Factors Which Effect the World's Population

By Alex Jackson

Last updated on

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The content on this page is extremely old. Much has changed in the world since this article was written. While many of the concepts will still be relevant, figures and case studies are likely to be outdated at this point.


  • A high standard of health care in a country will help to lower infant mortality, reducing the birth rate as people don’t need to have as many children in order to ensure some survive.
  • High health care standards ensure people have good access to modern health treatment, prolonging life expectancy and lowering death rate.
  • In areas with balanced, healthy diets the death rate will be lowered but in countries with poor diets or a lack of food the death rate will increase due to malnutrition.
  • Countries with high health care standards will have access to retroviral drugs giving them the potential to tackle HIV and other STIs.


  • Emancipation of women will reduce the birth rate as women are able to get careers rather than staying at home and nurturing children also making them less likely to have children.
  • Compulsory education ensures that people are educated about hygiene, STIs and contraception. Knowledge of basic hygiene will lower the death rate since people can maintain a better standard of hygiene (assuming the necessary items are available). Education about contraception will help reduce birth rate since people will be aware of the benefits of using contraception but again, this relies on the provision of contraceptives from governments or charities.
  • Very high standards of education provide an opportunity for advanced education paving the way for the training of doctors and medical researchers potentially lowering the death rate thanks to new discoveries or the availability of better trained doctors.

Social Provisions

  • If proper social care is provided to the elderly and they are well looked after, death rate will be reduced since they are able to live longer.
  • If clean water is available, death rate is reduced as water born diseases such as cholera aren’t prevalent. In addition, people are able to wash themselves and clothing properly (rather than in a river, where they also obtain their drinking water) again reducing the death rate thanks to an improved hygiene standard.
  • The availability of media makes it easier to educate people and raise awareness about outbreaks of diseases potentially reducing death rate. The availability of media is also important for educating people about hygiene, avoiding disease etc. if they were unable to attend school.

Cultural Factors

  • In some cultures and religions, people are respected more if they have many children resulting in an increased birth rate. For example, in some cultures having many children is seen as a sign of virility in men.
  • Conversely, some cultures and religions discourage large families though this is rare. This would have the effect of lowering birth rate.
  • Certain religions view birth control and abortion as bad in the eyes of their beliefs. As a result they discourage the use of these procedures resulting in an increased birth rate in countries where these religions are prevalent.
  • In some non-secular countries, the use of contraception and, especially abortion, is outlawed resulting in a significantly higher birth rate and death rate as a result of the spread of STI’s.
  • Some religions and cultures relegate the role of women preventing them from obtaining an education or career and encouraging/forcing them to have large families which results in an increased birth rate.

Political Factors

  • Some countries provide benefits to people who have many children to encourage people to give birth (e.g. France) as a result of an aging population and a natural decrease. This has the desired effect of increasing birth rate.
  • Alternatively some countries offer rewards to couples who have fewer children in order to encourage people to have less children resulting in a lowered birth rate.
  • If taxes in a country are high, people may not have children as they can’t afford to, decreasing the birth rate. In addition, young people may migrate away from the country if they can afford to in order to escape the taxes reducing the countries (young, fertile) population and also resulting in an increased death rate due to the knock on effects of an aging population.
  • During times of warfare the birth rate will fall significantly (since people are occupied fighting) and the death rate will often rise substantially. After a war however, there is often a “baby boom” resulting in a massive increase in the birth rate of a country.

Environmental Factors

  • Countries with frequent natural disasters will often have a high death rate. In addition, there may be a high number of people migrating away from the country for fear of their lives resulting in an overall reduction in the countries population.
  • The climate may effect the death rates of a county. In warm countries, death rate may be increased due to the spread of disease, which spreads much easier in warm weather. In cold countries, death rate may also be high due to the effects of the cold and a lack of supplies (and easy access to them). This is especially true for the elderly in these countries.
  • In countries with heavy industry, air and water pollution could be very high increasing the death rate as a result of polluted water supplies and air. In addition, it may increase infant mortality if clean water is unavailable resulting in a significantly higher birth rate as people have more children in order to ensure some survive.