This is just a selection of ideas to try yourself. You may find it helps you understand and enjoy the subject a bit better - no promises though! If you have ideas you'd like to share about using the site, let us know by email.
Use the Global Population website itself, along with the links, to try the following:
Compare how many people there are in the world when you start using the site with the number when you finish up. How has global population changed in that period?
Identify, on the maps showing population distribution, the areas with a high number of people and those with none at all. Can you explain factors making the area sparsely/densely populated? Think social and economic factors as well as physical factors, like relief and climate.
Compare and contrast the data given for each country. Then find your own. Make up your own Country Profiles and Population Data Files for countries you are studying, or ones that interest you. Find a map, relevant figures, the flag, photographs and so on. Can you find census issues for the country online? Use other resources too: books, encyclopedias, magazines, journals, newspaper articles, handouts and so on.
Why not take a look at countries from a historical point of view. Try to chart the population growth and the development of a country throughout the ages. The International Data Base (IDB) on the US Census Bureau site (http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/) may help you with this. Again you may find print reference material in your local library that will aid your search.
Get the figures and construct your own Population Pyramids. Examine Pyramids for the same country for different years. Then compare these with other ones that look similar. Again, look for historic factors and their effects on the structure of the Pyramids, for example the baby boom in the 1940s or China's introduction of the ‘one child policy' in 1979. Have a go at predicting the future too!
We're saying in this section ‘choose a country' and this would be normal in an exam, but why not try using the same approach for your own town or local area? Make up your own migration Case Studies. Talk to people you know or try to find people who have come from abroad. It'd be a good opportunity to try out interviewing techniques – why not record them on audio or video? Where did the people come from? What did they leave behind? Why did they move? Ask them if it's possible to see photos of where they came from. If you can't interview people around you, then pick a celebrity to study – the top UK football clubs are full of foreign workers! Track their choices of moving club to club – where did they play before? Were their choices prompted by career development or simply cash? (pull factors) or did they have to move as their club didn't offer them a new contract or their family didn't settle in a particular city or country? (push factors). And remember migrants don't need to have come from abroad. For example, you may find a pop singer may have had to move to London from another part of the UK to ‘make it big' – this would also be a migration, within a country.
Using the information you find, try answering an exam style question for your new country. Print it and get someone else to look at your answer. Keep doing this until it becomes second nature or you run out of countries! This, along with testing yourself with the Bitesize Population sites, should really help your confidence for heading into the exam hall.
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