Human Populations Brita Christensen Carlye Richter
Case Study • Every year, India adds more people to the world’s population than any other country • In 2005, India had 1.1 billion people • By 2050 India is estimated to have a population of 1.63 billion • A quarter of the population is already in poverty, with no food, homes, education, and jobs… how can the government fix the problem?
Case Study… • The large population growth is India is due to lack of birth control and other contraceptives/sterilization • In 2000, the Indian government let each state choose how to handle the situation • Some states chose to focus on social justice while others adopted a more direct, interventionist policy
Population Growth • Every second 4/5 children are born somewhere on Earth • In that same second, 2 people die • This makes a net gain of 2.3 million more humans per second in the world • Global population will double in 58 years • Most numerous vertebrate species
Affects • Overpopulation will cause resource depletion and environmental degradation • Human ingenuity, technology, and enterprise can extend the world carrying capacity and allow us to overcome problems
Human populations recently increased • 10,000 years ago the total world population was only a few million • After the agricultural revolution, population was able to grow very slowly • Population was held in check by disease and famine
1600’s • Human populations increased rapidly • Sailing and navigating skills stimulated commerce and communication between nations • Agricultural developments, sources of power, healthcare and hygiene
Malthus and Marx • Malthus argued that human population increases exponentially and food production either remains stable or increases slowly • The only way to stabilize humans populations are to keep them in check with disease and famine • Followers are neo-Malthusians • Marx argued that in order to slow population growth and get rid of crime, starvation, and disease is social justice • Followers are neo-Marxians
Technology • Scientific progress has allowed food supply to increase faster than population growth • Population growth is due to technology in agricultural productivity, engineering, information technology, commerce, medicine, sanitation, and availability of easily acquired natural resources
Demography • Demos = people • Graphos = to write or to measure • Tells vital statistics about people such as births, deaths, where they live and total population size
Demography facts • U.S. Census Bureau estimated 6.4 billion people in the world in 2005 • Highest populations growths occur at “hot spots” • Wealthier countries tend to have shrinking populations because many choose to have few or no children and life expectancy is longer
Demography facts… • Russia is declining by nearly 1 million people per year because of a collapsing economy, hyperinflation, crime, corruption, and despair • African countries experience a population decrease because of AIDS
Fertility • Crude birth rate- the number of births in a year per thousand persons • Total fertility rate- number of children born to an average woman in a population during her entire reproductive life • Zero population growth- occurs when births plus immigration in a population just equal deaths plus emigrations
China • One-child-per-family policy decreased the fertility rate from 6 in 1970 to 1.8 in 1990 • Resulted in abortions, forced sterilizations, and infanticide • May not be enough workers to maintain the army, sustain the economy, or support retirees when their parents reach old age • Hong Kong has the lowest birth rate in the world with a fertility rate of only .9
Mortality • Crude death rates- deaths per thousand persons in any given year • Natural increase- crude death rate subtracted from crude birth rate • Total growth rate- includes immigration, emigration, births, and deaths
Life Span/ Life Expectancy • Life span- the oldest age to which a species is known to survive • Life expectancy- the average age that a newborn infant can expect to attain in any given society • Rose from 40 to 67 years over the past century • Declining mortality, not rising fertility is the primary cause of population growth
Life Expectancy • Longer lives were due to better nutrition, improved sanitation, clean water, and education • There is a good correlation between annual income and life expectancy up to $4,000 per person • Some believe life expectancy is approaching a plateau
Demographics • A population that is growing rapidly by natural increase has more young people • Countries with a stable population has the same number in each age group • Dependency ratio- the number of nonworking compared to working individuals in a population • Problem for both rapidly and slowly growing countries
Emigration and Immigration • More-developed regions are expected to gain 2 million immigrants per year for the next 50 years. • Citizens of many nations argue that immigrants take a away jobs, overload social services, and ignore established rules of behavior or social values. • In some nations, geopolitical demographic policy encourages/forces internal mass migration. • Ex: Indonesia and China
Population Growth: Opposing Factors • Pronatalist pressures • Children =source of pleasure, pride and comfort. • They can support their elders where there is no social security system. • They can help by providing additional income, and by doing chores. • In some regions, children give families status, and provide parents with a sense of accomplishment.
Factors Discouraging Reproduction • Higher education and personal freedoms for women • Education and socioeconomic status are typically inversely related to fertility in wealthier nations. • In developing countries: the two are positively correlated, fertility is likely to increase as educational levels and socioeconomic status rise (more money = more children because children aren’t as expensive) • Ex: America’s population relative to WWII, the Great Depression, and the Baby Boom.
Could we have a birth dearth? • Some nations birth rates have fallen below replacement levels. • Most European countries suffer from this deficit, with negative rates of population increase. • Negative effects of this could include: lack of soldiers, lack of works, and not enough workers and taxpayers to contribute to the social system. • Possible reasons for the decrease are: Toxins and endocrine hormone disrupters in our environment interfere with sperm production. (Phthalates in plastics)
Demographic Transition Cont’d… • There are four necessary conditions for demographic transition: • 1. improved standard of living • Increased confidence that children will survive to maturity • Improved social status of women • Increased availability and use of birth control • Some nations have already succeeded in controlling population
Factors contributing to stabilizing populations • 1. growing prosperity and social reforms • 2. available technology • 3. less developed countries have historic patterns to follow • 4. modern communications
People are still pessimistic… • Lester Brown: poorer countries are caught in a demographic trap that prevents them from escaping from the middle phase of the demographic transition. • To escape they need to reduce population growth ASAP.
Social Justice & Population • Social justice is believed to be the key to successful demographic transitions. • Violence, poverty, hunger, environmental degradation and population are all results of a lack of social justice, not a lack of resources. • The relationship between rich and poor countries goes back to colonial powers vs. colonies. • Rather than the maximum number of people, we should be thinking in terms of the optimum number of people.
Women’s Rights Affect Fertility • The best way to ensure a child’s survival is to ensure the rights of mothers. • Land reform, political rights, opportunities to earn her own income and improved health status of women are better indicators of total fertility and family welfare that gross national product. • High income does not always mean better welfare for kids
Factors affecting fertility • High mortality rates typically lead parents to having more children to ensure that some survive • Better nutrition, improved health care, oral therapy, immunization have brought about reductions in mortality rates, which have in turn led to falling birth rates. • Saving 5 million children each year from easily preventable communicable diseases would avoid 20 or 30 million extra births.
Family Planning and Fertility Control • Family planning implies that parents will control their reproductive lives • Fertility control dates back to our hunting and gathering ancestors • San Women effectively space the amount of children they have • Some older techniques of fertility control: folk medicines, abstinence, abortion, infanticide.
Current family planning methods • Major methods of birth control: • 1. avoidance of sex during fertile periods • 2. mechanical barriers that prevent contact between sperm and egg • 3. surgical methods that prevent release of sperm/egg • 4. chemicals that prevent maturation of sperm or eggs or implantation of the embryo in the uterus • 5. physical barriers to implantations • 6. abortions
New Developments in Family Planning • Five new birth control products approved by the FDA • 1. Ensure • 2. Mirena • 3. Lunelle • 4. NuvaRing • 5. Ortho Evra
The Future of Human Populations • There are variations of where the population will land in the next century • Optimistic/low prediction: 7 billion in 2050 to <6 billion by 2150. • Medium prediction: reaches 8.9 billion in 2050 and stabilizes • Pessimistic prediction: constant growth to 25 billion by 2150
Did you know…? • While many couples use family techniques, 100 million couples say they’d like to but do not have access to them?
The United Nations • The U.S is becoming increasingly isolated in its population policies • 1994 Cairo, Egypt meeting to discuss women’s rights • U.S. has been withdrawing from population initiatives starting around 2000. • Didn’t reaffirm ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development) • President Bush didn’t release $34 million appropriated by Congress for UN population fund
The United Nations continued… • Money denied by President Bush could have prevented 2 million unwanted pregnancies, 800,000 abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths, 60,000 cases of serious maternal illness and 77,000 + infant and child deaths. • UNFPA is the world’s largest international source of funding for population and reproductive health programs
So what have we learned? Big societal changes are needed to make family planning work • Improved social, educational, and economic status form women • Improved status for children (fewer children are born) • Acceptance of calculated choice as a valid element in life in general and in fertility in particular • Social security and political stability that give people the means and the confidence to plan for the future • Knowledge, availability, and use of effective and acceptable means of birth control.