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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

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demographics

Population, Sustainability, and Malthus

In which John Green teaches you about population. So, how many people can reasonably live on the Earth? Thomas Malthus got it totally wrong in the 19th century, but for some reason, he keeps coming up when we talk about population. In 1800, the human population of the Earth passed 1 billion, and Thomas Malthus posited that growth had hit its ceiling, and the population would level off and stop growing. He was totally right. Just kidding, he was totally wrong! There are like 7 billion people on the planet now! John will teach a little about how Malthus made his calculations, and explain how Malthus came up with the wrong answer. As is often the case, it has to do with making projections based on faulty assumptions. Man, people do that a lot.

Source: www.youtube.com

This is a succinct summary of Malthusian ideas on population.  What do you think of his ideas?  Any specific parts of his theory that you agree with?  Do you disagree with some of his ideas?  What did history have to say about it?  

 

Tags: Demographics, population, models, APHGunit 2 population

Scottish baby box pilot scheme launched

“All newborn children in Scotland will receive the boxes by the summer following a three-month pilot. The boxes include clothing, bedding and toys and are based on a project that has been running in Finland since 1938 to give all children an equal start.”

Source: www.bbc.com

Just before World War II, the Finnish government provided boxes filled with material goods to expectant mothers with the hopes of improving infant mortality rates, pre-natal care, and promoting good parenting.  The baby box was born and not surprisingly, Finland has the best infant mortality rates in the world.  Now Scotland is implementing a similar program as this idea is has diffusing around the world.       

 

Tags: FinlandUK medical, population, demographic transition model, unit 2 population.

Is being childless a taboo in Nigeria?

“Childlessness affects millions of women and couples around the world. Infertility in the man or woman is sometimes the cause, as can be the presence of a medical condition or untreated illness. Women across Africa report that not having a child is often frowned upon, and sometimes carries a stigma. Market-goers in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, share their views with BBC Africa’s Bola Mosuro.”

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Nigeria’s population is growing–there are economic as well as cultural explanations for this and in these two videos, the BBC explores some of the cultural factors that impact family size in West Africa.  Some African couples who now live in the U.K. still face some of these cultural pressures to have large families.  

 

Tags: Nigeria, population, demographics.

 

Human Population Through Time

It took 200,000 years for our human population to reach 1 billion—and only 200 years to reach 7 billion. But growth has begun slowing, as women have fewer babies on average. When will our global population peak? And how can we minimize our impact on Earth’s resources, even as we approach 11 billion?

Source: www.youtube.com

As stated in a Vox article, “The video above, from the American Museum of Natural History, shows essentially all of human history in just six minutes. It shows humanity spreading across the world over a few hundred thousand years — even as our population remained under 1 million. After that came the rise and fall of many empires and civilizations, plagues, wars, and so on — all the way to our current population of around 7 billion.”  Admittedly, the video is a bit “slow” in the middle, but that is a major part of the story of human population growth, and only serves to show how dramatic the population growth is at the end.  This video brings up more questions than it has answers.

 

Tags: demographicsmappingmigration, populationhistorical, unit 2 population 

Why Malthus Is Still Wrong

Why Malthus makes for bad science policy

Source: www.scientificamerican.com

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

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“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).”

Source: ourworldindata.org

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.

Source: daily.jstor.org

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.

Source: www.economist.com

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.
Via www.foreignpolicy.com

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