Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!


Managing population change

LEDCs and MEDCs face different problems when managing population change. LEDCs face rapid population growth. MEDCs face slow or negative growth. Watch this video to find out more.


In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions

Key points

  • Most LEDCs have rapid population growth due to high birth rate.
  • High infant death rates mean that women have many children to ensure some survive.
  • It may be traditionally or culturally important to have a large family.
  • In the 1970s, the Chinese government introduced a one-child policy on its population. China's birth rate has fallen considerably in the last 25 years. Due to a traditional preference for boys, many female babies have ended up homeless or in orphanages, and in some cases killed.
  • As a result, the gender balance of the Chinese population has become distorted. Today, men are believed to outnumber women in china by over 60 million.
  • Most MEDCs have slow rates of population growth. Some even have population decline. Birth rates are falling as women choose to have smaller families later in life.
  • At the same time the average life expectancy in MEDCs is rising due to improvements in health care and quality of life. This means that soon there will be fewer people of working age to support the elderly population.

All Geography videos

Population index

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.