In this section you will revise:

  1. Population Density
  2. Census'
  3. Population Pyramids
  4. Demographic Transition Model
  5. Ageing Populations
  6. Migration

Population Density

Here is a table that summarizes some basic reasons why population densities vary:

Dense Sparse
flat land is easy to build on steep land is hard to build on
route centres and valleys good for communications and trade so people live there remote areas are difficult to access with health care so few people live there
coastal areas good for trade in addition to a local food source high altitiude too cold for agriculture so few people
good soils for plenty of food areas of soil erosion lead to depopulation of areas

The Census

You need to know:

1) How census data is collected? Here are the main points in a paragraph:

In the UK census data is collected once every ten years. This includes data on emloyment, ethnicity, family size and ethnicity. Mini census' are taken between major census' for example in 1966. Birth certificates keep track of new additions to population and death certificates record population losses. The UK keeps records of immigration to count the increase in population.

2) What difficulties are there in collecting census data in LEDCs? Here are the main points in a paragraph:

In LEDCs such as India the physical size of the country makes collecting data difficult. The expense of the the beaurocratic process makes it difficult for poorer countries. Remote mountainous areas make it difficult for census takers to reach some communities. Some groups of people may be nomadic and difficult to track down. Many people may be illiterate and unable to fill out the form or the form may not be produced in their language. Warfare and internal migrations of people mean that making accurate records is difficult.

3) Why is census data sometimes unreliable? Here are the main points in a paragraph:

Information is often unreliable due to nomadic groups being counted twice as they cross the path of census takers on more than one occasion. Some groups of people may inflate their numbers to gain greater funding from central government. Some groups may not wish to report honestly; for example in China the one child policy means that families may hide second children. In Jordan girls often go unreported as due to 'second class citizen' status. Some people may be unable to read the form properly and may misunderstand it. Migrant populations will not be accurately counted due to possible temporary resident status.

Population Pyramids

Watch this excellent series of animations to bring yourself up to speed on Population Studies.

Demographic Transition

Understanding the Population Pyramid

Births and Family size

Understanding Life Expectancy

Here are some interactive games to understand the material further...

Demography is Geography

Happy Families

and for those who are simply interested or considering Advanced Higher...

How do we measure Fertility?

How do we measure life expectancy?

In this clip you'll learn how to describe and explain a pyramid for a LEDC.

In this clip you'll learn how to describe and explain a more complex pyramid for a MEDC.

Now try interacting with this live pyramid simulator to embed your learning.

Demographic Transition Model

Each stage is broken down and explained.

Ageing Populations

You need to know what the problems of an ageing population are. Here are the main ones:


This clip will take you on a quick tour through the major concepts and a few case studies for migration studies. After watching it I'd advise you to watch again and pausing on the important parts to take notes and then use those notes to make a model answer. Use the ones below to model your response on. Your case studies may be significantly different to the ones I've used so pay attention to how I use my case study facts and structured my response. Note that the is broken into the following sections:- 'voluntary migration' 'benefits and negatives of migration' and 'forced migration'.


Watch this video and take notes on how Chinese migration has happened within its own borders.