Population Growth

Lesson 1: How can we use data to represent population growth?

If the world map was based on population size not land size it would look like this….. (2002)

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 If the world map was based on birth rate not land size it would look like this….. (2000)

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A. Population Pyramids 

We use population pyramids to give a visual representation of the structure of a population.  As a class discuss what the data below is showing. What can we infer about the UK’s population in 2012 from this data?

Now have a go yourself. Use the pdf from New Wider World below to find out more about Population Pyramids and complete some of the exercises to check for understanding.

Population Pyramids, New Wider World

Population pyramid website

Many population pyramids world wide, over time.  http://www.google.com/search?q=population+pyramids&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=u9xXUPD2AaaciAeO4oDoAw&ved=0CDkQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=607

Here is the link to the gapminder website:  http://www.gapminder.org

B. The Demographic Transition Model

Lesson 2: What patterns and trends can be seen when populations grow?

Look at the Demographic Transition Model below. As a class discuss what it means.

Use the pdf below to answer question 2 (p19) in groups on large flip chart paper.

The Demographic Transition Model, New Wider World

Lesson 3: Thinking Skills

Now complete  a thinking routine Claim – Support – Reflect to answer the question

‘What are the impacts of the changing population structure of X country?’

In pairs, choose a country from the following list:







South Korea


 Another country of your choice to be agreed with your teacher

  1. Find the population pyramids for 2015, 2000 and 1980 for your country. Copy them and put them into a word document on your computer.
  2. On a large piece of flip chart paper put the question at the top and then write down as many ‘Claims’ as you can think of using the population pyramids and your knowledge of the DTM to guide you. Hint: consider the DTM, the carrying capacity, the dependency ratio
  3.  Now look for the support. Here you are trying to find evidence to see if your claims are accurate. Some of them might be wrong so just make a note of this. If you claim is correct write down some evidence for it (a statistic, an event, a trend or something else).
  4. Complete this piece of learning by writing a Reflection. This is an answer to the question using the evidence to support your points. You can do this as a piece of writing or as a power point presentation. 

Here are some resources to help you:

Will world population continue to grow?  This article says not. About that Overpopulation Problem
 South Korea 

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IranScreen Shot 2014-09-12 at 9.58.48 AM

Check out the website below for some interactive details about the growth of world population:


The article below looks at the 7 billionth baby and says that the world can support this population:


This is a 7 minute podcast from the BBC about malnutrition in Africa. It is helpful for examples of carrying capacity, stage 2 of the DTM and the role of food aid.

How many more? Short BBC clip