A child holding a clinic card. Image credit BBC

A child holding a clinic card. Image credit BBC

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Population:Introduction and importance of population studies

  • Population studies is the scientific study of human populations
  • It entails the study of:
  1. population numbers
  2. Their growth and decline
  3. deaths
  4. births
  5. fertility
  6. distribution
  7. density
  8. structure
  9. changes over time
  10. movement
  11. and their impact on the environment

Importance of population studies and population data

  • Population data is required by various stakeholders for various reasons:
  • Governments require it for planning purposes and policy decisions for example how many schools to build and in what areas, Financial budget decisions, health planning and policies etc.
  • Planners such as town planners might need to know so that they can factor it in their planning decisions.
  • Environmentalists are always considering the impact of people on the environment.
  • Other groups and individuals interested  in population data include: Demographers.
  • Geographers
  • Non Governmental Organisations
  • Political Parties
  • Businesses
  • This is because factors such as age, growth, population size etc affect things like:
  • the economic development of a country for example China’s and India’s fast economic growth are fulled by their large (more than one billion people in each country) populations.
  • The impact of people on the environment for example the bigger the population the higher the pressure on resources such as firewood, timber, coal, the destruction of habitats etc.
  • Impact on service provision ability e.g. education, water, health, sanitation and electricity.
  • Provision of employment
  • The problems of an ageing population
  • General standards of living.

Ways of collecting population data

To access more topics go to the Geography Notes page.