Japan Ageing Population Case Study Geography For Kids

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Populations in transition 

Population Change

Starter activity: Try to define  the Key Terms using your own knowledge. Do they match the official definitions?
Revise this PowePoint at home to remind yourself of about population
Population Revision
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Demographic Transition Model
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Practising Description questions:

In Paper 1 of the IB examination it is very common to see 3 mark description based questions. These are very easy providing you ensure that you describe trends and also include correct data from the source. DO NOT just give examples from the data this is NOT describing and whatever you do do NOT start explaining or interpreting this data, it is not what is asked for. 

Using the interactive map below select any 3 criteria (excluding Child Mortality rate) and describe the global pattern [3 marks each]
Play the Gapminder game guess and justify some global population trends 

Population Pyramids

Population momentum and projections

Population momentum - Make notes on the YouTube. Answer the question: 'Outline ways we can halt the global population explosion'

Population momentum refers to population growth at the national level that would occur even if levels of childbearing immediately declined to replacement level.

IB Style Question: Distinguish between population projection and population momentum, explain the differences. [4]

Responses to High and Low Fertility 

Make notes from the PowerPoint on ageing and youthful populations. Remember to pay special attention to the case studies. 
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Pro-Natalist and Anti-Natalist policies - Case studies

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As part of the IB DP course you will need to study some examples of Pro Natalist and Anti Natalist policies. Divide up the the class into groups and each group will need to produce:
  1. An information webpage - outlining examples and evaluating Pro/Anti natalist policies.
  2. A 3 minute (max) Youtube about your main case study. Include visual aids but do not mention your name, the school or show yourself. 

The webpage should:
  • Explain what are Pro/Anti Natalist policies
  • Give some real life examples of these policies
  • Provide a background of your main case study - China/France
  • What is the actual policy, who does it apply to and are there any exceptions
  • What are its successes/failures
  • What about today? Has anything changed?
Website Assessment Criteria
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To be able to complete these tasks you will need a lot of resources. Please go to the following pages to find some useful information:
Student Websites
These sites were made by previous students

Movement Responses - Migration

Study the website People on the Move and discuss some of the migration patterns present.

Watch the following YouTubes and describe the key movements of people around the world, why do you think these patterns occur? Make notes.
A Basic Overview of Why People Migrate:

People migrate for many different reasons. These reasons can be classified as economic, social, political or environmental:
  • economic migration - moving to find work or follow a particular career path
  • social migration - moving somewhere for a better quality of life or to be closer to family or friends
  • political migration - moving to escape political persecution or war
  • environmental causes of migration include natural disasters such as flooding
Some people choose to migrate, eg someone who moves to another country to enhance their career opportunities. Some people are forced to migrate, eg someone who moves due to war or famine.

refugee is someone who has left their home and does not have a new home to go to. Often refugees do not carry many possessions with them and do not have a clear idea of where they may finally settle.

  • Diffusion: the spread of a phenomenon over time and space.
  • Carrying capacity: the largest population that the resources of a given environment can support.
  • Demography: the scientific study of human populations
  • Population momentum: the tendency for population growth to continue beyond the time that replacement level fertility has achieved, because of a relatively high concentration of people in the child bearing years. this situation is due to past high fertility rates which result in large numbers of young people.
  • Demographic transition: the historical shift of birth and death rates from high to low levels in a populations.
  • Crude birth rate: the number of births per 1000 population in a given year. It is only a very broad indicator as it does not take into account the age and gender distribution of the population.
  • Crude death rate: the number of deaths per 1000 population in a given year.
  • Rate of natural change: the difference between the birth rate and the death rate.
  • Census: an official periodic count of a population including such information as age, gender, occupation and ethnic origin.
  • Natural decrease: when the numbers of births is lower than the number of deaths.
  • Immigration: the migration of people into a country from one or a number of other countries. (in)
  • Emigration: the migration of people from a country to one or a number of other countries. (out)     
  • Net migration: the difference between immigration and emigration for a particular country.
  • Fertility rate: the number of live births per 1000 women aged 15-49 in a given year.
  • Total fertility rate: the average number of children that would be born alive to a woman during her lifetime. 
  • Replacement level fertility: the level at which each generation has just enough children to replace themselves in the population. Although the level varies for different populations, a total fertility rate of 2.12 children is usually considered as replacement level. 
  • Infant mortality rate: the number of deaths of infants under 1 year of age per 1000 live births in a given year. 
  • Child mortality rate: the number of deaths of children under 5 years of age per 1000 live births in a given year.
  • Life expectancy: the average number of years a person may expect to live when born, assuming past trends continue.
  • Population structure:  the composition of a population, the most important elements of which are age and sex.
  • Population pyramid: a bar chart, arranged vertically, that shows the distribution of a population by age and gender. 
  • Sex ratio: the n umber of males per 100 females in a population.
  • Population projection: the prediction of future populations based on the present age-gender structure, and with present rates of fertility, mortality and migrations.
Watch the YouTube 'The world's most typical person' as an introduction to the unit.

  • Who is the worlds most typical person? Write down their characteristics.
  • Discuss why this is the case.
Complete the Introduction to Population change worksheet by using the YouTubes below.

Introduction to Population change
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The Demographic Transition Model

Explain and annotate the Demographic Transition Model (DTM). You can use this website and the following presentation 
Using the graphs answer these questions:
  1. Describe the global pattern of child mortality rates.
  2. Identify trends in the pattern and attempt to explain them.
World Child Mortality Rates
Watch the Horizon documentary and answer the questions from the worksheet.
(worksheet courtesy of Geographypods)
Population Pyramids and how they fit with the DTM
Population pyramid of EU and France
Dependency Ratios:
  1. What do they show? (elderly and total dependency ratio)
  2. How do we calculate them?
Case Study: What problems does Japan face as an ageing population? How has it reacted? Has this been successful? Make Case Study notes.

Dependency Ratio
Case Studies
IB Style Question: 
Discuss to what extent is a large dependency ratio good for a country [15]

Use the following information to help you plan your essay:

The Causes of an ageing populations 
High life expectancy caused by:
  • Good medical care
  • Good diet and improved water supply
  • Good sanitation and hygiene
  • Low birth rates caused by:
  • Emancipation of women
  • Cost of children
  • Emigration of economically active
Problems of an ageing population
  • Shortage of economically active population
  • Reduced taxation income for the government
  • Cost of providing healthcare and care homes (elderly tend to get sick more frequently)
  • Reduced spending on education, policing, transport network, etc.
  • Cost of paying for pensions
  • Service decline (schools, sports centres, etc. not used by older residents)
Solutions to an ageing population 
  • Pro-natalist policies (see below - Singapore)
  • Increased immigration of economically active
  • Increased retirement age
  • Private pensions
  • Private healthcare
  • Increased taxes of economically active
Advantages of an ageing population
  • Elderly people have a lot of experience and can be valuable in the workplace
  • Less money spent on schooling and natal medical care
  • Lower crime rates and less money needed to be spent on policing
Advantages of elderly workers
  • Workers will have a lot of experience of the workplace (wide skill base)
  • Elderly workers will not take maternity or paternity leave
  • Employers probably won't have to pay into a government pension scheme
  • Elderly people are often seen as more friendly and approachable making them ideal for the service sector
  • Elderly workers can act as mentors for newer staff
  • Elderly workers may be more willing to work part-time or flexitime so companies can alter staff to meet demand.
  • Elderly workers are often more loyal and seen as been more reliable
Disadvantages of elderly workers
  • It might be necessary to retrain some staff in new skills e.g. ICT
  • Elderly workers are more likely to get sick
  • Employers might have to pay higher health insurance premiums
  • Elderly people might be unable to work in many manual (physical) jobs
  • Elderly workers may be less open to new ideas and new technology
  • Elderly workers may only want to or be able to work part-time.
  • Elderly workers are harder to invest in, because they could retire at any time.
Case Study information - China
Case Study information - France
Push factors are the reasons why people leave an area. They include:
  • lack of services
  • lack of safety
  • high crime
  • crop failure
  • drought
  • flooding
  • poverty
  • war
Pull factors are the reasons why people move to a particular area. They include:
  • higher employment
  • more wealth
  • better services
  • good climate
  • safer, less crime
  • political stability
  • more fertile land
  • lower risk from natural hazards
You will need to know some of the migration models for your IB course. There are 6 of them and you need to investigate and create some notes on each. Use the two files below to help you.

Theories of Migration
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Japan is an example of a country that has implemented a Pro Natal Policy. Japan has a low birth rate and a low death rate, placing them in the fifth stage of the transition model. Japanese women have an average of 1.34 children, one of the lowest rates in the world and below the 2.8 needed to replenish the population. Japans population is ageing and there is a very high life expectancy. If the birth rate continues to stay low, the population could start to decline so the government have introduced pro natal laws in which parents can receive:

  • 8 weeks paid leave from work
  • Shorter working hours
  • A maximum of 24 hours overtime a month
  • Economic incentives: e.g the toy company Bandai is offering employees 1 million yen to have a third child and the same for each subsequent child
  • Child allowances
  • Larger families can get discounts from certain shops
  • More time off to have a child 

The policy hasn't been successful; birth rates only rose by 0.14% between 2005 and 2013.


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