Population. According to the non-profit group Population Connection (formerly ZPG) there are 6,641,215,403 people in the world, up from a figure of 6,603,567,010 the last time I taught this course (Spring 2007). We’ve added over 37.6 million people in that time. .
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1) Population is not distributed uniformly around the world.
2) Population patterns and rates of growth change over time.
examine these and other issues more
closely, as well as explore different ways of
looking at population growth & distribution:
1) maps are generalizations, interpretive tools - we need to read them carefully
2) population by political boundaries can be deceiving
3) population numbers can be deceiving
that world population had officially reached 6
When we look at world population growth
over the past several thousand years, we
see that it has not grown evenly. There
have been spurts in growth.
It took all of human
history to reach 1 billion
people in 1804. Then it
only took 150 years to
reach 3 billion by 1960.
And as I noted earlier,
world population has
doubled since 1965.
Why does birth rate drop after death rate?
Do people base their decision on whether or not to have
children in purely economic terms?
Is the DTM an accurate predictor of trends in LDCs?
for Nigeria (2000, 2025,
for Hungary (2000,
for U.S. (2000, 2025,
for Chile (2000, 2025,
person/land ratio existed. Hence, each family had to
reproduce its own labor force, and population grew rapidly
during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Industrialization ultimately helped to bring about a
demographic transition to smaller families, as children
ceased to become an economic asset. In Sturbridge,
Massachusetts, for instance, women marrying between
1730 and 1759 bore an average of 8.8 children, whereas
those marrying between 1820 and 1839 bore an average of
5.3 children. Nationwide, women who married in 1800
bore an average of 6.4 children, but in 1849 the figure was
4.9 children and in 1879 it was 2.8 children.”
- Carolyn Merchant
Today the debate is carried on by . . .
Neo-Malthusians (a group named for English economist ThomasMalthus)
Gender-Equity and Equity advocates (who trace their roots to the writings of KarlMarx), and
Cornucopians (best represented by the work of the late economist and statistician JulianSimon)
Thomas Malthus (1766 - 1834) was an English essayist and
minister whose 1798 treatise on population got the ball
rolling. It contained three key points:
Neo-Malthusians (e.g., Paul Ehrlich, Garrett Hardin, Lester
Brown, David Pimentel) have revived some of his ideas.