Unit 2: Population and Migration

From the College Board: (emphasis mine)

Understanding the ways in which human population is organized geographically helps students make sense of cultural patterns, political organization of space, food production issues, economic development concerns, natural resource use and decisions, and urban systems. Therefore, many of the concepts and theories encountered in this part of the course connect with other course units. Additionally, course themes of location, space, place, scale of analysis, and pattern can be emphasized when studying basic population issues such as crude birth rate, crude death rate, total fertility rate, infant mortality rate, doubling time, and natural increase.

Explanations of why the population is growing or declining in some places are based on patterns and trends in fertility, mortality, and migration. For example, when learning about the relevance of place context and governmental policies, students may analyze fertility rates and age-sex structures (shown in population pyramids) in various countries. Analyses of refugee flows, immigration, and internal migration help students understand the connections between population phenomena and other topics. For example, environmental degradation and natural hazards may prompt population redistribution at various scales, which in turn creates new pressures on the environment, culture, and political institutions.

This part of the course also enhances students' critical understanding of population trends across space and time as they consider models of population growth and decline, including Malthusian theory, the demographic transition, and the epidemiological (mortality) transition model. Students can then evaluate the role, strengths, and weaknesses of major population policies, which attempt to either promot or restrict population growth.

Essential Documents: