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Population growth

Changing fertility, mortality, and migration rates make up the total population composition    , a snapshot of the demographic profile of a population. This number can be measured for societies, nations, world regions, or other groups. The population composition includes the sex ratio    , the number of men for every hundred women, as well as the population pyramid    , a picture of population distribution by sex and age ( [link] ).

A pyramid graph depicting the 2011 population of the United States, grouped by age.
This population pyramid shows the breakdown of the 2010 U.S. population according to age and sex. (Graph courtesy of Econ Proph blog and the U.S. Census Bureau)
As the table illustrates, countries vary greatly in fertility rates and mortality rates—the components that make up a population composition. (Chart courtesy of CIA World Factbook 2014)
Varying fertility and mortality rated by country
Country Population (in millions) Fertility Rate Mortality Rate Sex Ratio Male to Female
Afghanistan 31.8 5.4% 14.1% 1.03
Sweden 9.7 1.9% 9.6% 0.98
United States of America 318.92 2.0% 8.2% 0.97

Comparing the three countries in [link] reveals that there are more men than women in Afghanistan, whereas the reverse is true in Sweden and the United States. Afghanistan also has significantly higher fertility and mortality rates than either of the other two countries. Do these statistics surprise you? How do you think the population makeup affects the political climate and economics of the different countries?

Demographic theories

Sociologists have long looked at population issues as central to understanding human interactions. Below we will look at four theories about population that inform sociological thought: Malthusian, zero population growth, cornucopian, and demographic transition theories.

Malthusian theory

Thomas Malthus (1766–1834) was an English clergyman who made dire predictions about earth’s ability to sustain its growing population. According to Malthusian theory    , three factors would control human population that exceeded the earth’s carrying capacity    , or how many people can live in a given area considering the amount of available resources. Malthus identified these factors as war, famine, and disease (Malthus 1798). He termed them “positive checks” because they increase mortality rates, thus keeping the population in check. They are countered by “preventive checks,” which also control the population but by reducing fertility rates; preventive checks include birth control and celibacy. Thinking practically, Malthus saw that people could produce only so much food in a given year, yet the population was increasing at an exponential rate. Eventually, he thought people would run out of food and begin to starve. They would go to war over increasingly scarce resources and reduce the population to a manageable level, and then the cycle would begin anew.

Of course, this has not exactly happened. The human population has continued to grow long past Malthus’s predictions. So what happened? Why didn’t we die off? There are three reasons sociologists believe we are continuing to expand the population of our planet. First, technological increases in food production have increased both the amount and quality of calories we can produce per person. Second, human ingenuity has developed new medicine to curtail death from disease. Finally, the development and widespread use of contraception and other forms of family planning have decreased the speed at which our population increases. But what about the future? Some still believe Malthus was correct and that ample resources to support the earth’s population will soon run out.

Questions & Answers

what is the difference between sociology imagination and perspective?
Prince Reply
why do we study sociology
Steven Reply
In many ways sociology is the study of human patterns of behavior. It also allows us to see the strange in the familiar.
Kimmy
who is the founder of sociology?
Prince Reply
aguste comte
Steven
.
Steven
Can you explain "the looking-Glass self" by Charles Horton Cooley AND "the generalized other" by George Hebert Mead ?
Tommy Reply
Cooley´s concept of the looking glass self, states that a person's self grows out of a person´s social interactions with others. Mead's 'generalized other' becomes relevant when a person begins to evaluate himself from the point of view from the wider society.
Kimmy
whom we can call a social scientist or sociologist? A sociology graduate or a social work graduate
Arvind Reply
social scientist is not all about our degrees
musharaf
that is what you say, but I believe you
Powell
I didn't understood your reply.
Arvind
whose?
musharaf
actually what I believe, is that sociology deals with the creating theories methodologies and analysis. whereas social work deals with actual ground level implementation of the these theories, methodologies to create impact at actual ground level
Arvind
powel's
Arvind
we cant consider sociology graduate as social scientist. master of sociology or scholar is comsidered aa.....
musharaf
what is social mobility and its types
Izaz
@Izaz social mobility is the movement of individuals from one social class to another. The types are upward,horizontal, intergenerational, intragenerational,structural mobility.
Kimmy
Can one be a "professional " Sociologist without a degree Certificate?
Powell Reply
Yes please
Oduro
yeah
musharaf
Okay I am a dropout
Powell
in my finals
Powell
so if I continue here do I have a chance out there? I love the simplicity with which topics are explained and am greatful for finding my self here
Powell
what Alex Inkeles said in his book ,"what is sociology" ?
Madiha Reply
The great contemplators right from Comte to Behredeit had been the followers of this approach. As Alex inkles said; Sociology is the study of systems of social action & of their inter-relations. As Young, Raymond says, it is the scientific study of social aspects of human life.
Wasem
Topics: The subject matter of sociology -- The sociological perspective -- Models of society in sociological analysis -- Conceptions of man in sociological analysis -- Basic elements of social life -- Fundamental social processes -- Models of inquiry in sociology -- Sociology as a profession
PUBG
Which topic u want to discuss :)
PUBG
Dear give a brief introduction about Sociology as a profession
Wasem
subject matter of sociology
Madiha
He is busy in play PUBG. Carry on
Wasem
He is busy in playing PUBG. Carry on
Wasem
What do u mean wasem
PUBG
Something is wrong with this. I replied so many times but there is not a single reply from me :/
PUBG
What is contemporary family
DAMBA
By what? #Pubg
Wasem
by sociology of the family
DAMBA
Dear PUBG, if you're really meant to serve here, then do your duty as soon as possible
Wasem
There is a problem. Its showing me access denied. So sorry
PUBG
Something inappropriate. I don't know why. I am trying to reply and same dialogue box is appearing again and again
PUBG
Madiha sociology has its own subject matter. Some critics were that sociology has been parcelled out from other social sciences but now sociology is called mother of all social sciences.
PUBG
Woah published. I typed 10 times
PUBG
I tried to explain in simple n short way. If u want detailed. Right now i am not able to publish a full text and i dont want my account banned. I'll explain tomorrow.
PUBG
Feeling sorry for u dear Pubg.Your student has lefted & now u chatter all alone
Wasem
Aneesa Ma'm will make us understand. Dun't wry dear Madiha
Wasem
Where is she teaching. I mean ur mam
PUBG
PUBG sr ty to do dicuss on relevent matter dont wry disturbing elements are exit everywhere
musharaf
thnkx pubg sir for always sharing ur ideas there
Madiha
Yep
PUBG
Welcome
PUBG
You trash heap wht irrelevant u saw in my texts i'm talking vid my batchmate.if you're getting disturbed u can sod off #Musharaf
Wasem
Wht tempts u to knw where my teacher teaches us #PUBG
Wasem
waseem solute to ur kindness nd ur way of talking
musharaf
U r not here for learning or teaching... U r trying to showoff.. And we don't care about it.. I quit this chat
PUBG
yeah offcourse
musharaf
PUBG if i need some material about any topic r uh help me...
musharaf
pubg sr
musharaf
Yeah sure
PUBG
thank uh sir
musharaf
How Louis wirth called Urbanism as an ideal type when it prevails in real form?
Wasem Reply
sir, what is sociology modern trends?
Sandeep Reply
what is the difference between magic and totka
Ravi Reply
Do u got the answer
PUBG
in what ways will American families likely change in structure and process in the future?
Eboni Reply
One way is that the traditional roles of the male being the sole breadwinner will most likely change where it is not uncommon for women to be breadwinners as well
Kimmy
how does society cause desaeas
Kahange Reply
what is deviant behavior and why is relative.
Haruna
How Louis wirth called urbanisation as an ideal type when it prevails in reality?
Wasem
samajsatra ki paribhasha de
Ali Reply
wt
Aijaz
समाजशास्त्र मानव समाज का अध्ययन है। यह सामाजिक विज्ञान की एक शाखा है, जो मानवीय सामाजिक संरचना और गतिविधियों से संबंधित जानकारी को परिष्कृत करने और उनका विकास करने के लिए, अनुभवजन्य विवेचनऔर विवेचनात्मक विश्लेषण की विभिन्न पद्धतियों का उपयोग करता है।
Soumya
समाज के विभिन्न पहलुओं के क्रमबद्ध अध्ययन को समाजशास्त्र कहते हैं |
Soumya
समाजशास्त्र मानव समाज का अध्ययन है। यह सामाजिक विज्ञान की एक शाखा है, जो मानवीय सामाजिक संरचना और गतिविधियों से संबंधित जानकारी को परिष्कृत करने और उनका विकास करने के लिए, अनुभवजन्य विवेचनऔर विवेचनात्मक विश्लेषण की विभिन्न पद्धतियों का उपयोग करता है।
Soumya
what is sociology?
Dulom
the study of human behaviour and its environment
Jimmy
The study of human behaviour beliefs etc.study of man's life from woom to tom
Zahid
what's criminal investigation?
Haruna
it is simple be defines as the process of collecting information or evidence about a particular issues eg.place, when, interrogation and many more
Oduro
what is the nature of social problem?
rashid
relative deprivation
Batch Reply
Why is Max Weber different from other founding fathers of sociology
Bertha Reply
He's a sociologist that looks at society at macro level & is a conflict theorist that looks at the inequalities within society. For example functionalists (Emile Durkheim) focuses on value consensus. On the other hand Marxists view the inequalities.
Kimmy

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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