Chapter Eight: Human Population Growth Flashcards

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Briefly describe population growth over human history.

The history of human population grows exponentially at a rate of 1.4% each year. The population growth reached 1 billion people in the year 1800 and increased slowly until around the year 1930 when there was a dramatic increase. Currently, human population growth has reached its carrying capacity due to limiting factors and is beginning to stabilize gradually.


Is population growth a recent event?

No, population growth is occurring constantly since the beginning of human history. Drastic historical events such as the Civil War, the Plague, World War I, and World War II have decreased human population sizes.

  • Human population grows 80 million each year
  • Human population slowly increased until 1930

How has doubling time changed over the course of human history?

  • Over the course of human history, population growth has increased at a dramatic rate. The number of years it took for the human population to grow per billion decreased in the 1960s. Recently, the human population size is increasing per billion every 12-15 years.

Describe the role of the Industrial Revolution on human population growth.

  • The Industrial Revolution was the transition into new manufacturing processes (i.e. iron and textile industries) with the use of fossil fuels. This led to the increased production of goods and standard of living but had negative effects on working conditions for the employees. These factories contributed to pollution and resource exploitation.

Describe the role of the Medical Revolution on human population growth.

  • The Medical Revolution led to decreases in child and infant mortality due to vaccinations, clean drinking water, sewage treatment, antibiotics, and nutritional improvements.

Describe the role of the Green Revolution on human population growth.

  • The Green Revolution began in the mid 19th century with continued improvement in the mass production of goods. The industrialization of agriculture in the mid 1900s increased crop yields.

Describe the IPAT model.

  • used to assess the impact of population growth on the environment.
  • I=PxAxTxS
    • Impact: impact of population growth on the environment
    • Population: individuals need space and resources
    • Affluence: greater per capita resource use
    • Technology: increased exploitation of resources
    • Sensitivity: how sensitive an area in to human pressure

Bill Gates said, "As you improve health in a society, population does down... Before I learned about it, I thought it was paradoxical." Explain what he meant by this.

  • The terms "health", "population", and "down" are vague and inconsistent. Bill Gates' statement is inadequate with logical thought. Improving health in a society, increases population sizes.

How many of us are there?

  • The human population size is currently 7 billion

What is the estimate for population growth by 2050?

  • 9.1 billion or 11 billion

Describe how populations and poverty are distributed across the globe?

  • The highest density populations are those near temperate, subtropical, and tropical biomes.
  • The lowest density populations are away from water and tend to be environmentally sensitive.
  • War, civil strife, and environmental degradation cause people to flee their home
    • Each year, 25 million refugees escape poor environmental conditions

Describe the term demography.

  • the application of population ecology to the study of change in human populations

What do demographers study?

  • demographers study:
    • population size
    • density and distribution
    • age structure
    • sex ratio
    • birth, death, immigration, and emigration

How does population growth differ in more-developed vs. less-developed regions.

  • More-developed regions' population growth increase more slowly.
  • Less-developed regions' population growth increase more quickly.

Define TFR.

Total Fertility Rate: average number of children born to each family


Natural rate of population change is due to

  • birth and death rates alone

Replacement fertility

  • the TFR that keeps the size of a population stable

Causes of decreasing TFR

  • Medical care reduces infant mortality
  • Urbanization increases childcare costs
  • Children go to school instead of working
  • Social Security supports the elderly
  • Educated women enter the labor force

What is zero population growth and when does it occur?

  • when birth and death rates are equal
  • when population growth is stabilizing

Describe China's one-child policy.

  • decreased fertility rate from 6 in 1990 to 1.6 in 2009
    • abortion and forced sterilization
    • infanticide, particularly of girls
    • social problems
    • may result in the gender balance being altered

What are the consequences from a population growth perspective?

Population growth would decrease


What has accounted for the majority of the world's population growth in recent years?

  • a) women are having more babies
  • b) death rates have dropped due to technology. medicine, and food
  • c) more women are using contraceptives
  • d) nothing, the population has dropped in recent years
  • death rates have dropped due to technology, medicine, and food

According to the I=PxAxT formula, what would happen if China's 1 billion people had a lifestyle like Americans?

  • a) Their population would automatically drop
  • b) Their population would automatically increase
  • c) Their affluence and technology would increase
  • d) Their impact on the environment would even out
  • c) Their affluence and technology would increase

How have humans been able to raise the environment's carrying capacity for our species?

  • a) Through technology
  • b) By eliminating limiting factors
  • c) Through increased consumption
  • d) Spending more money on non-essential resources
  • a) Through technology

Areas that lack significant numbers of people, and have a low population density are:

  • a) No longer available
  • b) Best able to support higher densities of people
  • c) Sensitive area least able to support high densities of people
  • d) Located around tropical and grassland areas
  • c) Sensitive areas least able to support high densities of people

Describe the relationship between growth rates and population size.

  • a) Falling growth rates automatically mean a smaller population
  • b) Falling growth rates automatically mean a larger population
  • c) Falling growth rates mean we no longer have a population problem
  • d) Falling growth rates do not mean a smaller population, but that rates of increase are slowing
  • c) Falling growth rates mean we no longer have a population problem

According to the age pyramid, Madagascar's future population will be:

  • a) Balanced
  • b) Larger
  • c) Much larger
  • d) Smaller
  • e) Much smaller
  • c) Much larger

What happens during the "pre-industrial" stage of the demographic transition?

  • a) High birth and death rates cause the population to increase
  • b) High birth and death rates, but the population is stable
  • c) High birth rates with low death rates cause the population to increase
  • d) Low birth and death rates cause the population to decrease
  • b) High birth and death rates, but the population is stable

According to the graphs, which countries had access to family planning

  • a) Iraq and Pakistan
  • b) Malawi and Haiti
  • c) Malawi and Kenya
  • d) Kenya and Bangladesh
  • d) Kenya and Bangladesh