World Population

Part 1:

World population:

The chart below shows the population size for the year -8000 to 2050, data was retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau database:

Graph A:

The above chart can be subdivided into four stages according to Beaver (1995) who interprets the demographic transition theory, these stages are discussed below:

Stage 1 (-8000 to 1400):

According to the demographic transition theory this stage is characterised by high birth and death rates, from the chart during this period the population remained relatively stable and population changes were relatively low, according to the theory high death rates are as a result of poor sanitation, lack of medical care and diseases. High birth rates are also evident in this stage and this is because the people want to replace the dying population, they need children to work and the lack of contraceptives to reduce birth rates. (Beaver, 1995)


World Population

Stage 2 (1400 to 1850):

This stage is characterised by a decline in death rates, however birth rates remain relatively high, and the increase in birth rates is as a result of improved sanitation, improved medical care and increased food supply. From the chart this stage is depicted by the period 1400 to 1800 where the population size increases by larger margins due to low death rates. (Beaver, 1995)

Stage 3 (1850 to 1990):

In stage two birth rates were still relatively high but in this stage improvements in medical care and the introduction of contraceptives lead to a decline in birth rates, other factors that affect birth rates is that there is increased education of women, increased status of women in the society and therefore women are engaged in other activities of economic developed rather than child birth, decline in the value of children whereby in the past people needed children to help in farm activities but at this stage this demand declines, and finally decline in food supply reduces birth rates. (Beaver, 1995)

Stage 4 (1990 to 2050):

According to the demographic transition theory the forth stage is characterised by birth rates lower than death rate, this levels threaten the societies today example Germany where birth rates are relatively lower than death rates, this leads to a decline in population size, high death rates are due to lifestyle ailments such as obesity and low birth rates are due to increased contraceptive use and other birth control methods. (Beaver, 1995)

Other factors that explain this changes is war and diseases, from the chart the period 1900 to 1950 depicts an increase in population size but art a lower rate than previous years, this can be explained by the existence of war in this period, whereby the first WW 1914 to 1918 claimed 15


World Population

million lives, the second WW 1937 to 1945 claimed 55 million lives, this contributed to the death rates reducing population size. (Facts about world history, 2009)

The other reason is that for the period 1000 to 1400 there was a decline in temperatures in the northern hemisphere and this decline in temperature reduced agricultural production, for this reason the population size in the world remained relatively low. Finally the increase in population after 1945 can be explained by the increased agricultural production also referred to as the green revolution which led to increased birth rates. (Facts about world history, 2009)

Graph B:

The chart below shows the population growth rate for the period -5000 to 2050, data was retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau data base:

The chart depict a line graph which is the population growth rate over time while the bar graph shows population change, an increase in population growth results into an increase in change in population, for example the period 1800 to 1970 was characterised by an increase in population growth rate, this resulted into an increase in the change in population size to a high in 1990.

This relationship can be explained by the fact that if population size is relatively low, then even if the population growth rate is high then the change in population size will be relatively low, however if the population size is relatively high and population growth is relatively low, then the change in population size will also be high. This means that the change in population size will depend on the growth rate and the population size.

Assuming that in 2000 the population growth rate is 1.15%, also the population size in this year was 6081 million. The number of years it will take for the population to double is determined as follows:


World Population

Fp = Pp*(1+ r) n

Where Fp is future population size, Pp is present population size, r is growth rate and n is the number of years,

The values are substituted as follows:

Given future value is double present value:

(6081*2) = (6081)*(1+ 0.0115) n

Divide both sides by 6081

2= (1+ 0.0115) n

2= (1.0115) n

Finding the log values on both sides:

Log 2 = n log 1.0115

0.301029996 = n (0.004965887)


World Population

N= (0.301029996)/ (0.004965887)

N= 60.61958

Therefore it will take approximately 61 years for the population to double.

Part 2:

This section compares Germany an industrialised country and china a developing country, the countries are discussed in terms of origin, population, geography, economy and

A. Germany:

1. Founding:

In 1879 the US, UK, USSR and France subdivided and occupied the current area of Germany, in 1949 west and east Germany gained independence and finally in 1990 west and east Germany were unified to form the German federal republic.

1. Geographic characteristics:


World Population

Germany is located in central Europe and bounders the North Sea and the Baltic sea and bounders Denmark to the north. 33.13% of land in Germany is arable while 0.6% of the land is occupied by permanent crops. Resources available include copper, iron, natural gas, coal and uranium and the major natural hazard in Germany include flooding.

1. Type of government:

Germany has a federal republic form of government

1. Majority and minority cultural groups:

There are number of cultural groups in Germany, majority which is 91.5% of the population are Germans and the minority group which is 2.4% are Turkish.

1. The country size:

Total area of German is 357,022 kilometres squared and the land area is 348,672 kilometres squared.

1. The current population and population density:

The current population is estimated at 82 million, and this amount to approximately 235.18 people per square kilometre, population growth rate is negative and is estimated at -0.053%.


World Population

1. Population size of the largest city:

The largest city in Germany is Berlin, the total population in the city is 3.431 million and therefore the population density is 3,848 per kilometre squared

1. Differences between rural and urban areas:

74% of the population in Germany live in urban areas while the remaining 26% live in rural areas, and the urbanisation rate is 0.1%.

1. Economic structure:

The economy in Germany is a free market economy, according to 2008 estimates the GDP value was $3.65 trillion and this amounted to $23,650 GDP per capita.

B. China:

1. Founding:

China is one of the oldest civilisations containing artefacts dating back to 5000 years, and the


World Population

country was ruled by dynasties and in 221BC the Qin dynasty and Chin dynasty were unified, this unified government was then replaced by the republic of china in 1912.

1. Geographic characteristics:

China is allocated in Eastern Asia between Vietnam and North Korea, total arable land is 14.86%, and natural hazards in china include typhoons, earth quakes and drought

1. Type of government:

China is a communist state

1. Majority and minority cultural groups:

The Han cultural group is the largest and comprises of 91.5% of the entire population, Korean cultural group is the smallest group.

1. The country size:

The country is the fourth largest in the world and total area is 9,596,961 kilometres squared, and land area is 9,569,901.

1. The current population and population density:


World Population

Population is estimated at 1,338 million and the growth rate is estimated at 0.655%, the population density is approximately 139.8134 per square kilometre.

1. Population size of the largest city:

Beijing is the largest city with a population of 1,743,000 people, and the population density is 103.74 per kilometre squared.

1. Differences between rural and urban areas:

43% of the population live in urban areas while 57% live in rural areas, the urbanisation rate in china is 2.7%.

1. Economic structure:

A free market economy exists in China and the estimated GDP in 2008 showed that GDP comprised of 10.9% agricultural production, 48.6% industrial production and 40.5% services. Per capita GDP was estimated at $6,500.



World Population

From the above analysis of Germany and china it is evident that Germany population growth rate is negative while China population is high and growth rate is positive, this means that it is expected that the German population is expected to decline in future while china population is expected to continue growing in future.


Beaver, S. (1995) Demographic transition theory: Reinterpreted to recent trends, New  Jersey:

Prentice hall press.

January, from

January, from

January, from

U.S. Census Bureau database (2009) population size for the year -8000 to 2050