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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

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10 countries that desperately want people to have more sex

Roughly half the countries around the world experience low fertility rates, and some get pretty creative in how they encourage procreation.

Source: www.businessinsider.com

While many countries have anti-natalist policies (policies to discourage more births), other countries with declining populations have pro-natalist policies in an attempt to increase fertility rates.  While not an exhaustive list, this list gives a few more examples that teachers can use to show how countries in stage 4 of the demographic transition are dealing with declining fertility rates.  

 

 

Tags: declining populations, population, demographic transition model, modelsunit 2 population. 

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Why do women live longer than men?

Despite the social inequality women experience, they live longer than men. This is the case without a single exception, in all countries.

Source: www.weforum.org

The question “why do women live longer than men?” is both biological and cultural.  This means that 1) gender as a cultural construct that influences behavior is a mitigating factor and 2) sex, as a biochemical issue, is a separate set of determining factors.  Estrogen benefits women because it lowers “bad” cholesterol) and “good” cholesterol, but testosterone does the opposite.  Women are more likely to have chronic diseases, but non-fatal chronic disease, but men are more prone to the more fatal chronic illnesses.  For the cultural reasons, men are less likely to seek treatment, adhere to the prescribed treatment, commit suicide, and engage in more risky behavior.  While these may read like a list of gendered stereotypes that don’t apply to all, when looking at the global data sets, these trends hold  and are more likely to be true.  How masculinity and femininity is constructed certainly shapes many of these factors and deserves some discussion. 

 

Tags: culture, population, mortality, development, cultural norms, statisticsgender

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.

Why Italy’s ‘Fertility Day’ is backfiring

“Facing a low fertility rate (1.4), Italy is holding its first ‘Fertility Day‘ on Sept. 22, which will emphasize ‘the beauty of motherhood and fatherhood’ and host roundtable discussions on fertility and reproductive health. That may seem inoffensive, but the country’s health department is trying to raise awareness with an ad campaign that’s striking many as misguided and, worse, sexist and alarmist.”

Source: www.cbsnews.com

This pro-natalist campaign designed by the health ministry has received near universal criticism (in an attempt to see other perspectives, I searched for a more positive or even neutral article on the topic and came up empty-handed).  Italy’s Prime Minister openly scoffed at the premise of the campaign, and many pundits argue that it shames and pressures women into thinking about personal choices of childbearing as if they were communal responsibilities.  Unlike the infamous ‘Do it For Denmark‘ advertisements that were filled with playful innuendos, or Singapore’s ‘Maybe Baby‘ which highlights the joys of parenthood, this one has more overtones of duty and plays on fear more than those other pro-natalist campaigns.      

 

Tags:  ItalyEurope, declining populations, population, demographic transition model, modelsunit 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. 

Global Multidimensional Poverty Index

“The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is an international measure of acute poverty covering over 100 developing countries. It complements traditional income-based poverty measures by capturing the severe deprivations that each person faces at the same time with respect to education, health and living standards.”

Source: www.ophi.org.uk

The MPI was developed out of a desire to fill some of the gaps in the HDI’s applicability and utility.  Allow me to quote the editor of one the NCGE’s journals, the Geography Teacher, on the usefulness of the MPI website for classroom use: “With the infographics, maps, graphs, country briefings, and case studies, you have a ready-made lesson activities to demonstrate patterns of fertility, mortality, and health for a population unit, and access to health care, education, utilities, and sanitation for an Industrialization and Economic Development Unit. Connections can also be made to malnutrition and water, as well as to key concepts such as pattern and scale, to key geographical skills such as how to use and think about maps and geospatial data, and to the use of online maps and online data.”  Also, this article from the World Bank also give a run-down on the key findings of the MPI in 2014. 

Tags: statisticspopulation, development, unit 2 population, unit 6 industry.

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