LOWER SIXTH - KGP SCHEDULE, WEEKS 2-9
MODULE 1 THE DYNAMICS OF CHANGE
10.2 PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT -POPULATION AND RESOURCES - SWEDEN

SWEDEN - HOW SWEDEN'S UNDERPOPULATION RELATES TO RESOURCE AND TECHNOLOGICAL AVAILABILITY

An underpopulated country is a country where there are far more resources and minerals in that country that can be used by the number of people living there.

The reasons for underpopulation of areas with such an attractive range of resources varies for each area but it is due to it appearing unattractive when compared with more settled areas.

Underpopulation Analysis

Sweden's Resources

Sweden has the following resources: Zinc, iron ore, lead, copper, silver, timber and uranium. Also there is a thriving wood pulp and paper industry in Sweden. There is an easy access (for imports and exports) route through the Gulf of Bothnia. The Gulf of Bothnia and the Atlantic Ocean can be used for fishing as can the Baltic Sea. Sweden exports $85.7 billion (1999) with the main exports being machinery, motor vehicles, paper products, iron and steel products and chemicals.

How is Sweden Underpopulated?

Despite the vast range of resources the population density is only 19.82ppl/sq km. Population density under 20ppl/sq km makes the country underpopulated. To add to this the population of Sweden is increasing by 0.02% per year, which is extremely low. This means that Sweden is in Stage 4 of the Demographic Transition Model and verging on Stage 5 (where death rates exceed birth rates).

Why is Sweden Underpopulated?

The probable reasons for Sweden's underpopulation are:
- Cold Climate - The average winter temperature ranges from -5ºC (in the south) to -15ºC (in the north) and the average summer temperatures ranging from 5ºC (in the north) to 15ºC (in the south). These are relatively cool temperatures compared to other possible habitats such as the UK (where temperatures are approximately 10ºC warmer). This detracts people from working and therefore living in Sweden as the climate is not very favourable. Also the main regions of untapped resource potential are found in the "subartic" region where the temperatures would be extremely cold and climate unfavourable in winter.

- Natural Hazards - Due to the cold temperatures ice floes are found in the Gulf of Bothnia and these affect shipping routes and therefore import/exports. This will be unfavourable for businesses if they cannot be assured of giving reliable service.
- Terrain - The lowest population densities in Sweden are found in the west where there are mountains. The mountainous region will have steep slopes unsuitable for settlements and also a hostile climate therefore reducing the numbers of people willing to live and work there even though there are many mineral resources there such as lead and zinc. There is also the potential for HEP due to high rainfall and steep slopes.
- Lack of labour force - This means that the land and its resources cannot be utilised as there are not enough labourers willing to work in the harsh environment brought about by the cold climate.

Bibliography
Geography: An Integrated Approach - David Waugh
www.mapblast.com
www.pupilvision.com


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