• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15
  16. 16
    16
  17. 17
    17
  18. 18
    18
  19. 19
    19

Demography topic revision notes. The study of populations and their characteristics is called demography.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Demography The study of populations and their characteristics is called demography. These characteristics include: * Size: is the population large or small, growing or declining? * Age structure: is the average age of the population rising or falling? The factors that most directly affect the size of a country's population are: * Births: how many babies are born. * Deaths: how many people die. * Immigration: how many people enter the country from elsewhere. * Emigration: how many people leave the country to live elsewhere. Britain in 1801 had a population of 10.5 million. By 1901, this stood at 37 million. By 2007, the population of the UK had reached nearly 61 million and one projection is that it will rise to 71 million by 2031. Until the 1980s, UK population growth was largely the product of natural change - that is, the result of there being more births than deaths. However, since the 1980s, most of the growth has come from net migration - that is, more immigration than emigration. Births The number of births obviously affects population size. Sociologists use the concept of birth rate to measure births. The birth rate is defined as the number of live births per 1000 of the population per year. There has been a long-term decline in the number of births since 1900. In that year, England and Wales had a birth rate of 28.7, but by 2007 it had fallen to an estimated 10.7. However, there have been fluctuations in births, with three 'baby booms' in the 20th century. The first two came after the two world wars (1914-18 and 1939-45), as returning servicemen and their partners started families that they had postponed during the war years. There was a third baby boom in the 1960s, after which the birth rate fell sharply during the 1980s, before falling again after the early 1990s, with a recent increase since 2001. ...read more.

Middle

These included improvements in housing (producing drier, better ventilated, less overcrowded accommodation), purer drinking water, laws to combat the adulteration of food and drink, the pasteurisation of milk, and improved sewage disposal methods. Similarly, the Clean Air Acts reduced air pollution, such as the smog that led to 4,000 premature deaths in five days in 1952. Other social changes Other social changes also played a part in reducing the death rate during the 20th century. These included: * The decline of more dangerous manual occupations such as mining * Smaller families reduced the rate of transmission of infection * Greater public knowledge of the causes of illness * Higher incomes, allowing for a healthier lifestyle. Life Expectancy Life expectancy refers to how long on average a person born in a given year can expect to live. As death rates have fallen, so life expectancy has increased. For example: * Males born in England in 1900 could expect on average to live until they were 50 (57 for females). * Males born in England in 2003-5 can expect to live for 76.9 years (81.2 for females). If we take the past two centuries, life expectancy has increased by about two years per decade. One reason for lower average life expectancy in 1900 was the fact that so many infants and children did not survive beyond the early years of life. As we saw earlier, in 1900 over 15% of babies died in their first year. To put the improvement in life expectancy into perspective, we can note that a newborn baby today has a better chance of reaching its 65th birthday than a baby born in 1900 had of reaching its first birthday. Class, gender and regional differences Despite the overall reduction in the death rate and the increase in life expectancy over the last 100 years, there are still important class, g ender and regional differences. ...read more.

Conclusion

The dependency ratio The effect of migration on the dependency ratio is complex. On the one hand, the fact that migrants are mainly of working age reduces the dependency ratio. On the other hand, immigrant women tend to have higher fertility rates, which in the short term contributes to a higher dependency ratio by adding more children to the population. However, this also reduces the average age of the population and in due course produces more workers, thereby lowering the dependency ratio as these children grow up and reach working age. Finally, to complicate matters further, evidence suggests that the longer an immigrant group is settled in the country, the closer their fertility rate comes to the national average. Internal Migration While most media attention focuses on international migration, we should note the importance of internal migration within the UK. During the industrial revolution of the 19th century, which was based geographically in the North of England, South Wales and West Scotland, there was a population shift from the largely agricultural South to the Industrial North to take up jobs in textiles, mining, shipbuilding and iron and steel. This produced a corresponding shift from rural to urban living; in 1851, Britain was the first country to see more than half its population living in towns and cities. During the 20th Century, as these industries began to decline and newer ones such as motor cars, electrical engineering and chemicals began to develop in the South and Midlands, there began a population shift in the opposite direction in search of economic opportunities. More recently, London and the South East have exerted an important pull because of the growth of the finance and service industries located there. A corresponding trend has been suburbanisation, with the growth of large residential areas surrounding the major cities. However, in recent years, there has been a reversal of the outflow of population from inner city areas. ?? ?? ?? ?? 17 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Examine the main trends in births and deaths in the United Kingdom since 1900

    Since deaths from infectious disease where commonest in the young, it is not surprising that most of the decline in death rate occurred among infants, children and young adults. By the 1950s the diseases such as heart diseases and cancer had replaced infectious diseases as the main cause of death.

  2. Identify current patterns of ill health and inequality in the UK. Explain probable ...

    Participation in physical activity in childhood can help to establish a physically active lifestyle in later life. "Physical inactivity, (a lack of physical activity) is an independent risk factor for chronic diseases, and overall is estimated to cause 1.9 million deaths globally."

  1. Poverty and Health

    The Black Report (commissioned by the Labour Government in 1974, published in 1980) studied life expectancy, mental illness and causes of death of people in different social classes and discovered that, although there had continued to be an improvement in health across all the classes since the introduction of the

  2. Examine the reasons for changes in the patterns of marriage, divorce and cohabitation over ...

    If husbands fail to love up to these expectations, women may feel the need to look elsewhere. This would also support the fact that, on average, the number of divorce proceedings started by women is about 70%. Finally, functionalist sociologists argue that high divorce rates are evidence that marriage is

  1. Is the Underachievement of Ethnic Minority Children due to a Racist School System?

    boys betrayed by racist school system' from my context that shows that covert racism is of the greatest concern in the education system today. I asked my respondent to expand on his views using the experience he has had from working within schools on cases of racial abuse, "We have

  2. Free essay

    Inequalities in Health

    Gender Inequalities Through research we have found than women on the whole are healthier than men and that women's mortality rates are lower than that of men. According to Hilary Graham (2002), men have fewer consultations with GP's and have lower levels of illness.

  1. Assess the view that cults, sects and new age movement are fringe organisations that ...

    find a new way of living meaning its influence is still there. Next Heelas and Woodhead argue people are moving to inner feelings of being unique individuals. Not to establish paths but forge ones own inner directed unique life. This cultural term explains attraction to spirituality and new age movements numbers increasing.

  2. BTEC NATIONAL LEVEL 3 ...

    The basis of the argument against it is that by describing a society as such, we are highlighting differences between different people instead of celebrating the experiences that everyone brings to a society. The Commission for Racial Equality added fuel to this fire a few years ago when Trevor Phillips suggested the term be outlawed altogether.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work