imported goods, in order to make them more expensive and encourage people to buy domestic products.

  • Governments may also put a quota, or a number limit, on the quantity of a particular imported product.

  • Governments may impose an embargo, or ban trade with another country altogether, as a way to punish that country for political or economic differences. Example: US embargo on Cuba

Free trade

Free Trade

  • Recently, governments around the world have moved towards free trade, or removal of trade barriers

  • GATT, NAFTA and WTO encourage free trade

People and the environment

People and the Environment

  • Economic activities have led to environmental pollution

  • Pollution – the release of unclean or toxic elements into the air, water and land

  • Water pollution – oil takers, offshore drilling rigs can cause oil spills. Industries may dump chemic waste that gets into water supply.

  • Land Pollution – occurs when chemical waste poisons fertile topsoil or solid waste is dumped in landfills.

  • Air Pollution – mainly burning of fossil fuels by industries and vehicles, gives off poisonous gases, can form acid rain, can eat away at buildings, kill fish, etc.

  • Global warming – some scientists believe that rising levels of carbon dioxide in atmosphere contributing to a general increase in Earth’s temperature.

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