1) Fertility


Factors affecting fertility fall under four main headings. 

Demographic, Social/Cultural, Economic and Political. 

Read the article below from the BBC that describes the fall in fertility being seen around the world. Using 4 different colours for each of the headings above, highlight the factors described in the text. 

‘Remarkable’ decline in fertility rates

Graph showing global fertility rate

There has been a remarkable global decline in the number of children women are having, say researchers. Their report found fertility rate falls meant nearly half of countries were now facing a “baby bust” – meaning there are insufficient children to maintain their population size.

Further reading: 

Population bomb so wrong intro.png

Task 1: Population Change Case Study 1


i) Create a document entitled Bangladesh Case Study. At the top of the page insert a map showing Bangladesh’s location.  

ii) Background: Find the following data for Bangladesh using the CIA factbook and add it to the case study document in a table. 

GDP/capita:    % population working in agriculture:    literacy rate:     

Life expectancy in education for boys and girls. 

iii) Using the information below you are to build up a case study looking at causes of the declining fertility rates in Bangladesh. To do this you should complete the table below and then copy and paste the completed table into your Bangladesh Case Study document under the heading Population Change. 

Factors Affecting Fertility note taking frame.docx

The path through the fields

Bangladesh has dysfunctional politics and a stunted private sector. Yet it has been  surprisingly good at improving the lives of its poor.

Fertility in Bangladesh.png

Task 2: Population Case Study 2: Switzerland

i) Open a second word document with the title, “Switzerland Case Study.” 

ii) Insert a map showing the location of Switzerland. 

iii) Use the articles and videos below to outline the factors affecting Switzerlands fertility rates. 


Population growth pushes births to 24-year record

The number of births in Switzerland has been steadily increasing since 2005. Last year 85,300 babies were born in Switzerland – a figure that hasn’t been seen since 1992, according to the Federal Statistical Office.  


During the baby boom years the Swiss fertility rate rose to 2.5 compared to a mere 1.5 currently. Like many European and east Asian countries this rate is below the population replacement level. In other words, the population of these countries are contracting. In Switzerland this contraction is offset – some would say more than necessary – by immigration. According to current estimates, the global fertility rate will fall below the population replacement level by 2050.




B) Factors affecting Mortality and Life Expectancy:

Task 5) Gloabl Variation in Mortality Rates

Look carefully at the maps below and describe the geographical variation in Death rates, Infant mortality, Child Mortality and Life Expectancy using the word document below. Make sure you name specific countries and regions and include data in your description.

Global Variations in Mortality Rates.docx

Mortality (Death Rate)

Map of Crude Mortality Rates (2009) data from CIA Factbook

Infant Mortality Rate:

Infant mortality 2008.png

Life Expectancy:


Child Mortality: (under 5 years old)


Task 6) Factors Affecting Infant Mortality

Click on the map above and read the WIKIPEDIA article and make notes. Pay special attention to the factors that affect Infant Mortality.


Task 7) Read “The best story in developmentAfrica is experiencing some of the biggest falls in child mortality ever seen, anywhere

Make notes highlighting the countries mentioned in the article and the resons given for the falling rates of child mortality. Give data wherever possible.


Task 8) Fertility and Mortality

Use Gapminder to illustrate the different factors that affect the different mortality rates. How do they compare to the factors affecting fertility discussed in Task 1.

Factors that affect mortality and Life Expectancy:

Causes of death.gif

The top 10 causes of death

Where are the missing 90-year-olds?

Thousands of elderly people are missing. The last UK census found far fewer people in their 90s than expected, and the same thing happened in the US with people over 100. Could this be an early sign that gains in life expectancy made in recent decades will not be repeated in future?

Geographical Skill: Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient:

The Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient is used to determine the strenght or a correlation between two sets of data. A scatter graph can already suggest if there is a strong/weak negative/positive correlation (see below) but the Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient will allow us to quantify that correlation (in case there is one).


Do this exercise in order to develop a greater understanding of the Spearman’s Rank Test.

Spearmans Rank Worksheet.doc


Now complete the exercise on page 12 of the Patterns and Change book. You will use Spearman’s Rank to see if there is a negatvie correlation between GNI per Capita and the crude birth rate.

Essential Viewing: