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Flashcards in Demography Deck (29)
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Define the term 'birth rate'.

The number of live births per thousand of population per year.
There has been a long time decline in births since 1900- from 20.87 in that
year to 11.1 in 2019 however there have also been several baby booms in that time.


Explain the patterns in births.

There was a trough in the number of births during the world war as men were absent and a peak right after as men returned from the war. Contraception became more readily available in the 60s and 70s which led to a decline in the birth rate. The birth rate is lower than in the past for a number of reasons, but most importantly the changed position of women.


Explain what the total fertility rate means.

The average number of children women will have during their fertile years. The UK's TFR in 2016 was 1.8 births per woman which is lower than it used to be- in 1964 the peak was 2.95 children. The changes in fertility and birthrate reflect that more women are remaining childless than in the past. Replacement fertility is 2.1, so the UK has below replacement fertility.


Name the reasons for the decline in birth rate.

Changes in women’s position

Decline in the infant mortality rate

Children are now an economic liability

Child centredness

Reliable contraception


Explain changes in women's position as a reason for the decline in the birth rate.

Changes in the position of women:
- legal equality with men; the right to vote,
- increased educational opportunities
- more women in paid employment
- Changes in attitudes to family life and women's role
- Easier access to divorce
- Access to abortion and reliable contraception = more control over their fertility


Explain the decline in the infant mortality rate as a reason for the decline in the birth rate.

The IMR measures the number of infants who die before their first birthday before per 1000 babies born alive, per year.

The IMR is now less than 1/40th of its 1900 figure. This could be because of improved housing and sanitation, better nutrition of both children and mothers, better knowledge of child health and welfare and improved services for mothers and children. Medical factors such as mass immunisation against childhood diseases have also contributed to the fall in the IMR.


Explain children as an economic liability as a reason for the decline in the birth rate.

Up until the late 19th century, children were viewed as being economic assets to their parents as they could be sent out to work at an early age to earn money however children are now an economic liability, costing an average of 230,000 pounds a year. This is because of:

Laws banning child labour, introducing mandatory schooling and raising the school leaving age.

Changing norms about what children have the right to expect from parents in material terms.


What are the effects of changes in fertility on the family?

Smaller family sizes increases the likelihood of the dual earner couple as women are able less likely to have to stay at home with their children and are able to go out to work.


What are the effects of changes in fertility on the dependency ratio?

A fall in the number of children being born reduces the burden of dependency on the working population as children make up a large part of the dependent ration of the population.
However, the fall in the birth rate means the next working population will be smaller and so the burden of dependency might increase again.


What are the effects of changes in fertility on public services and policies?

Fewer schools, maternity and child health services may be needed however this is dependent on political decisions- for example, instead of fewer schools the government could opt to reduce class sizes.


Explain improved nutrition as a reason for the fall in the death rate.

McKeown argues that improved nutrition has accounted for up to half the reduction in death rates and was particularly important in reducing the number of deaths caused by TB. Better nutrition led to an increased resistance to infection and increased chance of survival for those who were infected.

However, he dos not explain why females live longer despite being given a smaller share of food and he failed to explain why some infectious diseases actually rose at a time of improving nutrition.


Explain medical improvements as a reason for the fall in the death rate.

Before the 1950s, medical improvements did little in terms of reducing deaths from infectious diseases. After the 1950s improved medical knowledge, techniques and organisation such as the introduction of antibiotics, immunisation and blood transfusion led to a reduction in death rates. Medication and surgery have more recently made a big difference on the death rate- for example deaths from heart disease decreased by one third.


Explain smoking and diet as a reason for the fall in the death rate.

According to Harper, the greatest cause for the fall in the death rate is the fall in the number of smokers. However, while the number of smokers fell, obesity has taken its place as being the new lifestyle epidemic. Harper suggests we may be moving towards an 'American' health culture where lifestyles are unhealthy but a long lifespan is still achieved through the use of costly medication.


Explain public health measures as a reason for the fall in the death rate.

Improvements in housing, purer drinking water, laws to combat the adulteration of food and drink, the pasteurisation of milk and improved sewage disposal methods were all implemented in the 20th century by more effective central and local governments.


Explain other social changes as a reason for the fall in the death rate.

Other social changes that played a part in reducing the death rate during the 20th century include:
- The decline of dangerous manual occupations such as mining
- Smaller families= reduced rate of transmission of infection
- greater public medical knowledge
- lifestyle changes eg smoking
- higher incomes= healthier lifestyles


Explain how life expectancy has changed over time.

As death rates have fallen, life expectancy has increased. In the 1900s, men could be expected to live up to the age of 50 however in 2013 that number had increased to 90.7 years of age.
Harper proposed that if the trend to greater longevity continues, we will soon achieve 'radical longevity' with more centenarians.


Explain the ageing population.

The average age of the population is hte UK is rising- there are no longer far more young people than there are old people. Hirsch notes thatt he traditional age pyramid is changing and being replaced with more equal blocks to represent each age group.
The ageing of the population is caused by three factors: increased life expectancy, declining infant mortality and declining fertility.


Name the different things an ageing population has an impact on.

Public services
One person-pensioner households
The dependency ratio


Explain the impact of the ageing population on public services.

Older people consume a larger proportion of services such as health and social care, especially those over 75. This means there is an increased expenditure on health care.


Explain the impact of the ageing population on one-person pensioner households.

The number of pensioners living alone has increased, these households now accounting for 12.5 percent of all households. Most of these are female because women live longer and also tend to be younger than their husbands. There are twice as many women as men amongst the over 75s- this is described as the feminisation of later life.


Explain the impact of the ageing population on the dependency ratio.

As the number of retired people rises, the dependency ratio increases, as does the burden on the working population as they are required to look after the retired through taxation, pensions, and healthcare. In 2015, there were 3.2 working-age people for every pensioner however this number is predicted to fall to 2.8 by 2033.
However, not all old people are necessarily economically dependent, especially as as people now have to wait until they are 66 to access state pension. As well as this, the growing number of elderly is offset by the declining number of dependent children.


Explain the impact of the ageing population on ageism.

A consequence of the ageing population is that it has led to ageism being more prominent- negative stereotypes and unequal treatment of individuals due to their age. This can present through discrimination in employment and treatment in healthcare. People often talk about the older population as being a problem.


Explain old age within modern society.

Many sociologists argue that ageism is a result of 'structured dependency'. The old are often excluded from work, leaving them dependent on their families or the state. In modern society, where an individual's identity and status are defined by their role in production, this leads to the retired having a dependent and stigmatised status.
Marxists argue that the old are no longer of use to capitalism as there are no longer productive and so the state is unwilling to support them adequately which leaves the family with the responsibility for their care.


Explain the term immigration

movement into a country


Explain the term emigration

movement out of a country


Explain the term net migration.

the difference between the numbers of immigrants and
emigrants, expressed as a net increase or net decrease.


Explain the impact of immigration on the UK population structure.

The UK population is continuing to grow due to migration. There is also a natural increase with higher birth rates among non-uk born mothers.

Immigration lowers the average age of the population both directly, as immigrants are normally younger, and indirectly, being younger they are more fertile and have more babies.


Explain the impact of immigration on the dependency ratio.

- immigrants are likely to be of working age, lowering the dependency ratio

- because they are younger, immigrants have more children which increases the ratio however overtime they become working adults which lowers the ratio.

- the longer the group is settled in the closer their fertility rate comes to the national average, reducing their impact on the dependency ratio.


Explain migrant identities.

Migrants may have hybrid identities in terms of religion and britishness.

Eriksen suggests that people may develop transnational identities rather than considering themselves as belonging completely to one country or culture.

People may have stronger links with their dispora than their country of origin or settlement.