Demography: The Study of Population
Although population growth has slowed in the United States, the world’s population of 6.8 billion in 2009 is increasing by more than 80.2 million people per year as a result of the larger number of births than deaths worldwide (see ~ Figure 19.1 J. Between 2000 and 2010, almost all of the world’s 1A percent annual population growth will occur in low-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America (Population Reference Bureau. 200). What causes the population to grow rapidly in some nations? This question is of interest to scholars who specialize in the study of demography-i-e sub field of sociology that examines population size, composition, and distribution. Many sociological studies use demographic analysis as a component of the research design because all aspects of social life arc aftcct~d
hy demography. For example, a n important relationship exists between population size and the availability of food. water, energy, and housing. Population size, composition, and distribution a”c ~I;O connected to issues such as poverty. racial diversity, shifts in the age structure of society concerns about environmental degradation Increases or decreases ill can have a powerful impact on the socio, economic, and position.cal structures of societies. As used by demographers, a population is a group of people who live in a specified geographic area. Changes in populations occur as a result of three processes: fertility (births). mortality (deaths), and migration.