Human Population Notes


History of Human Population

  • Human populations were kept in check by _________, famines and ________ until the middle ages
    • ex: Infanticide, Bubonic Plagues
  • Populations began to increase rapidly after A.D. _________ (Increased sailing and navigating skills, agricultural developments, better sources of power, better health care and hygiene)

We are now in a J-curve, population is increasing at an exponential rate. Our present population is 6.__ billion people and growing by 100 million people per year.

Demographics- vital statistics about people (births, deaths, where people live, total population size)

  • Crude Birth rate- the number of births in a year per __________ persons
  • Crude Death rate- the number of _________ per thousand persons in any given year
  • Life ___________- the average age that a newborn infant can expect to attain in any given society

To calculate the annual rate of population growth subtract the crude death rate from the crude birth rate and __________ by 10.

Population Change= (crude birthrate + immigration) - (crude death rate + emigration)

The replacement fertility rate is the number of children a couple must have to keep the population ____________. In the third world it is 2.7, in the US it is 2.1.

  • Developing countries have seen the greatest progress
  • Discrepancies in how benefits are distributed within a country are shown by varying life expectancies at different areas in a country

Annual ____________ has a strong correlation to life expectancy

  • Developing Countries- residents live for about _________ as long as they used to                   
  • Developed Countries- increase not as great because it was higher to begin with

Age Structure/ Histogram Diagrams

  • If the population diagram is wide based the population is ____________.
  • If the diagram is columnar, the population is staying the _________.
  • If it is an upside down pyramid, the population is getting _________.

Pick a country!


Impact on Resources

The more people there are, the more __________ are used. 

Especially in _____________ countries like the U.S.

Carrying Capacity- local, regional and global

  • The maximum carrying capacity for humans on the Earth is ____-_____ billion (some resources say _____ billion). 
  • Our footprint is the number of _______ required to meet the resource needs of an individual.
  • The average ecological footprint an American makes is approximately _____ acres/person.

    What is your ecological footprint?


Population Projections and Solutions

There could be a population ___________ past the carrying capacity and then a _______ or we could _________ our population growth to an S-curve

Estimated Demographic Transitions- from high birth and death rates to lower birth and death rates due to improved __________ conditions and __________ development

Stage 1: Pre-Industrial

Stage 2: Transitional

Stage 3: Industrial

Stage 4: Post-Industrial

Stage 5: Sub-Replacement Fertility


  • As a nation first develops, death rates ________ but birth rates ________. This is due to better __________ and __________ care.
  • It takes a while for societies to catch on culturally that they don't need as many __________.
  • Eventually as a society develops and women get more education, the birth rate ____________.


Population Size

The Secret to Reducing Population Growth?

Empower and educate women!

  • If females are _____________ about birth control, and made aware that they do not need to have many children to replace them, they will not have as many babies. 
  • Also, if their ____________ status and education level is improved, many women will get jobs instead of having children

Case study China- Another option is have economic penalities for having too many children.


Cairo Conference- 179 countries met in 1994 to develop an action plan to deal with _____________ growth and included issues such as poverty and health care

         5 Basic Components

    1. Provides ___________-planning services
    2. Promotes free ___________, private investment, and assistance to countries that need help.
    3. Addresses issues of _________ equity.
    4. Addresses issues of equal access to ____________ opportunity.
    5. Supports Female Education

Impacts of population growth


  • 25% of the world is malnourished
  • Factors contributing to famine are poverty, droughts, wars, foreign investiments and populations that have passed their carrying capacity.


AIDS, Spanish Influenza, heart disease, cancer, cigarette smoking, and tuberculosis (in 3rd world). Malaria is the number one tropical disease.

Resource Use and Habitat Destruction

  • The net primary productivity is the total amount of solar energy converted into biochemical energy through photosynethesis.
  • Human activity uses about 40% of the world net primary productivity.
  • All the other life uses what's left- 60%. If humans used 100% of all the net primary productivity, the maximum number of people on the Earth would be 15 billion.
    • What would the Earth look like with every spare centimeter of space used for human needs?