AQA Contemporary urban Environment question


  • Awareness of factors in natural population change. Key vital population rates, specifically fertility rates. Knowledge and understanding of the factors affecting fertility rates.

  • Knowledge of changes in fertility rates. Marked decline since the 1980s, expected to reach below replacement level by 2050 in the majority of lower income countries. Below replacement fertility in the developed regions, expected to continue to 2050

  • Variation in fertility rates in different parts of the world, and appreciation that considerable differences exist between regions and countries.

  • Fertility remains at high levels in some countries, mainly located in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of western Asia.

  • Awareness of recent changes in fertility, for instance much of Asia and Latin America have witnessed significant fertility transitions so that although there is still demographic momentum, fertility has fallen dramatically. India for example has fallen from 6 to 3 in the past 30 to 40 years.

  • Understanding of factors affecting fertility rates, including (traditionally) importance of children as a part of the labour force, levels of urbanisation, cost of raising and educating children, educational and employment opportunities for women, infant mortality rates, availability of private and public pension systems, availability of legal abortions, availability of reliable birth control methods, religious beliefs, traditions and cultural norms.

  • Understanding of improvements to health care including vaccination programmes, and wider access to hospitals and doctors. Reduced levels of infant mortality in many lower income countries. Similarly health care may entail provision of family planning services, education about STIs and pregnancy, as well as contraception and abortion availability.

  • Understanding of the concept of food security, which exists when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.

  • Understanding of improvements to food security and diet, and variations between different areas. In the 1960s probably more than half the people in low-income countries suffered from chronic under-nutrition, but this has dropped to less than 20% today. However there is still much variation in food production and availability.


  • Evaluation of the significance of the link between fertility and health care. Rapidly reducing infant mortality rates resulting from improvements to medical care, especially maternity and post-natal care, leading to lower fertility rates, as the majority of children survive. Higher income countries will be able to afford the health care, medicines, and specialist facilities that will keep infants alive.

  • Evaluation of the possible link between fertility and food security. Greater and consistent food availability resulting in security and reduced fertility as diets improve. Overpopulated areas place more pressure on available food resources which impinges on fertility.

  • Analysis of the variety in fertility experiences amongst the low income countries suggesting that high fertility may still be an issue in parts of the world, particularly where healthcare is still poor and food supply unreliable. However other factors may be more influential in maintaining high fertility rates.

  • Evaluation of possible concerns that many high income countries have regarding their too low fertility. Concerns regarding future dependency issues such as labour levels and long term employment rates.

  • Evaluation of the complexity of explanations which may account for the mix of fertility rates in different parts of the world. Simplistic link with health care or food security is questionable. Improvements to health care are likely to be of greater significance than food security, although they are, to some extent, interrelated.

  • Evaluation of other factors. Growth of wealth and human development and higher quality of education for women are related to sub-replacement fertility. High costs of living and job insecurity can make it difficult for young people to start families. Legalisation, and widespread acceptance, of contraception and abortion in most parts of the world may be the most crucial factors in decreased fertility levels.

Powered by WordPress