The annual population increase throughout the world is currently 1.2%. This figure is determined by using the world’s birth rate (the number of births per 1,000 people) and death rate (the number of deaths per 1,000 people). While this number may sound small, today’s population will double in just 58 years if it continues to grow at this rate.

This growth is by no means uniform across the world. At current rates, many countries will double their populations in less than 25 years, while others have reached zero population growth (ZPG) — a point when the birth and death rates are roughly equal — and do not expect to grow at all. Some countries are seeing negative population growth (NPG) when the birth rate is lower than the death rate leading to a decline in the population.

The annual rate of growth for a population is calculated using its birth and death rates as follows:

Birth rate – death rate = rate of growth

For example, if the United States has a birth rate of 13.83 per 1,000 people and a death rate of 8.38 per 1,000, then the annual rate of growth is 5.45 people per 1,000.

(Note: These figures represent the rate of “natural increase” and do not include immigration or emigration. For example, the annual population increase in the U.S. would be greater if immigration were included.)

View the following videos and then respond to the Discussion topics that follow:

Population Reference Bureau. (2015, March 6). Distilled demographics. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL75500EACFAA7552F

Topic: Human Population Change

At the beginning of the week, respond to the following:

  1. Using your own prior knowledge and the provided resources, discuss the factors that you believe could affect a country’s birth and death rates. What could cause increases or decreases in either of these?
  2. Choose one country from the “A” list and one from the “B” list below. You can also choose one country on your own, not on either list. Visit the following website to explore the birth and death rates for the two countries you have selected. Using this information, determine the annual change in population size for each country using the formula as shown above.

    The World Factbook: CIA. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/docs/profileguide.html

A-List: Mexico, China, India, Bolivia, Nigeria

B List: Japan, United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada, Italy, Russia

  1. Use the information that you and your classmates have collected and discussed the following:
    1. Which figures differ the most between countries, the birth rates or the death rates? What do you believe could cause these significant differences? Use the cia.gov website to help with your analysis; you can find additional useful information about each country there.
    2. Can a country grow indefinitely? Why or why not?
    3. Are there any countries at risk of running out of people? Why or why not?

Be sure to address all Discussion Board topics in an original, well-thought-out, respectful manner. Main posts should fully and completely discuss each question posed and make frequent, informed references to this unit's material. Engage in ongoing, productive conversation by responding to a minimum of two classmates per topic. Responses to classmates should be at least 50 words. Remember, you will learn more by sharing ideas!

Please note: Borrowed material (quotes, summaries, or paraphrases) should make up no more than 10% of the total word count for all written assignments in this course, including Discussion. All writing must be in your own words and borrowed material must be properly cited and referenced.

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