POPULATION; DISTRIBUTION, CONTROL AND DEVELOPMENT
We have looked at the study
of population and its relation to resources. This helps us to understand more
fully the interrelationship between the resources, their uses and the supply
and demand theory. We shall also look at the relationships between population
control and resources, the growth of population and its effects, as well as
how population relates to development, and indicators.
Factors Affecting Population Density;
· Coastal; ease of access to other countries for trade.
· Lowland Areas; river valleys with fertile soils to make arable farming easier.
· Gently Sloping Land; makes building easier.
· Climate; temperate climate are good to grow crops and live in.
· Water Supplies; access to a water supply is essential. Central Africa is sparsely inhibited except for around Lake Victoria.
· Accessibility; access for trade, similar to coastal reasons.
· Resource Base; more resources will support more population.
· Soil Fertility; allows growth of crops.
· Climate; extremes of climate are sparsely inhabited, e.g. Antarctica or the desert.
· High Latitude; low angle of sun decreases the temperature and makes arable agriculture difficult.
· High Altitude; lack of oxygen and low temperatures.
· Landscapes which prevent the growth of staple dietary foods e.g. wheat/rice.
The 1 billion mark is estimated to have been reached in 1804. Doubling the world population will take 40 years. The next double will be in half the time, i.e. 20 years. 80% of the world's population live on 20% of the world's resources.
Malthusian Model [Self Regulation]
Thomas Malthus was a cleric and a scholar. He made studies of deer populations, and related these studies to the human world. He predicted that when resources became limited, then restrictions on population growth would come in to effect. These restrictions included; · Moral restraint · "Vice" (abortion, infanticide, contraception) - if this seems a bit strict, then remember he was a priest!
· "Checks", e.g. famines, diseases, wars. Some case studies appeared to prove Malthus correct, e.g. Madagascar, and the Ethiopian famine of the early 1980s. We now know the Ethiopian crisis to have been caused by geopolitical factors follwing a civil war in the country, which combined with a cyclical drought to cause famine.
These other models, the J curve and the S curve are both models which have been presented as how a population would alter in the event of exceeding the available resource limit. This has never occurred in reality, therefore we do not know exactly how a real population would cope. The island of Madagascar was the closest we have come to a population collapse. The red dotted line is the available limit of resources, and the blue line denotes populations.
CASE STUDIES OF POPULATION PROBLEMS;
During the various videos which accompanied the lessons on population, there were several statistics which stuck in the mind, either due to their brutality, or their shocking nature. · Two in three babies are born in poverty. · 95% of the world's population growth is taking place in the countries which are least able to deal with it. · 80% of the world's resources are used by just 20% of the world's population. · 6 days of the world's defence budgets would pay for a year's family planning. · African debt is valued at some US $170 billion. · In the time period of 1960 - 1980, servicing the interest on the debt has wiped out the GNP of the majority of the African countries. · Only one in five women have access to Family Planning advice and information. · If no unwanted children were born, then the Birth Rate of many continents would decrease by significant amounts; Þ The birth rate of Africa would fall by 27%. Þ The birth rate in India would fall by 35%. Þ The birth rate in Latin America would fall by 37%. · If population control can be established to replacement levels, then the world population should stabilise at around 11 billion by the year 2050.
We now turn to various case studies, some on the policies and effects of population control, others on entirely the opposite. We start with China.
(1) China; · In the 1950s, post world war, the Chinese population were encouraged to have as many children as possible, in order to repopulate and to provide for the future. · The population increased rapidly. Baby booms were common across all world states, as the post war euphoria led to pregnancies. · Chairman Mao realised that the resources of China could not cope - it had 25% of the world's population and 10% of the world's land. · The One Child Policy was introduced in 1979. Under this policy, a couple are only allowed to bear one child. They must register their interest with their place of work. This ensure compliance; if they have too many children, they lose their income. · Unwanted children are often aborted, and then the couple can try again. An illegal pregnancy is terminated in the hospital before the child is crowned. · The care system provides good medical and social care for children. If families are to have only one child, then they must be assured of its well being and survival. There are financial benefits for compliance. If a couple has more than one child, they must repay the benefits for the first. · Women are encouraged to attend Family Planning classes. However, the majority of the population are under child bearing age. This is in effect a "demographic time bomb". This means that there will come a time when an explosion of population will take place, and this will still be under the One Child Policy. · Rules are less strictly enforced in the countryside. There are no places of employment with spies with which to register, nor are there state hospitals. The rural peasants still rely on large families in order to support them in dotage. · Male dominated culture means that many females are aborted or given up for adoption. China may become a country dominated by males, with virtually no female population. · The state can inflict its views on the population because of the nature of the Communist (Maoist) regime in place in the country. The will of the State is important to the average citizen, more so than in a less restrictive MEDC.
(2) Ireland (Eire) · Ireland is another case study for the infliction of views on the general population. · While it does not have a population problem per se, the Irish people are subject to laws which have been passed in favour of a regime which is not entirely accepted. · The Irish population, in the main, is Roman Catholic. The Church forbids artificial contraception, believing it to be an act against the will of God. · The Church, therefore, is free to turn personal dogma in to law through legislation passed by a largely Catholic Parliament. · It is illegal to use artificial contraception, or to partake in Family Planning in Ireland. · Therefore, the population is open to the transmission of disease.
(3) France · The population of France suffered heavy losses during the First and the Second World War. The country was invaded, and the countryside decimated. Whole sections of the population were removed. Population fell. · The government of the time decided that repopulation was to be encouraged, and offered grants to those who had children. · By 1920, all forms of contraception were made illegal. · Although it is no longer illegal, the repopulation policy continues. · It is thought to have cost in excess of £11 billion sterling. The target is to increase the French population to 100 million by the 21st century.
(4) Egypt: · Egypt is a relatively poor country. Its only source of habitable land, amounting to some 4% of the country's total area, is the delta of the River Nile. 96% of Egypt is uninhabitable. · Over 70% of all goods used are imported. · The Nile is the most valuable resource in Egypt. The Egyptian government have declared that their only reason for going to war would be if someone threatened their water supplies. · Egypt has passed Stages 1 and 2 on the Demographic Transition Model. Egypt is still in stage 3. · The government is trying persuade its citizens to exercise control, and providing Family Planning services. · Despite the fact that around 50% of the Egyptian population is under 16, the use of contraceptives has doubled in the past 10 years. · The average family size has fallen from 7 children per family to just 4 children per family. · Egypt is the only Muslim country to have 50% contraceptive use.
(5) Columbia · Columbia is another religious country, though in this case it is staunchly Catholic. · Profamilia, is an organisation which helps families. It provides advice on Family Planning, and carries out many sterilisations each year as part of an integrated healthcare system. It is one of the first services in the slums. · It also provides education to the youths of Columbia, who have among the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world. · It is not aided by the government, but neither is it opposed. Opposition from Catholic leaders has gradually been overcome. · The average number of children in a family in an LEDC was 6. It has fallen to 3.8. In Columbia, the average family size has fallen from 7 to 2.8, largely due to the work of Profamilia.
(6) Philippines; · All the wealth of the Philippines was expended and taken during the Second World War. It has a small resource base. · However, the population is growing at a rate of 2.4% p.a. which leads to a population doubling within 30 years. · Services are provided in hospitals, and post natal care. 15000 school rooms, 28 000 teachers and 1 million jobs are required p.a.. · The Catholic Church believes that contraception leads to either promiscuity or abortion, both of which are classified as "mortal" sins. The Church also believes that contraception should not be used between couples within marriage. · Many have suggested that the Catholic Church rethink its policies. However, the state has played no role, because of the commonly held belief that state interference will lead to state responsibility.
Religions and Contraception. · The Islamic religion has no laws on family planning provided both parties consent, as far as I am aware. Islamic societies backed by oil money can increasingly play a role on the world political stage. · The Catholic Church is among the most criticised for its policies on artificial contraception. Natural contraception (i.e. by abstinence at a fertile period) poses no problem for the Church. However, the artificial prevention of "God's Will" is a sin. · Widespread public reaction to this ruling has caused a rethink of Church policy. In 1964, the Vatican Council voted to abolish the rules on artificial contraception.