Part 2. Changing Populations and Places

Conceptual Understanding:

Key Question:

What are the processes of population change and their effect on people and places?

Key Content:

  1. Population change and demographic transition over time, including natural increase, fertility rate, life expectancy, population structure and dependency ratios – Detailed examples of two or more contrasting countries
  2. The consequences of megacity growth for individuals and societies – One case study of a contemporary megacity experiencing rapid growth
  3. The envrionmental and political causes and consequences for people and places of forced migration and internal displacement – Detailed examples of two or more forced movements, to include environmental and political push factors, and consequences for people and places.

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities
How the impacts of population change and spatial interactions between places can be categorized and represented graphically.

Tuesday 27 September 2022

Demographic Transition over time…

Starter: Define the following terms:

1. Natural increase
2. Fertility rate
3. Life expectancy
4. Population structure

Demographic transition is best viewed through the lens of the now famous Demographic Transition Model (DTM), as shown below. This is essentially a line graph that plots birth and death rates over time & levels of economic development (stages). When birth rates are higher than death rates, population increases (shown in blue) and when birth rates dip under death rates, a population decline may take place. There are countries around the world who find themselves in four of the five stages and one might also see the pattern of economic development increasing (LIC-MIC-HIC) along the X axis too. 

Task 1: Complete the worksheet below using the DTM model and your previous knowledge of the causes and effects of disparities in economic development. You can also use the video linked below to help you.

7 lines of writing only per stage, size 8 font.
Colour code as follows:
– Natural Increase – Blue
– Fertility Rates – Green
– Life Expectancy – Orange
– Population Structure – Red

**I have completed the Stage 1 box for you as an example!

Lesson 1. Demographic Transition Worksheet (Google Doc).

Demographic Transition Model
DTM Video

​TOK consideration:  Why can’t the early stages of the DTM above be attributed to Australia and the USA?

Task 2. Test what you have learnt by playing the game below! Attempt to match the buttons with the descriptions and explanations. Read the statement and match it to the correct button. How fast can you be…? 

Demographic Transition Game


Task 3. Study the graphic above carefully.

​The chart presents the empirical evidence for the demographic transition for five very different countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

In all countries we observed the pattern of the demographic transition, first a decline of mortality that starts the population boom and then a decline of fertility which brings the population boom to an end. The population boom is a temporary event.

In the past the size of the population was stagnant because of high mortality, now country after country is moving into a world in which the population is stagnant because of low fertility.

Task 4. Power, Place and Processes – ‘Dead Mums Don’t Cry’

Watch the following video based in Chad. It features examples of people struggling with situations in both stage 1 and early stage 2 of the demographic transition model. In the latter part of the film Honduras illustrates how a country moves from stage 2 to stage 3. Answer the following questions:

1. What factors hold back improvements to maternal mortality in Chad?

2. What factors have lead Honduras to improve maternal mortality rates so rapidly?

Video Timings

  • 5-10 minutes – Chad featuring a more advanced State-funded hospital
  • 18-25 minutes – Conditions for women in Rural Chad
  • 28 – 33 minutes – Honduras
Dead Mums Don’t Cry

Dependency Ratio

The total dependency ratio tells us the proportion of the population not in the work-force who are ‘dependent’ on those of working-age, it’s a calculation which groups those aged under 15 with those over 65 years as the ‘dependents’ and classifying those aged 15-64 years as the working-age population. It’s a simplistic calculation which is used across the world to understand societies and get a sense of potential pressures the economy may face in supporting an economically dependent population (source).

​TOK consideration: One of the obvious limitations of dependency ratios is the assumption that people under 15 years and over 65 years (65+) are outside of the labour force, as well as the assumption that those aged 15-64 are participating in the labour force. We all know that these assumptions are flawed. 

Age Dependency Ratio

Task 5. Complete the worksheet below using the interactive version of the map above.

Lesson 1. Age Dependency Worksheet (Google Doc).

Homework: Complete all activities!

Wednesday 28 September 2022

Population Pyramids

Population pyramids help show how populations are composed and how they are changing. Here is a population pyramid from the United States in August 2016 showing various age groups: baby boomers, generation X, generation Y, and generation Z. Typically, there are three trends in population pyramids: expansive, contractive, and stationary. These illustrate the trajectory of a regional population, which may be growing, shrinking, or staying the same.

Lesson 2. Population Pyramids (Google Doc)

Task 1. Make a copy of the population pyramid below into your notes:

Population Pyramids

Task 2. Complete the population annotation activity outlined on the worksheet.

Demographic Transition: Contrasting Examples

We now need to compare the population structure of two contrasting countries. We will be analysing how the population structure has changed over time, and predicting challenges that each country might face in the future.

Assessment 1.1 | Population Change

For two contrasting countries of your choice, use Population Pyramid to capture a series of population pyramids from 1950 to 2030 to show how the population structure of this country has changed/will change over time. Using the CIA World Factbook to help you, ensure that you describe the shape and structure of each population pyramid, making note of the following key features:

  • Fertility rates
  • Life expectancy
  • Natural increase
  • Dependency ratio.

Next comment on (describe and explain) the issues and challenges that the countries are facing/might face in the future.

Achievement Grade Scale

Due: Tuesday 04 October 2022

Thursday 29 September 2022

Quick Quiz: Demographic Transition Model Kahoot!!

The Consequences of Megacity Growth for Individuals and Societies

In the next twenty years, Lagos is likely to become one of the largest megacities in the world, but built 30% on water and facing the threat of climate change its future is uncertain.

Enquiry Question:

How are different groups impacted by mega city growth in Lagos?

Lesson Objectives:

  1. To describe the growth of Lagos
  2. To examine the causes of population growth in Lagos
  3. To examine the consequences of growth for individuals and societies

Lesson 3. Lagos Worksheet (Google Doc)

Starter. All About Lagos…

Read the following poems about Lagos and write down your first impressions about the nature and characteristics of Lagos.

Task 1. Map and Graph Study. Analyse the maps and graphs on the worksheet and respond to the questions.

Task 2. Lagos, Africa’s Fastest Growing Megacity 

Watch the video linked below and answer the questions on the worksheet.

Lagos: Africa’s Fastest Growing Megacity

Task 3. The Eko Atlantic Project

Eko Atlantic is an entire new coastal city being built on Victoria Island adjacent to Lagos, Nigeria. It is a focal point for investors capitalising on rich development growth based on massive demand – and a gateway to emerging markets of the continent.

Read the following piece of text about the Eko Atlantic Project and note down the benefits and concerns of the project on your worksheet.

Eko Atlantic City 2020 Update
Eko Atlantic City 2021 Update
Eko Atlantic City 2022 Update
Eko Atlantic Bridge Casting 2022

Task 4. An Alternative Future? Floating Communities…

Watch the following video based on an alternative future suggested by the architect, Kunlé Adeyemi and answer the questions on your worksheet.

Thursday 06 October 2022

Part 1. Migration Trends

Migration takes place both internally, within countries and externally across countries. There is short term and long term, voluntary and forced movements of people. 

A 48-year-old undocumented immigrant (pictured) from Mexico is busted by CBP while he was hiding under the rear seat of a car driven from Mexico to California by an 18-year-old female U.S. citizen Sunday
The infamous 2006 picture of a man discovered sewn into the upholstery of a van seat to get across Mexican/US border

Enquiry Question:

Why do people leave their place of origin and migrate to new places?

Learning Objectives:

  • To identify and classify different types of migration
  • To describe the impacts of migration on the physical environment
  • To discuss the complexity of the refugee status in Europe

Lesson 5. Migration Worksheet (Google Doc)

Task 1. Match the key term to the correct defintion on your worksheet.

Task 2. Describe the main global migration trends as shown in the map on your worksheet (which countries receive the most migrants/which countries lose the most migrants)?

Migration can be classified normally into three different criteria 

  1. Length of stay
  2. Distance travelled
  3. Reason for migration

1. Length of Stay

  • Temporary – when the migrant intends to return to their place of origin
  • Permanent – when the migrant intends to stay in their destination

2. Distance travelled

  • Internal – within a country
  • External – across more than one country (immigration and emigration)

3. Reason for Migration

  • Forced – when the migrant has no choice to migrate. This may be due to racial, religious, political reasons and even environmental factors
  • Voluntary – when the migrant chooses to migrate normally for social or economic reasons

Task 3. Try to think of 8 different examples of migration that have occurred throughout history/today. Add them to the table on your worksheet and categorise according to the three different categories listed.

Part 2. The causes and consequences of forced migration and internal displacement…

For this section of work, we are required two forced movements of people.

For Internal Migration we are going to study climate refugees in Bangladesh. This is a forced movement of people caused by the rising sea levels and more intense typhoons (environmental factors but with a human cause).

Our comparative case study concerning External Migration we will be studying the political situation in Venezuela and resultant movement of people out of the country. Venezuela has the highest oil reserves in the world but has suffered from an over reliance on oil and has faced severe economic hardship since hte price of oil decreased. Coupled with a complicated current political situation where there are two recognised leaders of the country (Nicolás Maduro &  Juan Guaidó) this has led to geopolitical conflict among Venezuela, its neighbours as well as countries such as the USA and France. 

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Case Study 1. Internal Migration: Bangladesh

Task. Using the information below, take notes on the causes and consequences of the Bangladesh migration using the following headings as a guide:

  • Facts and figures about the migration
  • Causes of the migration
  • Consequences for people
  • Consequences for surrounding regions
  • How Bangladesh is trying to mitigate and adapt to their increasingly destructive flood events

BBC World Dec 2020 Article (mitigation and adaptation)

Climate Change in Bangladesh (Video)

Climate Change in Bangladesh (Article)

Bangladesh Climate Migrants 2018 Guardian Article (causes and consequences)

Bangladesh Climate Migrants Interactive (causes and consequences)


Case Study 2. Option A. External Migration: Venezuela

Task. Using the information below, take notes on the causes and consequences of the Venezuela migration using the following headings as a guide:

  • Facts and figures about the migration
  • Brief history of the forced migration situation
  • The political push factors
  • Consequences for people
  • Consequences for surrounding countries (destinations)
  • Geopolitical tensions between Venezuela and other countries.

Case Study 2. Option B. External Migration: Russian invasion of Ukraine

Task. Using the information below, take notes on the causes and consequences of the Ukraine migration using the following headings as a guide:

  • Facts and figures about the migration
  • Brief history of the forced migration situation
  • The political push factors
  • Consequences for people
  • Consequences for surrounding countries (destinations)
  • Geopolitical tensions between Ukraine and other countries.

Tuesday 18 October 2022

Timed Essay and Exam Questions

We will complete a practice exam question based on the Population Change section of the course. There will be some short response questions followed by an essay question.

Essay Options

Option 1. Examine the opportunities and challenges of a contemporary megacity experiencing rapid growth. (10)

  • Examine requires an evaluative approach.
  • The essay should develop a relative balance of opportunities and challenges specific to the case study(ies).
  • An in-depth understanding of the case study(ies) is required, with opportunities and challenges well developed in terms of their time-frame, or social, economic, environmental aspects.
  • The essay will develop an argument that suggests a balance or weighting towards opportunities or challenges.
  • The conclusion will be consistent with the introduction and argument with the main body.
  • You will also need to use the conceptual approach to achieve the highest markband.

Option 2. Compare the causes and consequences of two examples of forced migrations that you have studied.

  • Compare requires you todescribe two situations and present the similarities and differences between them.
  • An in-depth understanding of the case study(ies) is required, with environmental and political reasons for migration being explained as well as the different impacts on both people and places.
  • The conclusion will be consistent with the introduction and argument with the main body.
  • You will also need to use the conceptual approach to achieve the highest markband.

Essay Planning Tool (PDF)

Essay Frame (Google Doc)

Essay Rubric (IBO Link)

Look carefully at the essay title and carry out the following:
Underline the key words in the title

  1. Use the L.I.S.T. checklist below to ensure that you give the essay title its broadest interpretation:
  • L – LOCATION (spatial context): poor/rich countries; rural/urban areas; tropical/temperate; land/air/sea; marine/terrestrial/atmospheric
  • I – ISSUES (factors): positive/negative, advantages/disadvantages, costs/benefits, human/physical, environmental, social, cultural, demographic, political, economic, geographic
  • S – SCALE: global, regional, international, national, sub-national, local
  • T – TIME: long-term/medium-term/short-term; past/present/future; contemporary/recent/current

​(note that some of the items in the L.I.S.T. may not be relevant to the essay)