Population & Migration

Blackboard Population & Migration Unit

II. Population 13–17%

A. Geographical analysis of population
  1. Density, distribution, and scale
  2. Consequences of various densities and distributions
  3. Patterns of composition: age, sex, race, and ethnicity
  4. Population and natural hazards: past, present, and future
B. Population growth and decline over time and space
  1. Historical trends and projections for the future
  2. Theories of population growth including the Demographic Model Patterns of fertility, mortality, and health
  3. Regional variations of demographic transitions
  4. Effects of population policies
C. Population movement
  1. Push and pull factors
  2. Major voluntary and involuntary migrations at different scales
  3. Migration selectivity
  4. Short-term, local movements, and activity space

Case studies/Current events:

Case study/review

This article is a real life example of the issues with immigration that exist today, even here in the United States. The article briefly describes the Supreme Court ruling on the Arizona Immigration laws that have appeared recently that are strictly limiting the immigration from Mexico.
Article on Arizona Immigration Laws

This particular article describes the growing population we have today and questions when exactly our carrying capacity will be met. Although in many countries around the world, population growth rate is declining, overall our population worldwide is still increasing.
Article on population reaching 7 billion

In this article, it comments upon the thousands of immigrants that will be fleeing communist Cuba, upon the abdication of previous dictator, Fidel Castro. The United States is planning for many of these refugees to come to the states looking for the freedom offered here.
Article on Cuban to America Migrations


Population Changes in LEDCsThe majority of populations of Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs) are growing very rapidly. Most are at Stages 2-3 of the Demographic Transition Model, which means they all have declining death rates and high birth rates. The end result is a high natural increase.

  • Death rates are declining due to improvements in sanitation and healthcare.
  • Birth rates are High for these
  • Lack of family planning, education, or access to contraceptives.
  • In rural areas, children are needed to labor on farms. In urban areas, they are needed to work in the informal sector to earn money for their families.
  • Women have a larger number of children, as there is a high infant mortality level.
  • Culture/Religion believes it unacceptable to use contraceptives.


Population Changes in MEDCs (More Economically Developed Countries)
In most MEDCs, population growth is stable due to their low birth and death rates. In Germany, the birth rate is actually lower than the death rate, which means there is a decrease in population, or a natural increase of -0.1%.

The major problem for MEDCs is an aging population. The life expectancy in MEDCs is increasing as people are now living longer due to improvements in health care, diet and lifestyle. Therefore, there will be a a greater number of elderly dependents. In the UK, this is likely to lead to increased taxes to pay for health care and pensions, which may become a trend among other MEDCs.

Important Models:

The Demographic Transition Model
The Demographic Transition Model attempts to better show how a population changes as a country develops.
The model is divided into four stages.

Stage 1
Birth rate & death rate are HIGH - low natural increase - initial low total population

Stage 2
HIGH birth rate - DECLINING death rate - high natural increase (population growth)

Stage 3
DECLINING birth rate - LOW death rate - high natural increase (population growth)

Stage 4
Birth rate & death rate are LOW - low natural increase -resulting high total population

~~The Demographic Transition Model does not take into account migration.~~

Population Pyramids



Why Do People Migrate?

The two major reasons people go to or leave a country or region is due to push and pull factors. Push factors are things that cause immigrants to want to leave a place. Examples include natural disasters, wars, depressions, food shortage, lack of jobs, etc. Pull factors are the reasons that people want to move to a particular area. These include a new job, high pay, inexpensive housing, freedom, etc.

There can be four types of push and pull factors.
  • Environmental
    • Earthquake
  • Political
    • Contolling dictator
  • Economic
    • Recession
  • Culture
    • Religious freedom

Types of Migration

There are several types of migration, differing based on the distance, location, situation, and process of the migration. First, is internal versus external. Internal migration is moving within the country, state, or continent the migrant lives in. External migration, in comparison, is moving to a new state, country, or continent.

Internal Migration

Chain migration is when one person migrates first, but then causes friends and family members to follow in their footsteps to the same area or region. Step migration is series of smaller and less drastic migration moves from origin to final destination.

Laws of Migration

There are several migration laws created by nineteenth century geographer E.G. Ravenstein that were used to create our modern day ideas of migration.
  1. Usually, migrants travel short distances.
  2. If traveling a long distance, it is more than likely to an urban setting.
  3. It often takes steps to complete a full migration.
  4. The migration is usually from rural to urban settings.
  5. It is usually adults without children who are migrating.
  6. International migrants are more commonly young men, whereas internal migrants are more likely women.

Annotated Images:

Population Density
This image shows the number of people per square kilometer around the world in 1994. The data was derived from population records based on political divisions such as states, provenances, and countries. This image was taken from here.

This picture represents megalopolis, or large coalescing supercities that form in diverse parts of the world. Represented in the picture is the country of India, notice how smaller light-groups lead to bigger light-groups, or cities, until a large mass is formed together. Megalopolis.


Rural & Urban
Rural represents the sparsely populated areas located outside of cities that mainly consist of large-subsistence agriculture. Urban represents the conglomeration of people and companies to form densely populated cities.

external image 04-poster-farm-picture.jpg

The movement of livestock from one location to another through many different means. In this case, small shepherd boy.


This cartoon represents the current population of country overwhelming the land's natural resources. In the case of the Demographic Transition Graph, this country would be entering Stage 2.


QuotaThis cartoon represents the strong demand for immigration from Europe to the United States, when the population was growing to rapidly for the country's natural resource supply to keep up, the United States had to start only allowing a certain amount of immigrants into the country at a time. That certain amount is called a quota.

Forced Migration
A mass migration of a people to another area, the people affected have no choice to move or not as their decision is made for them by an overpowering country/power. The Native American Trail of Tears is a specific example of a Forced Migration.
Exponential vs. Logistic Growth
Exponential (also known as unrestricted) growth can only last for a certain period of time. Eventually, the population model will turn into the logistic (restricted) growth when the growth of the population slows down. There is only so large of a population that any environment can support. When a population reaches the largest amount that a specific environment can support, it has reached its carrying capacity. If the carrying capacity is overreached, the competition and the natural selection process will increase.



Unit 2 vocab games


Fling the Teacher- Population

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More Review:

College Board AP review
De Blik textbook overview

Works Cited:

works cited

URLs for pictures:


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