Online Geography Resources


Impacts of Youthful and Ageing Populations

IB DP Geography
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Base Knowledge and Understanding

Base knowledge and understanding

Video Clip
Data Visualization
Definition working age population
demographic time bomb
political exclusion
domestic markets
News Article
Words to be defined
Base Level


The aim of this lesson:

  • To be able to examine [consider an argument or concept in a way that uncovers the assumptions and interrelationships of the issue] the impacts of youthful and ageing populations.

Can you categorize these population pyramids as representing ageing, youthful or 'somewhere in the middle' populations?

Population Pyramid
Population Pyramid
Population Pyramid
Population Pyramid
Population Pyramid
Population Pyramid
Population Pyamid
Geography Activities


Population ageing is a summary term for shifts in the age distribution of a population toward older ages. The definition of retirement ages may vary but a typical cutoff is 65 years, and nowadays a society is considered relatively old when the fraction of the population aged 65 and over exceeds 8-10%.

Youthful populations are represented by pyramids with a broad base of young children and a narrow apex of older people, while older populations are characterized by more uniform numbers of people in the age categories. | Adapted from source

Geography Activities


Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Impacts of Youthful Populations

Make notes on each of the examples given below:

Potential advantages

Large potential workforce
India is also set to overtake China as the world’s most populous country by 2030. With is dependency ratio falling by 15% between 2010 and 2030, India will move into the “demographic sweet spot”, spurring economic growth as its relatively youthful population enters the workforce.
Lower medical costs
The elderly (age 65 and over) made up around 13 percent of the U.S. population in 2002, but they consumed 36 percent of total U.S. personal health care expenses. The average health care expense in 2002 was $11,089 per year for elderly people but only $3,352 per year for working-age people (ages 19-64).
Attractive to new investment
Turkey has the largest youth population compared with the EU with half the population under 29.7 years.
Large potential market for selected goods
“This swift growth means that Nigeria’s population is exceptionally youthful: Nigeria’s median age is 18, compared to a world average of 29 (and a US average of 37),” states the report. “Over 40% of Nigeria’s population is younger than 14, and almost 65% younger than 24.” This “population bulge” creates opportunities, one being the emergence of a robust consumer base. Rising incomes in Nigeria suggest a maturation of its middle class.

Potential disadvantages

Cost of supporting schools and clinics
A large percentage of Malawi's population, 46 percent, is below age 15. While a youthful population represents the potential for a large labour force in the future, it places a heavy burden on the working-age population (ages 15 to 64) to provide for the basic needs and services required by children and youth, such as health and education.
High rates of unemployment
Egypt is the Arab world's most heavily populated country and one of its youngest: two thirds of the population are under 30. However, the young make up 90% of the nation's unemployed (the official rate is 9.4%, but the real number among the young is much much higher).
Large numbers living in poor quality housing
"These slums are filled with an increasingly youthful population, unemployed and disaffected. Africa's cities are becoming a powder keg of potential instability and discontent."
High rates of population growth
Sub-Saharan Africa has the fastest population growth projected between now and 2050 and the highest youth population in the world. It is crucial that governments factor this 'youth bulge' into national and social development planning.
High crime rates
The country has a youthful population; 50% of Hondurans are under the age of 19. But endemic poverty, chronic unemployment and the prospects offered by drug trafficking have contributed to a virulent crime wave conducted mainly by youth gangs known as "maras".
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Impacts of Ageing Populations - China

Make notes on the impacts of China's ageing population from the following video and news articles:
BBC News
  Ageing China: Changes and challenges [19 September 2012]
  International Business Times - China's aging population and its implications [8 September 2010]
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Impacts of Youthul Populations - Kenya

Make notes on the impacts of Kenya's youthful population from the following video and news article:
The Guardian
  Africa's rising population and youth unemployment challenge [11 July 2013]
Geography Review


Produce a detailed plan for this exam style extended response question:
Examine the impacts of either youthful or ageing populations. [15 Marks]
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