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Population growth

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File:Population curve.svg

Population growth is the change in a population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals of any species in a population using "per unit time" for measurement. In biology, the term population growth is likely to refer to any known organism, but this article deals mostly with the application of the term to human populations in demography.

In demography, population growth is used informally for the more specific term population growth rate (see below), and is often used to refer specifically to the growth of the human population of the world.

Simple models of population growth include the Malthusian Growth Model and the logistic model.

Population growth rate Edit

In demographics and ecology, Population growth rate (PGR) is the fractional rate at which the number of individuals in a population increases. Specifically, PGR ordinarily refers to the change in population over a unit time period, often expressed as a percentage of the number of individuals in the population at the beginning of that period. This can be written as the formula:

\mathrm{Growth\ rate} = \frac{(\mathrm{population\ at\ end\ of\ period}\ -\ \mathrm{population\ at\ beginning\ of\ period})} {\mathrm{population\ at\ beginning\ of\ period}}

(In the limit of a sufficiently small time period.)

The above formula can be expanded to: growth rate = crude birth rate - crude death rate + net immigration rate, or ∆P/P = (B/P) - (D/P) + (I/P) - (E/P), where P is the total population, B is the number of births, D is the number of deaths, I is the number of immigrants, and E is the number of emigrants.

This formula allows for the identification of the source of population growth, whether due to natural increase or an increase in the net immigration rate. Natural increase is an increase in the native-born population, stemming from either a higher birth rate, a lower death rate, or a combination of the two. Net immigration rate is the difference between the number of immigrants and the number of emigrants.

The most common way to express population growth is as a ratio, not as a rate. The change in population over a unit time period is expressed as a percentage of the population at the beginning of the time period. That is:

\mathrm{Growth\ ratio} = \mathrm{Growth\ rate} \times 100%.

A positive growth ratio (or rate) indicates that the population is increasing, while a negative growth ratio indicates the population is decreasing. A growth ratio of zero indicates that there were the same number of people at the two times -- net difference between births, deaths and migration is zero. However, a growth rate may be zero even when there are significant changes in the birth rates, death rates, immigration rates, and age distribution between the two times. [1] Equivalently, percent death rate = the average number of deaths in a year for every 100 people in the total population.

A related measure is the net reproduction rate. In the absence of migration, a net reproduction rate of more than one indicates that the population of women is increasing, while a net reproduction rate less than one (sub-replacement fertility) indicates that the population of women is decreasing.

Excessive growth and decline Edit

Main articles: Overpopulation and population decline

Population exceeding the carrying capacity of an area or environment is called overpopulation. It may be caused by growth in population or by reduction in capacity. Spikes in human population can cause problems such as pollution and traffic congestion, these might be resolved or worsened by technological and economic changes. Conversely, such areas may be considered "underpopulated" if the population is not large enough to maintain an economic system (see population decline). Between these two extremes sits the notion of the optimum population.

Human population growth rateEdit

File:Population growth rate world.PNG
File:World population increase history.svg
File:World population growth (lin-log scale).png

Globally, the growth rate of the human population has been declining since peaking in 1962 and 1963 at 2.20% per annum. In 2009 the estimated annual growth rate was 1.1%.[3] The CIA World Factbook gives the world annual birthrate, mortality rate, and growth rate (somewhat inconsistently) as 1.986%, 0.837%, and 1.13% respectively[4] The last one hundred years have seen a rapid increase in population due to medical advances and massive increase in agricultural productivity[5] made possible by the Green Revolution.[6][7][8]

The actual annual growth in the number of humans fell from its peak of 88.0 million in 1989, to a low of 73.9 million in 2003, after which it rose again to 75.2 million in 2006. Since then, annual growth has declined. In 2009 the human population increased by 74.6 million, and it is projected to fall steadily to about 41 million per annum in 2050, at which time the population will have increased to about 9.2 billion.[9] Each region of the globe has seen great reductions in growth rate in recent decades, though growth rates remain above 2% in some countries of the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, and also in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.[10]

Some countries experience negative population growth, especially in Eastern Europe (mainly due to low fertility rates and emigration). In Southern Africa, growth is slowing due to the high number of HIV-related deaths. Some Western Europe countries might also encounter negative population growth.[11] Japan's population began decreasing in 2005 [12]

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