Firstly I would like to congratulate all of my fellow students for completing the skills exam - I am sure you have all done really well. Most of you also got what you wished for in terms of it being a human paper rather than a physical one. I hope you all have a relaxing weekend ahead of next week when we get to start the new module - ENERGY!
I realise that you are all probably fed up with thinking about population due to having to revise it intensely over the last couple of weeks but I am going to talk a bit about population today as I had a very interesting discussion regarding population change with the Geography department this afternoon. Ageing populations are a problem facing many of the most developed countries in the world. China is one of them and currently has 167 million people over the age of 60 and a million people over 80. This causes huge problems in countries as it depletes the workforce and increases the number of dependants. The One Child Policy has made this issue worse in China as there are only two adults to look after four elderly relatives at best. This means that the Chinese tradition of adults looking after their elderly relatives is becoming more and more unfeasible and so many elderly people end up dying alone. This has provoked the Chinese government to consider making it a legal requirement for adults to look after their elderly relatives (this is the link to the article if anyone is interested http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pac
The main factor that has caused the UK's population to age is the baby boomers who have now reached retirement age. As more and more of these baby boomers reach retirement age it is possible that the UK's CBR will fall below its CDR which will cause us to move into stage 5 of the DTM but the question is what happens after that? There isn’t a very pleasant way of saying this but when all of the baby boomers die what will happen to the UK's population structure? Is there going to be the need to add an extra stage on to the DTM and if so what will stage 6 look like?
If you have any ideas regarding a possible stage 6 then please comment as I myself am a bit stuck for ideas on what could happen. Sometime over the weekend I will try and write a blog about population growth, in response to this month’s excellent article in the National Geographic, to wrap up the population unit - that is if I remember to!