GHS Nature of Geography & Population Geography
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GHS  Nature of Geography & Population Geography
Articles relating to the AP Human Geography Unit 1: Geography - It's Nature & Perspectives & Unit 2: Population Geography
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Why Finnish babies sleep in boxes

Why Finnish babies sleep in boxes | GHS  Nature of Geography & Population Geography |

"For 75 years, Finland's expectant mothers have been given a box by the state. It's like a starter kit of clothes, sheets and toys that can even be used as a bed. And some say it helped Finland achieve one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates."

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 30, 2014 3:58 PM

This is a fascinating article that can be a great case study to share with students to allow them to analyze the factors that can improve infant mortality rates.  In Finland the government provided oversight to improve infant mortality rates, pre-natal care and promote good parenting in a way that has had tangible results.  

Tags: Finland, medical, population,demographic transition model, unit 2 population.

Gillian Campbell's curator insight, July 31, 2014 6:04 AM

It's certainly an interesting one.....

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Unit 2: Rethinking the Demographic Transition Model: Stage 5?

Unit 2: Rethinking the Demographic Transition Model: Stage 5? | GHS  Nature of Geography & Population Geography |

Eighty-two years after the original development of the four stage Demographic Transition Model (DTM) by the late demographer Warren Thompson (1887-1973), the cracks are starting to show on the model that for many years revolutionized how we think about the geography of our global population. 

Via Mr. David Burton, Seth Dixon, Jen Murray
Elle Reagan's curator insight, March 23, 2015 11:33 PM

In my opinion, I do not think that the world could be approaching stage 5. I'm not sure if the world as a whole will ever reach stage 5. Our population is increasing and even though birth rates are low I still think that stage 4 is where we will be stuck. 

Emily Bian's curator insight, March 25, 2015 6:52 PM

This article discusses the demographic transition model, mostly Stage 5. Stage 5 is still slightly an unknown thing, because many people argue whether there are any countries in that phase or not. Stage 5 is characterized with very low birth rates, low death rates, lots of family oriented planning, and a slow decrease in population. Some people argue Germany is already in this stage, but I don't really agree. 

I think we should focus more on the developing countries that are stuck in stage 2. 

USA is in stage 4, and I believe that we will be stuck here for a while before advancing to stage 5. 

This is a good article for people that are interested in this unit to read, it gives a new perspective on things. 

Flo Cuadra Scrofft's curator insight, May 27, 2015 12:44 AM

Summary- With his Demographic Transition Model, Warren Thompson suggested that we are in the midst of a transition shown by stage 4, in which birth rates are equaling death rates. But if we analyze the demography in the present day, we will find that we are already past that stage. Most countries in the world are now entering or already in stage 5, in which birth rates are lower than death rates, making it very difficult, if not impossible for the population to grow. These current trends have led to an increased empowerment of women in western countries, since less babies mean more working hours, and more profits. It has also allowed for inter-generational relationships within families, where a children is able to meet his grandparents and even his great grandparents. In Europe, the birth rate is currently below the replacement level. The only way Europe has been able to increase or at least maintain its population is through waves of immigration.


Insight- it's is incredible that we are taught that we are experiencing the fourth stage of the Demographic Transition model, and that stage 5 talks about the future. What we may have not noticed is that many countries of the world are already part of that future; they have started to be part of this stage without us realizing it. I really liked the prediction made in the last paragraph. The fertility increase in more developed countries can take us to a new stage 6 in Thompson's model.

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Unit 2: American Centroid Helps To Trace Path Of U.S. Migration

Unit 2: American Centroid Helps To Trace Path Of U.S. Migration | GHS  Nature of Geography & Population Geography |

"David Greene talks to writer Jeremy Miller about the American Centroid. That's the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the U.S. would balance perfectly if all 300 million of us weighed the exact same."

Via Seth Dixon
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, August 31, 2013 2:23 AM

The centre of population in the USA has moved further inland and southward compared to Australia. Comparing urbanisation in USA and Australia.

Blake Welborn's curator insight, November 11, 2013 10:33 PM

Informative, short podcast that details the changing migration of the US. This allows for the comparison of migration and time and the effects of migration over the years in the US. 

Emily Bian's curator insight, October 17, 2014 7:32 PM

The center of the U.S. population moves about every 10 years. 

In our APHUG textbook, it also talked about the center moving west. It also talks about the patterns and shifts of migration in the U.S going more west and south now, than before. I wonder if the trend will continue?  

It relates because we talked about this map in APHUG class, and it was in the textbook. The population trend is moving Southwest.

This is interesting for next year's APHUG students, because they get to see a population trend right in the US! It's a good article to think about why population trends are the way it is.

2) migration

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Unit 2: As U.S. birth rate drops, concern for the future mounts

Unit 2: As U.S. birth rate drops, concern for the future mounts | GHS  Nature of Geography & Population Geography |

"The nation's fertility rate has slipped below replacement levels partly because of the recession and a decline in immigration. That's raising concern about the nation's future."

Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's comment, April 23, 2013 3:11 PM
These stats are hard to take in, because it seems like even though birth rates are considered to be dropping, the country’s total population continues to rise, and fast. Immigration probably plays a major role in the adding of new citizens, though just because birth rates are decreasing it shouldn’t necessarily mean a bad thing. With a slow increase of people, there could possibly be drops in the unemployment rate, or even poverty level at a big stretch. With fewer people in the country, it could mean less competition among others, leaving more options for people to pursue. It says at the end of the article that, “there are no cases of peace and prosperity in the face of declining populations.” This may hold true to an extent, but look at China for example. Their population is the largest in the world, containing roughly 20 of the 30 most polluted cities and being the top consumer of energy. Though the country has an unemployment level which is half of ours, they must put in place family planning methods such as the “one-child policy” to hope for better population control. If I know the United States, I highly doubt they would ever resort to such measures, unless the government wants uproars. So maybe I’m optimistic about the birth rate drops, but it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Maybe we should rid of the self-checkouts and automated answering machines and slowdown in technology so we don’t find ourselves in a situation that’d become too hard to handle.
Meg Conheeny's comment, April 26, 2013 2:48 PM
This decline in birth rates is largely due to the recession; people don’t want to have children because they can’t afford the care. We need to have a balance in our population. Having one age group, like elderly people, dominating over other generations can be a problem. Even though the birth rates are decreasing, our population is still growing at a steady rate. Immigrants trying to make a home for themselves and their families in the United States contribute in a big way to our population increase.
I think that when and if the economy bounces back, families will start to feel comfortable with their finances and the birth rate will spike. Yet, if the birth rate does get back to normalcy and the immigrants continue to come to this country maybe our population will see too much of an increase and overpopulation could be a problem. But I doubt our country will ever adopt the “one-child policy” currently in use in China, we will find some other way to control our population, whatever that may be.
Brianna Simao's comment, April 30, 2013 10:45 PM
The recession is a huge factor as to why the birth/fertility rate is dropping. It costs a lot of money to have a child and most people can’t afford to care for themselves never mind another baby. Even though the birth rate has been decreasing over the years, the population is still increasing due to immigration. With the birth rate decreasing the level of poverty could potentially decrease as well because there will not be an economic burden. I don’t think there should be too much of a concern about the birthrate dropping because once the economy returns to normal I’m sure people will want to expand their family. I do agree to a certain extent with the statement in the article: “Population growth leads to human innovation, and innovation leads to conservation ... There are no cases of peace and prosperity in the face of declining populations.” Overpopulation, like in China, causes many issues, not just economically.
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Unit 2: Impacts of the Demographic Transition

Unit 2: Impacts of the Demographic Transition | GHS  Nature of Geography & Population Geography |
A look at how the notion of family is evolving in this country. 

Via Seth Dixon
megan b clement's comment, December 16, 2013 12:35 AM
This article talks about how the new Canadian Family. How the traditional family used to have children and people were getting married. Now people not only do not necessarily get married, but they also may not even have children either. It just shows how times and the people are changing from the older and more traditional days.
Nathan Chasse's curator insight, January 25, 2014 10:35 AM

This infographic is showing a shift which has occured over the last several decades from larger, traditional families to smaller, multicultural, non-traditional families. This infographic concerns Canada, but the reduced birthrate is a problem for many developed countries in Europe as well. While the multi-cultural and same-sex families likely have no negative effects, the rise in lone parent families is problematic as single parents have an increased financial burden while raising children. The low birthrate, when lower than replacement level (2.0 per woman), will likely lead to a stalling economy to be outpaced by growing nations.

Paige Therien's curator insight, February 3, 2014 12:45 PM

How exactly will a shifting family demographic affect us?  We can only speculate.  This phenomenon happening in Canada is also happening in most developed like the United States and Japan.  The problem with analyzing specific demographics like this one, is that they are taken out of cultural (local and global) context.  There are many things that may be influencing the familial demographic shift.  More people are moving into cities, where life is busy, fast-paced, "anonymous", and space-limited.  Having kids does not seem very conducive in this setting.  Are we as humans actually creating issues for ourselves?  Are we creating different meanings for "family"?  Are we adapting to our ever-changing world?  This issue will prove to be a mix of all of these things.  ...Maybe there is even an unseen, unfelt ecological and physiological cue to stop procreating when there are too many within a population?  However people who do not want children, have to ask themselves "why?"  Is being selfish really worth removing humans that much further from the natural harmony of the world?

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Unit 2: Thomas Malthus and Population Growth

Learn more: Thomas Malthus's views on population. Malthusian limits.


This is a succinct (but not perfect) summary of Malthusian ideas on population.  What do you think of his ideas?  Any specific parts of his theory that you agree with?  Do you disagree with some of his ideas?  What did history have to say about it?  


Tags: Demographics, population, models, APHG,  unit 2 population. 

Via Seth Dixon
Sarah Ann Glesenkamp's curator insight, September 17, 2014 7:56 PM

Unit 2

Sarah Ann Glesenkamp's curator insight, September 21, 2014 11:27 PM


unit 2

MissPatel's curator insight, December 16, 2014 3:24 AM

A little overview of Malthus's theory on population. 

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Unit 2: Fertility Rates in Gapminder

Unit 2: Fertility Rates in Gapminder | GHS  Nature of Geography & Population Geography |

"CATHOLIC Argentina, Mexico & Phillippines have more babies born per woman than MUSLIM Indonesia, Iran & Turkey."

Via Seth Dixon
Mathijs Booden's comment, September 28, 2013 3:03 PM
Any mention of Gapminder gets an upvote from me. One of the best resources in and outside of the classroom, period.
jon inge's curator insight, October 11, 2013 5:20 PM

awesome site for development economics

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 2, 2014 6:15 PM

When watching the video it was apparetnt that for Iran during the 1950-early1970's there was an increase in fertility and then decreased to almost 1.32% in 2010. These facts were very interseting to see and the way that we as historians/ georgraphers can predict the future with the past facts.

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Unit 2: Declining Fertility Rates

Unit 2: Declining Fertility Rates | GHS  Nature of Geography & Population Geography |
The American birthrate is at a record low. What happens when having it all means not having children?

Via Seth Dixon
Zakkary Catera's comment, September 13, 2013 12:36 AM
Children are our legacy, they are our future, and if the birth rate keeps depleting then who will be here to be pur next scientists or doctors? Then again a plus to this situation is how much lower the birth rate is, the more resources we have to equally share (i.e oil, food water etc.)
Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 11:34 AM

In recent research people found that some women are content with not having any children. People might think this way because without a child people are able to do more things like go out or travel. Some may not want children due to expenses. If more people do not want children birth rates could decline over the years.

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 12:23 PM

Not to bulky on information but it gets its point across. why are theyre so many social stigmas around having a kid?  A kid cost a little over a million dollars to raise why should it be looked down apon for choosing not to take the finacial and physical hardship. I personally have been on the fence about the subject because Im not a fan of this world is coming to and i wouldnt want to have someone I dearly care about to have to go through it. But thats neither hear nor there. 

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Unit 2: White deaths outnumber births in US

Unit 2: White deaths outnumber births in US | GHS  Nature of Geography & Population Geography |
Deaths of white people outnumbered births for the very first time in US history, the Census Bureau revealed Thursday. The census predicts that significant drops in birth rates v death rates will be regular by 2025.

Via Seth Dixon
Cynthia Williams's curator insight, July 10, 2013 12:41 PM

Shrinking white demographics will definitely have an effect on voting blocks in the future.  I would not be surprised if redistricting becomes a very important issue in upcoming elections.  And why was there an attempt to down play the significance of this statistic in the NY Times.  Are they trying to hide this fact from the public? What do they think will happen when it is discovered?

Sara Kanewske's curator insight, July 12, 2013 10:08 PM


Miles Gibson's curator insight, December 21, 2014 9:14 PM
Unit 2 population and migration
This article explains the u.s. population change and how it's birth rate is lowering. In America the CDR was officially greater than the CBR for the first time ever. This was specifically for white people though. This article is a good example of a developed country entering stage 5 on the DTM.
This article relates unit 2 because it shows how the population in America is declining as a nation. This also proves how migration is what is sustaining the American population. The Crude death rate is finally higher than births on an odd occasion meaning America is entering stage 5 of the DTM.
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Unit 2: Let elderly people 'hurry up and die', says Japanese minister

Unit 2: Let elderly people 'hurry up and die', says Japanese minister | GHS  Nature of Geography & Population Geography |
Taro Aso says he would refuse end-of-life care and would 'feel bad' knowing treatment was paid for by government

Via Seth Dixon
Ryan G Soares's curator insight, December 3, 2013 10:30 AM

Its clear that Japan is overpopulating. People are living long lives in a big country like Japan and people just keep reproducing. The Japense  minister in my opion is very wrong here. A minister should never wish deaths upon his people.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 2014 11:11 AM

As populations age and the younger generations have less children the burden of government to provide care for the elderly becomes a big issue.  In countries where the government pays for their health care this will only become a bigger issue.  When the needs of the old and the needs of the young become a conflict what is a country to do?  These issues will only increase as the birth rates of developed countries declines.  

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 25, 2015 6:41 AM

What this government minister said is repugnant, but his comments strike directly at the most serious issue facing Japan. The Japanese population has become to old to sustain itself. Their are not enough younger people in Japan to sustain future generations of Japanese society. When a society fails to reproduce, it dies out. Japan may be facing extinction in a few generations to come. The increased strain on the government of Japan, will eventually kill it. A state can not support a majority elderly population. The coasts of medical care would drown the government in debt and financial ruin. Many European nations are facing a similar demographic time bomb. If this problem is not corrected, there is a good chance that both European and Japanese society will die out.

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Unit 2: Russians are leaving the country in droves

Unit 2: Russians are leaving the country in droves | GHS  Nature of Geography & Population Geography |
Over a bottle of vodka and a traditional Russian salad of pickles, sausage and potatoes tossed in mayonnaise, a group of friends raised their glasses and wished Igor Irtenyev and his family a happy journey to Israel.


My regional class has been learning about Russia this week and when I first started teaching a few years ago, I would teach that Russia had a population of 145 million.  Today it is 141 million and part of that is due to migrants leaving a country that they see as lacking in economic opportunities and political freedoms (another part of the story is that birth rates plummeted after the collapse of the Soviet Union in what demographers have called the "Russian Cross").  In the last few years the population appears to have stabilized, but there are still many who do not see a vibrant future from themselves within Russia.  


Tags: Russia, migration, Demographics, immigration, unit 2 population.

Via Nathan Parrish, Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's curator insight, September 28, 2013 11:44 PM

In the last 10 years about 1.25 million russians have emigrated out of Russia, but the way they do it is interesting. When they leave they dont sell their houses, or aparments, or cars they simply lock their doors and quietly slip away to the airports at night. The reasons for leaving are different thought, some are leaving because the prime minister is expected to return while some are leaving because of the awful econonmy. Either way the massive amounts of emigration is leading to a higher death rate then birth rate overall. 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 1, 2014 1:23 AM

This article from a couple years ago is about Russian emigration. A large number of Russians were leaving the country for better economic opportunity. Some cite the overbearing rule of Putin, but the pay in other countries is just better than what Russia can offer. This was particularly the case for the more educated, another instance of "brain drain" hurting a nation which is already in trouble.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 2014 12:00 PM

Migration occurs for many reasons. People move from country to country every day. Leaving Russia was this families choice and moving to Israel can have an impact on them greater than if they were to stay in Russia.

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Unit 2: Animated U. S. Population Pyramid (1950-2010)

Unit 2: Animated U. S. Population Pyramid (1950-2010) | GHS  Nature of Geography & Population Geography |

This is a simple, yet incredibly powerful graphic that helps to show the changing nature of population structure as a country moved to a different stage in the demographic transition (the link takes you to the animated version).  

Via Seth Dixon
Raven Blair's curator insight, September 10, 2014 9:19 AM

This population pyramid of the United States in 1976 show that there were many younger people there are under 25. The largest percent of the people, by age separation, are around the age of 10-15, which could be a result of the Baby Boom in 1964. Eventually, our population pyramid may become upside-down because as the larger population groups move up the pyramid based on their age, they start to have less children, which means a smaller base.