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1.How do you suppose living conditions differ between the countries furthest along in the demographic transition compared to the country earliest in the transition? How would living conditions in these two countries affect both birth and death rates? The living condition for countries earlier in the demographic transitions such as health and food supply are improving. Thus better health conditions decrease death rates and more food supply can lead to increasing birth rates. Since living conditions (health and food supply) are more stable in countries further along the demographic transition and more opportunities are available for women, death rates and birth rates remain fairly low.
2.Think of three social factors that contribute to lower birth rates in the countries farther along.
How might these social conditions be encouraged to emerge in less developed countries? Education, religion and economic status are three factors that contribute to lower birth rates. Providing an education and shifting away from “blue collar” workers gives an opportunity to both men and women, thus providing an upwards movement in the economic status of that individual.
With more opportunities to work, women tend to give birth at later ages. A religious belief is another factor to contribute to lower birth rates in some religions, as they values more a smaller family rather than a large family. In addition, some developed countries may offer free birth control through family planning services, therefore leading to childbearing at older ages.
As less developed countries become more stable, these social conditions can be encourage to emerge as they would have developed countries as a reference point in order to have a more balanced population within their country.
3. How does the shape of the population pyramid differ from most developed to least developed country? How do these different shapes relate to quality of life, particularly for those who are in the “prime of life” (roughly aged 20-60, depending on local conditions).
For less developed countries the population pyramid shows a rapid growth (expansive graph) of population, as for the more developed countries having a more stable (stationary graph) and slower growth of population. Expansive growth is typical for developing countries since most of their population consists of young people while elderly people are at higher risk of death since living conditions are severe. Developed countries have a stationary pyramid showing roughly equal amount of people in the “prime of life” age category, thus inferring that the quality of live in that country is greater.
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4. How and why does the shape change? How does an increase or decrease in the average childbearing age group change the population? Why do "first world" countries tend to have older childbearing women than "third world" countries? The shapes of the graphs were getting closer to the projected value as childbearing age increased. In contrast, when the childbearing age decreased the population growth was much steeper than the projected values. The childbearing age increased and the population growth rate decreased due women giving birth at an older age. First world countries tend offer women either higher education or the opportunity to work, thus increasing the age at which women give birth.
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5. Compare the final population pyramid for Italy to the one you sketched of Nigeria. How do they compare, and why are they similar and different? What do you think accounts for the difference? The final population pyramid for Italy and Nigeria are similar in the way that the population is stable and the population growth has reached 0% or is very close to zero. Italy reached a stable population much earlier than Nigeria. While the total population for Italy stayed small, Nigeria has approximately 7-9 times more population for each age group. Italy is further in the demographic transition and already had a declining growth rate keeping the population fairly small. In contrast, Nigeria is barely a developing country with a much higher growth rate thus creating a greater ending population. In terms of land and rural area, Nigeria has more land to expand and sustain this population size.
6. Many Western European countries are giving monetary incentives to employees who have multiple children. Why would they do this? How would a baby boom change Italy's demographics? Western European countries are giving monetary incentives to employees with multiple children because their population is decreasing and they want the population to increase. The average birth rate is 1.28 children per woman, not enough children are born to replace their parents. A baby boom would increase the population in Italy, that generation will then have more babies and cause an increase in population.
7. What would Egypt have to do in order to reach a zero growth rate? What kinds of challenges might the Egyptian government face in trying to implement these measures? Egypt would have to decrease their average birth rate to around 1.69 children per woman or increase the age group at which they start having babies. The Egyptian government would have to encourage women to pursue higher education and work in their careers, thus increasing the age group of childbearing. This would be challenging because it cannot be done from one day to another and would require some time.
8. What are the most obvious differences between these two countries? What might account for these differences? Notably, these two countries experience direct and fairly constant one-way migration, a factor not taken into account by this simulation. Imagine that a significant percentage of the Mexican population between the ages of 15 and 25 is migrating permanently to the USA. How would this change the shape of the pyramid?
The United States has a greater death rate and lower growth rate than Mexico. The United States is further in the demographic transition than Mexico and people are having fewer babies, while Mexico is having more babies and a fewer death rate. If a significant percentage of young Mexican population migrated to the United State, it would cause the United States pyramid to increase in that age group, also increasing the age group between 0-5 when they have babies. 9. Faced with mounting population pressure and the resultant drain on natural resources, many other growing populations feel this urge to migrate, and other dwindling nations already import labor. What is the expected result of a nation whose population is outstripping its resources and ability to feed its people, yet is not allowed to migrate peaceably?
A nation whose population is outstripping its resource and is not allowed to migrate peaceably is a perfect example seen today between Mexico and the US. Thus, we have the problem of illegal immigration towards the United States. This is also seen with illegal immigrants migrating into Mexico from South America. 10. In "third world" countries, what could be done to slow population growth? How might that be enforced? What are the more effective ways of maintaining a near zero population growth?
In order to slow down population growth “third world” countries would have to encourage gender equality, thus allowing women to work or get a higher education. This will lead to childbearing at an older age. Also sex education and implementing family planning services with free birth control as those given by “first world” would greatly slow population growth. The more effective ways to maintain population near zero is by decreasing the average birth rate and increasing the childbearing age group of women in “third world” countries. These implementations can be enforced through government policies and programs that encourage women or families to have babies enough to replace their parents. Using the example of Western European countries, the government in “third world” countries can give monetary incentives for families with less children.
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