Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.



Why Malthus Is Still Wrong

Why Malthus makes for bad science policy


The ideas of Thomas Malthus have always loomed large; the scope includes some of the biggest issues facing humanity’s continued existence on this planet.  His controversial ideas have been debated and inspired some policies that were especially damaging.  This anti-Malthusian op-ed was written by the Publisher of Skeptic Magazine; I typically pair this with the neo-Malthusian op-ed written by the  President of the Canada’s Population institute.  Comparing and contrasting the merits of these articles provides a way to get student to assess the strengths of an argument and to identify the bias/perspective of the author.  


Questions to Ponder: What did Malthus get right?  What did he get wrong? 


Tagsop-ed, demographics, population, APHG, unit 2 population

Fertility Rates-Differences Within Countries


“An important aspect about country level data of fertility to keep in mind is that there can be considerable heterogeneity within countries, which are hidden in the mean fertility which were discussed in this entry. The mean Total Fertility Rate for India in 2010 was 2.8 (UN Data): But this average hides the fact that the fertility in many Southern Indian regions was below 1.5 (which is similar to the mean fertility in many European countries), while the fertility in Northern India was still higher than 5 children per woman (which is as high as the mean of the African countries with the highest fertility).”


This is a stunning example of uneven development and regional differences within countries.  Too often we discuss countries as if the situation inside the borders of one country is the same throughout it, even if the geographic contexts can be wildly different. 

Questions to Ponder: Why are the fertility rates in so different in northern and southern India?  How does this regional imbalance impact the country?  What are other examples of major differences within a country? 

Tags: regions, population, demographic transition model, declining populationmodelsunit 2 population, India, South Asia. 

When Mexico Was Flooded By Immigrants

In the early nineteenth-century, Mexico had a problem with American immigrants.


A century and a half ago, the immigration debate and geopolitical shifts in power on the United States-Mexico border reflected a profoundly different dynamic than it does today.  This history has enduring cultural impacts on southwestern states that had the international border jump them.


Tags: culture, demographicsmigration, North Americahistorical, colonialism, borders, political.

Old Mexico lives on

On February 2nd 1848, following a short and one-sided war, Mexico agreed to cede more than half its territory to the United States. An area covering most of present-day Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, plus parts of several other states, was handed over to gringolandia. The rebellious state of Tejas, which had declared its independence from Mexico in 1836, was recognised as American soil too. But a century and a half later, communities have proved more durable than borders. The counties with the highest concentration of Mexicans (as defined by ethnicity, rather than citizenship) overlap closely with the area that belonged to Mexico before the great gringo land-grab of 1848. Some are recent arrivals; others trace their roots to long before the map was redrawn. They didn’t jump the border—it jumped them.


Tags: culture, demographics, North Americahistorical, colonialism, borders, political.


The Islamic World’s Quiet Revolution

Via Scoop.itGeography Education
“Forget politics. Muslim countries are poised to experience a new wave of change — but this time it’s all about demographics.”   

For generations the talk about demographics has been that Muslim-majority societies have cultural factors that keep fertility rates high despite the global trend that indicates that fertility rates will drop as societies become more wealthy and developed.  This ‘cultural immunity’ is not as impermeable as was once thought and we are now seeing falling birth rates and fertility rates throughout the Muslim World.  This article is heavy on statistics and charts, which would be a benefit to student as a potential Free Response Question.

The Russian Cross

Via Scoop.itGeography Education

The economic and social turmoil after the fall of the Soviet Union was profound enough to be seen in the demographic statistics.  Birth rates dropped as the death rates went up.  Typically when birth rates drop it is presented as an indicator of social development, but it clearly is not in this instance.  What explains these statistics?

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑