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Population and Resources Unit C Learning outcomes What is an optimum population? What is under-population? What is over-population? Theories behind population.

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Presentation on theme: "Population and Resources Unit C Learning outcomes What is an optimum population? What is under-population? What is over-population? Theories behind population."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Population and Resources Unit C

3 Learning outcomes What is an optimum population? What is under-population? What is over-population? Theories behind population and food supply Examples of a MEDC and a LEDC Country (The balance between population and resources)

4 Optimum population The optimum population of an area is a theoretical state in which the number of people, when working with all the available resources, will produce the highest per capita economic return i.e. the highest standard of living and quality of life

5 Overpopulation This occurs when there are too many people relative to the resources and technology locally available to maintain an adequate standard of living.

6 Under-population This occurs when there are far more resources in an area e.g. of food, energy and minerals, that can be used by the number of people living there

7 Examples Over-population: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, China, India Under-population: Canada, Australia

8 Terms must be used with care: Some parts of a country may be well off SE Brazil while others are not well off NE Brazil

9 Theories Behind population and food supply Thomas Malthus A British Demographer who believed that there was a finite optimum population size in relation to food supply and that an increase in population beyond that point would lead to a decline in living standards and to war, famine and disease. His essay is infamous

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11 It’s debatable whether the principles of Malthus two hundred years ago (that were very revolutionary and controversial) have any relevance whatsoever to the modern world. To understand this setting, it’s important to look at what times were like in England, where this was written, was still perhaps reeling from the American Revolution. The world population in 1798 was at nine million people. We have now passed the six billion mark. With this setting Malthus emerged with this highly controversial essay. It was a reaction to a sense of optimism that was prevalent at this time.

12 Rationale The Core Principles of Malthus: Food is necessary for human existence Human population tends to grow faster than the power in the earth to produce subsistence The effects of these two unequal powers must be kept equal Since humans tend not to limit their population size voluntarily - “preventive checks” in Malthus’s terminology.

13 He realised that as long as humans have food to eat that the population would tend to increase He saw that the limits to population growth could be decided by the amount of food supplied Malthus noticed that increases in food production would increase in a simple arithmetic fashion- for example 1…2…3… and so on, whereas population usually increased in a geometric fashion- i.e. 12…4…8…16 and so on.

14 Food supply ceiling or limit time Total pop. Food supply increases arithmetically Population increases geometrically

15 By that law of our nature which makes food necessary to the life of man, the effects of these two unequal powers must be kept equal.

16 The threat of famine and starvation would arise As you can see from the graph. Malthus was suggesting population growth would increase a lot faster and higher than the available food supply meaning that eventually. At a certain point, the limit of resources would be would be reached and the rate of population increase would level out. Until that point, Malthus suggested there would be a tendency for population increase.

17 War, famine, disease.

18 CHECKS Malthus suggested that once this ceiling (catastrophe) had been reached, further growth in population would be prevented by negative and positive checks. He saw the checks as a natural method of population control. They can be split up into 3 groups

19 Negative Checks were used to limit the population growth. It included abstinence/ postponement of marriage- lowering fertility rate. -VE

20 Positive Checks were ways to reduce population size by events such as famine, disease, war - increasing mortality rate and reducing life expectancy. +VE

21 Malthus saw the checks as a natural method of population control. They can be split up into 3 groups

22 1.Misery - includes famine, war and disease. All of which shorten life expectancy.

23 2. Vice - Malthus’ warning against any methods of contraceptives for the fear of promiscuity.

24 3. Moral Restraint - Delaying/ postponement of marriage and sexual relations

25 Malthus was quoted as saying: The power of the population is infinitely greater than the power of the Earth to produce sustenance

26 Limitations Malthus did not foresee the industrial or agricultural revolution Developments in transport- more world trade New mineral resources developed

27 Today His ideas have resurrected as the misery in Africa and lack of food is reflected on Malthus’s Theory Supporters called Neo- Malthusians

28 Other ideas: Boserup Danish economist 1965 Alternative theory to Malthus She suggested that as population increased, farming became more intensive due to innovation and the introduction of new methods and technology

29 Club Rome 1972 An international team of scientists and administrators Predicted through computer use: If the present trends in population growth and resource utilisation continued then a sudden decline in economic growth would occur within the next century.

30 Their suggestions Stabilise the following: Population growth Use of resources Industrial growth Economic development Emphasise the following: Food production and conservation


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