Demographic transition – main thing here is that you can interpret the diagram in case it comes up + relate it to examples (MEDCs at Stage 4, NICs at Stage 3, LEDCs and LDCs mostly at Stage 2. Only really bad places could possibly be in Stage 1 like Zimbabwe)
You need to know the reasons for UK population change:
Family size (smaller, more single parents, lone house- holds, more older people in 1-2 person households)
Population structure (as shown in a pyramid, longer life expectancy, lower birth rate)
Migration (people moving within UK from north to south for jobs, now 26% live in South East, moving to rural areas (counterurbanisation), older people moving to the coast
More service sector jobs, fewer people in primary/ secondary sector jobs
Less “working class”, more “middle class” because more people own property and fewer do manual or unskilled work. More going to university (huge change in life chances). The “upper class” haven’t changed really, they still go to top private schools, like Eton (David Cameron, Boris Johnson, etc) then onto Oxford and Cambridge and then top jobs.
Ethnicity (8% of population now black or other ethnic minority group, many have come from our former colonies (in the empire) like India, Pakistan, Jamaica, etc. Ethnic minorities tend to be concentrated in cities (because it’s easier to find other people from your country, work, housing, etc when you first arrive). In some cities there is quite strong ethnic segregation (people from different groups live separate lives to the remaining population, this is a negative factor for “social cohesion”, cities where there is segregation often have more problems of racism because the groups don’t mix/understand each other, kids don’t go to school together, etc. Bradford a few years ago had bad violence between the white and Pakistani populations one of the reasons was the segregated housing and schooling. The BNP are very active there.
Population pyramids can appear on exam questions, they show population structure. If you have to describe the pattern look at the shape, is it tall, short, the width of the base, has it got bulges (baby booms, in migration)
Very narrow base (v. Low birth rate), more middle aged and long life expectancy. “Negative growth” means population is falling happening in lots of Europe
Narrower base (lower birth rate), bulge in the middle (post war baby boom), people living longer (more at the top)
Wide base = high birth rate, pyramid shape = rapid growth, narrow top = few elderly (low life expectancy)
Ageing population means that a country has a high proportion of elderly people in the population, this is due to better healthcare, good quality of life (nutrition, etc), pensions, etc.
All benefits have to be paid for out of current taxation, in other words money collected this month from taxes will be paid out next month in pensions.
An ageing population therefore means you’ve got a lot of old people dependent on the working population. In other words the people who are working have to pay for all the care, health, pensions, benefits, etc that elderly people get. In MEDCs that is a huge variety of stuff, in the UK this is just a selection:
lots of NHS care (hospitalisation, physiotherapy, check ups, vaccinations),
meals on wheels,
winter heating allowance,
equipment for the house to help them live independently (my mother’s house is full of equipment – special bed, zimmer frames, stool to prop her up at the sink, bath life, to say nothing of the step at front and back door so she can get in and out).
free local bus pass (nationally)
day centres where people can go to meet others, do activities.
care in the home (dressing, feeding, bathing, etc)
Because of the expense of providing for an ageing population countries are increasingly taking steps to reduce problems in the future.
In the UK:
Retirement age is rising.
People will be made to save towards their pension if they don’t already have a pension through their employer (lots of people pay into an occupational pension scheme from their pay, this is organised by their employer who also contributes, this gives you an extra pension when you retire and obviously makes you better off. So for example I pay into the teachers pension scheme and will get that as well as the state pension when I retire)
There may be other cut backs on expenses, there is already talk of making winter heating allowance means tested (so only poorer pensioners get it)
Terms to be clear about:
Source country - where people come from
Host country - where people go to
Immigration - movement in
Emigration - movement out
Push factors - make people move from one place
Pull factors - attract them somewhere else.
Barriers/Obstacles - get in the way of migration
Asylum seekers are asking to be allowed to stay in a country because they fear for their safety. Every country has a responsibility to consider asylum applications
Refugee – a person who has been granted asylum due to a well founded fear of persecution
Economic migration - moving for better economic opportunities
Migration from poor countries (in Africa and Asia) to EU
People pushed by poverty, human rights problems, civil war, war, etc
People pulled by safety and better prospects for the future
They are often sent by their families who spend every penny to try to get their sons to Europe
They pay “people smugglers/traffickers” who arrange things. It’s a very risky business, they get cheated out of their money and put in dangerous boats, African migrants have to cross the Sahara and/or large areas of water, many die on the way.
When they get to Europe they try to stay, they may be imprisoned and sent home. If they apply for and get asylum they can stay and will then be able to send money home for their families (this encourages more to give it a try)
Countries which are on the “frontline” like Greece, Spain and Italy often find it very difficult to cope with the numbers
Frontex patrols the seas to try to catch people and send them home but lots of them still come.
EU post accession migration
In 2004, 8 countries joined the EU and were free to migrate to the UK for work.
Czech Republic, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Latvia, Slovakia
Many more came than were expected by the government
They came because of higher wages and work opportunities. Some other EU countries restricted their numbers so it was easy to come to UK
They went to live anywhere where there was work and were liked by employers because of their willingness to do jobs that local people didn’t want (like vegetable picking and packing around Peterborough). Many went to London because of the good job opportunities. They have a reputation for hard work.
Impacts on the UK (host country):
Additional strain on public services in places where there was a sudden and large number of immigrants (Peterborough schools language issues, doctors, police had to employ bilingual officers, etc).
Demand for housing., caused a rise in prices
Growth of businesses to serve the immigrant community (shops, job agencies etc)
Pay for low paid was held down because employers could pay immigrant workers lower wages and didn’t need to invest in training.
Vacancies filled and taxes paid contribute to UK economy
Impacts on source countries:
Loss of skilled workers (Gdansk lost welders and builders so ship yards and construction of football stadium struggling)
Loss of men (it’s usually them who move) leaving women to do traditional men’s jobs (that’s probably a good thing)
Recession and fewer jobs in UK plus more jobs in the source countries means people have been leaving in large numbers, although there are still many here.
Migration to the Costas (Spanish coast)
¾ of a million UK people have migrated to Spain most to the coast
People go for better weather and a British community already there. They went seeking a cheaper life too. They go to places they are familiar with, so tourist towns attract them. People have set up businesses to suit British migrants.
It’s not just the Brits though, there are lots of other migrants from the cooler, richer parts of the EU. Migrants from the Eurozone benefit from not having to change their currency.
Lots of the migrants are older (more than ½ the Brits in Spain are over 45 and nearly ¼ are over 64)
The movement caused a rise in property prices and a boom in property development. The migrants are relatively wealthy and so use local services and create jobs.
This has put a huge strain on Spanish health services. The Spanish working population have to pay for the health service and it’s the British migrants who benefit (see ageing population above). In the past local governments offered free healthcare to migrants because they were seen as a benefit. Now free healthcare is being removed (unless you are entitled to incapacity benefit in the UK in which case you still get it free).
The decline of the £ against the € means it’s become less attractive to Brits and property prices have fallen. Now lots of them are stuck with property they can’t sell.
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