Population Policies: Problems and solutions to an uneven population structure.


Aim: To find out how government policies have impacted upon birth rates in different countries around the world.

The following activity is taken from geographypods.com

Task 1: Starter

Why do governments want to control the birth rate and how do they communicate this to their people? You have five minutes to create your own slogan to encourage (pro natalist) or discourage (anti natalist) the fertility rate of a population.

Make a note of you slogan.


Task 2: Population Propoganda

Click here to be taken to a website that has some of the most famous policies and how they were 'advertised'.

i. Choose three posters and copy them into the work sheet below


ii. Annotate around each poster the message and how the government is trying to persuade their people to conform. Don't forget to explain what they are suggesting.

China OCP Poster.jpg

Translation: "It's better to marry and have children at a mature age."

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Medical Materials Clearinghouse

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health/Center for Communication Programs


Task 3: ANTI-NATALIST POLICY - CHINA



An anti-natalist policy is concerned with limiting population growth by encouraging the population to have less children. The most famous example of this is in China and a policy called 'The One Child Policy'.


33 years in 10 minutes. Watch the video below and take notes using the worksheet .




The key questions that you should answer are

i. Three key points of OCP

ii. Exceptions to the OCP rule (for Han Chinese Population)

iii. How to enforce the OCP (that doesn't sound too bad)

iv. If you had a second child, what would happen?

v. Unapproved pregnancies

vi. What was the target population? What was achieved?

vii. Is the OCP still in place? What happens now?

viii. What is the 4-2-1 problem?

ix. What is the 'Spare Branches' problem?

x. What is the 'Little Emperor' problem?




Task 4 - Create a single page summary of the One Child Policy in China. The resources below will help you complete this task

  • WHAT is the One Child Policy?

  • WHERE is the One Child Policy used? This section should include a map and a location description

  • WHEN was the policy introduced? This section should be sequenced in chronological order

  • WHY was the policy introduced? Here you should explain why the Chinese authorities introduce the policy.

  • WHO is affected by the policy?

  • HOW is the policy implemented? In this section you should describe and explain the methods used by the authorities to ensure people follow the policy.

  • SUCCESSES and FAILURES of the One Child Policy.

Resources for Task 5:






pyramids_china_india.gif









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Task 6: Exam Style Question

For a named country, state a policy which has been used to influence the rates of population growth. Describe the impacts of this policy. (7 marks)


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Task 7: Why has the OneChild Policy been relaxed?

You are to work independently to find out the reasons why the OCP has been relaxed from 2016 onwards. Use the embedded FLIPBOARD below that Simon Armitage has collated.

It has a vast amount of information on the situation. Scroll down from the home image to access this information.

View my Flipboard Magazine.

Key Questions to Answer

Why has it been relaxed? - Look for information on the negative social and economic impacts since 1979.

Will a two child policy make things better? - What do people say? Can you find two conflicting points of view?

Write your notes up on a Word document under the title above.





Examples of Pro Natalist Policies:


Below are two examples of Pro Natalist policies. One from Japan and the other from France. You are to chose one case study and use the framework below to summarise the policy.

  • WHAT was the policy?

  • WHERE was the policy implemented? This section should include a map and a location description

  • WHEN was the policy introduced? This section should be sequenced in chronological order

  • WHY was the policy introduced? Here you should explain why the authorities introduce the policy.

  • WHO is affected by the policy?

  • HOW is the policy implemented? In this section you should describe and explain the methods used by the authorities to ensure people follow the policy.

  • How successful was the policy? You should highlight both successes and failures.

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1) Japan

japan old people.jpg

Young Japanese 'decline to fall in love' Japan struggles to deal with it's shrinking population.


Japan population to shrink by one-third by 2060

The Japanese population is expected to shrink by one third in the next half century, a government report says.

Discounts and time off work: how Japan is battling a birthrate in decline


The country's low birthrate and ageing society are taking the world's third-biggest economy to the brink of a demographic crisis


2) France


The Health and Welfare ministry estimates that 40% of the population will be of retirement age by 2060.

France's Pro-natalist Policy

Many areas of Europe have a low fertility rate because of the following reasons:
  • education - people are more aware of the availability of contraception and consequences an unplanned pregnancy can have on their career
  • women in careers - Women may choose to follow their career choice rather than start a family while young
  • later marriages
  • state benefits - couples no longer need children to help care for them when older
France was a country with concerns that professional women were choosing not to have children. The government were worried that the population was not going to replace itself over time.
The policies that were put in place to encourage three-children families were:
  • a cash incentive of £675 monthly (nearly the minimum wage) for a mother to stay off work for one year following the birth of her third child
  • the 'carte famille nombreuse' (large family card), giving large reductions on train fares
  • income tax based on the more children the less tax to pay
  • three years paid parental leave, which can be used by mothers or fathers
  • government subsidised daycare for children under the age of three, and full time school places for over threes paid for by the government
This has resulted in mothers considering having children and remaining in work. The fertility rate in France is one of Europe's highest.
(from BBC Bitesize)


Alternative Case Studies:

Anti natalist policy: India



India's population is estimated to be around one billion. India has one of the highest population growth rates in the world. In the last ten years its population has increased by 181 million. If this growth rate continues it could become the world's most populated country by 2020. However, India's population growth rate is slowing. This is particularly the case in the southern state of Kerala. In Kerala there have been a number of initiatives to reduce population growth:


1. Women are being educated

Around half of all Indian women cannot read or write (illiterate). However, in Kerala 85% of women are literate. Better educated women are more likely to keep their children healthy. Therefore infant mortality has dropped. This has led to a drop in birth rates. If children are surviving families no longer have to have a couple of extra children to replace those that die.

2. Contraception is more widely available

3. The status of women has improved significantly

Women are no longer seen as a burden - they are regarded as an asset. Traditionally in India when a woman gets married the family have to pay money to the bridegroom's family. This is called a dowry. However, in Kerala it is the bridegroom's family who pay a dowry to the brides family.
(from geography.learnontheinternet.co.uk)




Anti Natalist and Pro Natalist Policies: Singapore

Singapore Population Policies.PNG