Blog: South Asia

Blog participation (20 points)

You may have noticed how often the word population comes up in the text and lessons in this course. Geography is not only concerned with the spatial patterns of physical phenomena, but also those of human phenomena.   Human populations are integral to the study of geography.   In fact, there is a special field of geography known as population geography, defined in your text as focusing on “the spatial aspects of demography and the influences of demographic change on particular countries and regions'.

In this lesson, we will explore two tools of the population geographer: the population pyramid and the demographic transition model.

The demographic transition model (DTM) is mentioned on page 419 of your text.   This is the well-known version, containing 4 phases.   In recent years, some geographers have added a fifth phase. For further explanation, visit this BBC website.   (Note: LEDC stands for Less Economically Developed Country and MEDC stands for More Economically Developed Country.   In the U.S., we generally refer to them as LDCs and MDCs.) Here is a one-minute video as well. (Note: Unless you are a speed-reader, you'll likely need to pause the video to read the text appearing in the green boxes .)

The population pyramid is a diagram showing age-sex structure for a country.   Your text has population pyramids for India and China on page 420.   You can see that males outnumber females now in both of these countries and that this trend is expected to continue.   The reasons behind India’s “missing girls' as mentioned in your book may sound grim, but they reflect the current situation.   (To consider this issue from an Indian mother’s perspective, listen to this news story, which aired on PRI’s The World in September, 2011.)

We can connect the population pyramid of a country to its stage in the demographic transition model (DTM).   Note that the life expectancy increases as populations move through the stages of the model. Here are images of four unnamed countries and their corresponding DTM stage:

Stage 1:


Stage 2:


Stage 3:


Stage 4:



On this page, The Population Reference Bureau shows the difference between the population pyramids of LDC and MDC countries. (Note: Click the radio button to move between views.)   The MDC version looks like a pillar rather than a pyramid.   If you scroll down to the Thailand example, you can see the graph’s shape change over time and read an explanation as to why.

If you have the bandwidth and the time, you might want to watch this video, which explains the population pyramid more in-depth.

Your task:

Now that you have learned about the connection between the population pyramid and the demographic transition model (DTM), you will demonstrate your knowledge.

1. Go to this site which you will use to create population pyramids for at least two countries.   (Make sure to check the blog first so you can choose countries that your classmates have not already chosen.)

2. Directions for creating your pyramids:

  • In Select Report, chose Population Pyramid Graph.
  • Then, in Select one or more Countries or Areas, select just one country.
  • Click submit

3. Save the image of each pyramid so you can include it in your blog post.

4. Write a blog post which includes the images of each of your pyramids, as well as a discussion of where these countries each fit into the DTM. (Hint: Looking at the graph, what does it tell you about the birth rate and death rate over time of this country?) Remember to choose unique countries, countries that are not already included in one of your classmate’s blog posts.   This way, we will gain a broader picture.

5. Copy the link of your blog post and submit it in Blackboard under Blog: South Asia.

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