001 - Population Change

Geographic Knowledge and Understanding

Population change and demographic transition over time, including natural increase, fertility rate, life expectancy, population structure and dependency ratios.


Population change occurs due to a series of processes. The rate of these demographic processes varies in time and place.


To be able to define the terms: natural increase, fertility rate, life expectancy and dependency ratio.
To be able to describe and explain population change by using the demographic transition model (DTM).
To be able to use population pyramids to describe and explain population structure.
To develop detailed examples within each DTM stage using the World Bank.

Key Terminology

  • Natural Increase
  • Crude Birth Rates
  • Crude Death Rates
  • Fertility Rates
  • Life Expectancy
  • Infant Mortality Rates
  • Dependency Ratio
  • Demographic Transition Model
  • Population Pyramid
Define the key terms above by using the 'Geography. Global Change. Study and Revision Guide by Oakes Pages 11 to 14.

Image One - Geography. Global Change. Textbook
Taken From - https://www.bookdepository.com/author/Simon-Oakes
Taken From - 

Activity One - Describing Models

Geography is full of models to help predict or suggest what may happen in the future. Population predictions can be made by focusing on the Demographic Transition Model which aims to link the level of economic growth and changes to a countries population. But what does it look like and can we place our 'focus' countries into it? Answer the following questions by using the slideshare in the 'Useful Resources' box.

      1. Draw the Demographic Transition Model (DTM) on to plain paper.
      2. Annotate the DTM to explain why countries experience a change in their birth, death and overall population rates as they move through the different stages.
      3. Are there any limitations to this model?
      4. Place where you think the following countries currently 'fit' on the DTM.
                            • China
                            • India
                            • Niger
                            • Morocco
                            • UK
                            • USA

Activity Two - Describing Graphs

Many of you may remember making Lego models of different Population Pyramids in Year 10 but as you have been to sleep since then it is good to review what Population Pyramids are and why they can be useful for geographers.

        1. What is a Population Pyramid?
        2. How is a Population Pyramid drawn?
        3. Draw and describe a Population Pyramid for each stage of the DTM.
        4. Copy and past a Population Pyramid for each of our focus countries on to a Googledoc. 
                            • China
                            • India
                            • Niger
                            • Morocco
                            • UK
                            • USA

Activity Three - Producing Graphs

For this activity, we are going to get a little bit of help from the school's Technology for Learning Coordinator - Mr. Allaway. You are going to producing population graphs for two of our 'focus' countries. You will be doing this by using data from the World Bank which provides tables of raw data. You will be looking for the following data for the USA and Morocco to produce five different graphs.

                    1. Crude Birth Rate
                    2. Crude Death Rate
                    3. Fertility Rates
                    4. Life Expectancy
                    5. Dependency Ratio

        • Find the data required using the World Bank's data bank.
        • Download the data.
        • Upload the downloaded data onto a Googlesheet
        • Tidy the data
        • Sort the data
        • Produce a graph for the data - remember every graph needs:
                      • Figure Number
                      • Title
                      • Key
                      • Correctly titled axis
        • Export that graph on to a Googledoc.
        • Write a paragraph to describe to the graph - Remember to describe the general pattern first while illustrating it with data. Then describe any anomolies using data.
        • Explain why you may have found the results you did. No more than a paragraph is needed for this.


  • Produce a DTM for the USA and Morocco using the data that you have extracted. 

 Useful Resource

Exam Style Question

Using Image Two, suggest two reasons for the falling population rate in England and Wales. [2+2 marks]

Image Two - A graph to show the demographic transition in England and Wales between 1541 and 2015
Taken From -