Geography Winter Midterm, Chapter 15 Population Dilemmas in Europe
Terms in this set (32)
Demography is the study of human populations. Demographers look at birth rates and death rates and migration of people. They study how populations change over time. They also track population trends, or movements. In Europe, for example, they are tracking a trend toward smaller families.
They show the makeup of a country's population by sex and age groups.
Three types by gender: Rapid, Slow, and Negative growth. The youngest ages are at the bottom. The oldest are at the top.
Europe's population is shrinking
Europe is one of the smallest continents in area. But about an eighth of the world's people live there. This may not be true much longer for two reasons. First, Europe has the oldest population of any continent. Second, it has the lowest birth rate, or number of births per 1,000 people.
What does the study of population trends focus on?
The study of population trends focuses on births, deaths, and migration. Whether a population grows or shrinks depends on these three factors.
Total Fertility Rate (TFR)
Children are born every day in Europe. But the average number of babies born to each woman is low. This average number of births is called the total fertility rate.
The total fertility rate needed for a population to replace itself. This number varies by country, but is about 2.1 in most developed countries. This will happen when enough babies are born to replace the people who die each year.
The number of old and young dependents who don't work compared with the working-age population. The higher the ratio, the more young and old people the workers have to support. This ratio compares the number of people too young or old to work with a country's working-age population.
The average age that a person in a given population can expect to live to. Life expectancy varies from one country to another. Life expectancy has increased in Europe due to higher standards of living and better medical services. Life expectancy is the number of years a person can expect to live
Are more people today moving to or leaving Europe?
Today more people are moving into Europe than are leaving it. But not enough are coming in to keep the population stable. But not enough are coming in to keep the population stable.
Are large families common in Europe today?
No. In fact, Europe's growing population is now stable or shrinking. Europe is a developed country.
Why did Europe used to have large families?
They needed large families to plant and harvest crops. Bad sanitation, plagues, famines, and wars killed hugh numbers of people. Members of large families did not live as long due to poor conditions.
Population Growth, Stage 1
Low population growth. In this stage, high birth rates and high death rates result in little population change. All populations begin at this stage.
Population Growth, Stage 2
Rapid population growth. Birth rates remain high as economic development begins. But death rates fall as food supplies increase and health care improves. The result is rapid growth.
Population Growth, Stage 3
Slow population growth. As the economy improves, birth rates drop. Death rates stay low. Population growth begins to slow down.
Population Growth, Stage 4
No or negative population growth. In developed countries, both birth rates and death rates drop to low levels. As a result, there is little or no population growth. Over time, birth rates may fall behind death rates. The result is a shrinking population.
Demographic transition model
A demographic transition model: a model of how the size of a population changes as a country develops its economy
A wealthy country with an advanced economy. Developed countries have many industries and provide a comfortable way of life for most of their people.
In developed countries, both birth rates and death rates drop to low levels. As a result, there is little or no population growth. Over time, birth rates may fall behind death rates. The result is a shrinking population.
What are the causes of a negative population growth?
There are many reasons for Europe's low birth rates. Family finances play a part in how many children people have. Housing costs and living expenses are high in much of Europe. Young couples often need two incomes to buy a home. Young women often put off having children in order to work. When both parents work, they need help to care for their children during the day. But good childcare is often hard to find. This discourages couples from having large families.
What are the problems caused by negative population growth?
Fewer children need fewer schools and teachers. Stores (e.g. toy and clothing) may need to close. As populations shrink, there is less workers and fewer people go into the military.
How is Europe trying to turn around negative population growth?
Cash and benefits for having babies like reduced rents and lower taxes. Lower the costs of having children through free daycare and schools. Allowing working parents to take time off to care for their children, called paid leave.
A baby boom is a sudden increase in the birth rate. Europe's baby boom began not long after World War II ended in 1945. During the 1950s and 1960s, women had a lot of babies. In the 1970s, birth rates began to fall.
What are the causes of an Aging Population?
1. A rise in life expectancy
2. A drop in the birth rate
The result is that there are more old people and fewer young people to support them.
A fixed amount of money paid to a retired person by a government or former employer. Pensions are usually paid from the time people retire until they die.
Problems caused by an Aging Population
1. More old people on pensions than there are young people to pay into the pension plans.
2. Increase in health care costs as a person ages.Older people are more likely to suffer from such diseases as cancer, diabetes, or arthritis. They are more likely to need expensive surgeries and costly medicines. Some may need special care available only in nursing homes. All of this costs money.
Responses to an Aging Population
1. Reduce the costs of pensions by reducing the amount of money each worker receives.
2. Raise the retirement age for pensions so people are on pensions for a shorter period of time before they die.
3. Reduce the costs of elderly health care by prevention and promoting home care instead of nursing homes.
What are the causes of a declining workforce?
1. More workers retire each year than join the workforce.
2. The baby boomers are starting to retire.
3. Workforce decline leads to changes in the dependency ratio.
In 2000, 100 workers in Germany supported 87 dependents. By 2030, 100 workers will be supporting 121 dependents. That's a rise of 39 percent.
Problems caused by a declining workforce
1. Younger people have trouble finding jobs but a declining workforce will eventually help them.
2. For business, workforce declines are a problem because it's harder to find qualified workers.
3. For government, a declining workflow means fewer tax incomes and more pensions to pay.
Responses to a declining workforce
1. New immigration laws to make it easier for companies to hire skilled workers from other countries.
2. Keep older workers working longer.
3. Encourage women to join the workforce with daycare and paid time off.
4. Move jobs to other parts of Europe.
Negative Population Growth in Europe
Most countries in Europe face negative population growth. This happens because the total fertility rate has dropped below the replacement rate. In other words, women are not having enough babies to replace the people who die each year. At the same time, Europe's population is aging. This is because life expectancy is rising.
The growing population of old people is pushing up dependency ratios. Most retired Europeans depend on their government for pensions and health care. Governments depend on taxes paid by working people to pay for these benefits. But every year, there are fewer workers to pay those taxes. And there are more old people depending on those taxes for support.
Why do developed countries have lower birth rates than developing ones?
People in all countries want children. But in developed countries, children usually aren't needed to support a family or aging parents. Instead, the cost of raising children is seen as an expense. Also, family-planning methods are more available to help couples to limit their families to what they want and can afford.
Why do developing countries have higher birth rates than developed ones?
In poorer countries, poverty plays a role in family size. Children are expected to help support their families. They support their parents in old age, since the government often doesn't. As a result, a large family is seen as a benefit, not an expense. Many poor countries also have a high infant mortality rate. Couples choose to have many children, fearing that some may die early in life.
How might high birth rates affect a country's future?
Countries with high birth rates have more young than old people. They may not have enough schools to educate their children. They may not have enough jobs to employ their young adults. Anger over the lack of schools and jobs may lead to widespread frustration and unrest