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Population Growth Rate
Complete these exercises with information from Chart 2.

Chart 2 Exercises with Answers


Chart 2. Average Annual Growth Rates by Country Income Group, 1980-2015

1. Study the information in Chart 2. What is happening to the average annual population growth rate in low- and middle-income countries over time? [It is decreasing.]

2. According to Chart 1, what is happening to the population size in low- and middle- income countries over time? [It is increasing.

3. How do you explain these two trends? [Even though the population growth rate is decreasing, population size continues to grow because the population base has become larger.

4. The following table shows population data for three developing countries. Complete the table by calculating the annual population change for each country (divide the percentage by 100 to get a decimal, then multiply population size by the decimal figure), then answer the questions that follow. 

Country

Population
size

Average
annual PGR %

Annual
population change

1980

1998

1980

1998

1980

1998
Ethiopia
38,000,000
61,000,000
2.7
2.1
[1,026,000]
[1,281,000]
Pakistan
83,000,000
132,000,000
3.0
2.3
[2,490,000]
[3,036,000]
Ukraine
50,000,000
50,000,000
.2
–.8
[100,000]
[–400,000]
  1. Look at the numbers for Pakistan. Although the average annual population growth rate decreased from 1980 to 1998, the annual population increase was greater in 1998. Why? [The population base was larger in 1998.]
  2. What are the population trends in Ethiopia? [Both the population growth rate and population size have increased since 1980.]
  3. What are the population trends in Ukraine? What would have been its total population in 1999? What might be some reasons for these trends? [The population is decreasing. 49,600,000. Possible answers: emigration, small families, political unrest, social insecurity, decline in health services.]

5. What effect might a declining population growth rate have on a country’s economy and environment? [This depends on a number of variables including the use of technology and the level of demand for goods and services. Smaller populations may require fewer natural resources, but if demand remains high, or if the country is able to export its surplus production, there may be no significant decrease in overall environmental impact. Slower population growth might allow a country to implement environmental policies and develop the institutions which can help protect the environment. A smaller population may mean that there will be fewer workers, and thus fewer goods and services (unless technology helps to increase production).

6. Why might a country not want to slow its population growth? [Possible answers: religious reasons; to increase its political influence; it has a large land area and plenty of resources; it has experienced a decline in population.]

 

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