CAPE 2009 GEOGRAPHY P2-UNIT 1 #2 Monday, March 07, 2011a) i) Name the graph shown in Figure 1. [1 mark]The graph shown in Figure 1 is a Lorenz Curve. ii) Describe the distribution illustrated by the line labeled L. [3 marks] The line labeled L represents perfectly even distribution. This means at any point along thelime L would be equal to the percentage of area and percentage of population. Along this linepopulation density is the same throughout the land mass e.g. Barbados.b) Definei) Carrying capacity- [3 marks] The carrying capacity is the number of people that can live in any given environment. Itis the maximum number of people that can be supported by a given area. There are three types ofcarrying capacity, namely, constant carrying capacity, falling carrying capacity and risingcarrying capacity. The constant carrying capacity implies that there is an upper limit of resources and outputagainst which population presses. It is a Malthusian view. The falling carrying capacity implies that resource depletion and degradation will causethe population to decline. It illustrates gloomy predictions of the Club of Rome. The rising carrying capacity implies that technical innovation and the discovery of newresources will match population growth. It is essentially an optimistic view based on the ideas ofBoserup.ii) Population doubling time- [3 marks] Population doubling time is the likely number of years in which a country will take todouble its population.
CAPE 2009 GEOGRAPHY P2-UNIT 1 #2 Monday, March 07, 2011c) Write an essay comparing the views of Thomas Malthus and Esther Boserup on therelationship of population growth to food supplies. [20 marks] Views on population growth and food supplies can be divided into pessimistic andoptimistic. Pessimists believe that overpopulation will lead to catastrophe and famine. Theseviews were based on the ideas of Thomas Malthus. Optimists believe that population growth willstabilize and that technology will overcome problems of hunger. These views were expressedbyEsther Boserup. Thomas Malthus was a British demographer who believed that population increasesexponentially, at a geometric rate i.e. 1-2-4-8-16. At the same time, he believed that the limitedamount of land available means that food supply can only increase at an arithmetic rate i.e. 1-2-3-4-5. The outcome therefore will mean that population will overcome food supply. Malthussuggested once this is reached, further growth in population would be curbed by negative andpositive checks. Negative checks were methods of limiting population growth and includedabstinence or a postponement of marriage. Positive checks were ways in which the populationwould be reduced in size by events such as war, famine and disease which would increasemortality rate and reduce life expectancy. Famine, disease and civil war in sub-Sahara Africa aresaid to demonstrate evidence of Malthusian ‘checks’. In direct contrast, Esther Boserup stated that population pressure is a stimulus totechnological change in agriculture. Boserup was a Danish economist who put forward analternative theory to that of Malthus. Being an optimist, Boserup suggested that resources are notfixed in quantity as Malthus stated, however, it is discovered, invented and created by humaningenuity. She believed that people have the resources of knowledge and technology to increasefood production. Whereas Malthus thought that food supply limited population size, Boserupsuggested that in a pre-industrial society, an increase in population brought about a change inagricultural techniques so that more food can be produced. Boserup refuted the positive andnegative checks which Malthus stated and instead focused on the growth of population leading toagricultural development and growth of the food supply. She assumed that people knew of thetechniques required by more intensive systems and used them when population grew. Perhapsthe best evidence to support Boserup’s views is the Green Revolution in which High YieldingVarieties (HYVs) are produced in places where population growth is high e.g. India. In retrospect, the views put forward by the pessimistic Malthus and optimistic Boserupdiffer in their approach to population growth. Boserup supported the growth in population withincreased innovation in food production whereas Malthus simply held the view that furthergrowth in population above the ‘ceiling’ would be curbed by the Malthusian catastrophe.