Part 1: Introduction

a) On this worksheet from Geographypods.com make Population Predictions using the population clock above.

b) What do you already know?

Part 2: Global Population Growth

The inspiration for this unit came from the film below by Hans Rosling and the Gapminder website that he set up.

We will be using excerpts from this film throughout the unit.

How did we get to 7 Billion?

"In the early days of human society, there were few rules governing people’s everyday existence. With so few people living in sparsely-populated communities, there was little need for laws to govern how people acquired food, disposed of waste, moved from one area to another, or educated their children. Over the millennia, social structures and environmental management have changed as the human population has grown, necessitating more organisation and cooperation. Advances in science and technology have also been spurred on by population growth. We are continually trying to find ways to provide more goods and services more efficiently to meet the needs of our growing population. The history of almost every aspect of our present lifestyle can be linked to the demographic history of the world." (ZPG Population Education Program World of 6 Billion Activity Guide 2000)

Human Population Through the Ages, Econosystemics.com, Copyright Bryan Long, 2009

a) Population Bench marking task

b) Why has population growth changed over time?

Look back at the benchmarks we used in the previous exercise. Can you use them to explain why population growth has changed over time.
Use what you have learned to annotate the two graphs on the document below.

c) What impact did the bench marks have.

Look back at the benchmarks you added to your graphs. Some caused life expectancy to increase, some reduced birth or death rates. Look at each benchmark and then create a key to enable you to highlight the impact each benchmark had. Some may have multiple impacts.

Part 3: Birth Rates, Death Rates and Natural Increase.

a) Save a copy of the definitions sheet below. (from Greenfield Geography)

See how many you can already complete without looking anything up.

Natural Increase

Natural Population Change.jpg

Natural Increase.jpg

b) Where is the population growing and where is it shrinking?

Insert a copy of the map below into your notes and then answer the questions.
2010 natural population change.png

i) Name three countries with high natural increase.

ii) Name three countries with naturally decreasing populations.

iii) Describe the overall pattern shown in the map.

c) How do birth and death rates vary around the world?

i) The maps below are from the World Bank. Write two paragraphs to describe the global patterns of Global Birth and Death Rates. Make sure you name regions, specific countries and include give data to support your answer.

d) Factors affecting birth rates and death rates:

So what causes birth and death rates to change?

Read through this power point presentation and make sure you understand what it is saying.

  1. Open a word document and give it the title,” Factors Affecting Birth Rate and Death Rate.”

  1. Write out the precise definitions for birth rate and death rate at the top of a new word document.

  1. Copy the table below into your word document.

Birth Rate
Birth Rate and Death Rate
Death Rate


Social Provision

Cultural Factors

Political Factors

Environmental Factors

Read through the powerpoint above and add each factor to the correct colum of the table. If you think a factor will impact both birth and death rate, enter it into the middle column.

  1. Pick three factors that you think can have the greatest impact on Death Rate and describe them in detail. This page may help with your description.

  1. How can adult literacy be linked to birth rate? Explain your answer.

  1. Why do you think it is easier to lower the death rate than the birth rate? You should refer to factors in the table above in your answer.


Use Gapminder to learn more about the factors that affect Birth and Death Rates. Click on the image below to go to the site.

Gapminder BR v GDP.PNG

Exam Style Question

Pop growth exam Q.PNG

Other useful links


Here is a page that explains the reasons for population growth and the idea of Natural Increase. It also mentions the idea of overpopulation and the problems that this can cause.

7 Billion: How does that compare to other species on the planet?