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In the next 25 years, looking at the population pyramid, there will be an influx in the United Kingdom’s population, but currently, the UK has reached stage 5 in the demographic transition model. The main reason being is because as fewer children are being born, the birth rate is similar to the death rate. For a stable population growth, an average birth rate of at least two children per adult female is required. At the moment it is 1.7. There are many reasons for this. They are firstly, more people choosing to stay single, the further emancipation of women giving females the choice of whether to have children or not: or later in life – influencing them to have only one child, and the change in views about lifestyle ie. Wanting material possessions rather than incurring the costs of raising a family.

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However, the general increase in the quality of life has resulted in people living longer, which also have an effect on the overall population figures. Free national healthcare has improved, both of which have had a direct influence on increasing the ageing population. A better overall standard of living e.g. Housing, food etc… – has also eliminated many of the problems which caused early death. The UK therefore has an increasing population over the ages of 65 and 69 in the year 2025 will be 3,675,000 compared to 2,575,000 at the moment. This increasing trend is also noted in the age groups between 70-74, 75 to 79 etc… and, in fact the ratio increases directly with the age brackets (e.g. The total population over 100 years od in 2025 will have increased to 56,000 as opposed to 10,000 at present) clearly whilst sustainable at the moment, with our reducing population of young people, it will become increasingly more difficult to provide for the growing numbers of senior citizens by 2025.

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Problems with our current immigration system have also affected the population demograph of the UK. Many immigrants are unskilled and become dependant upon the state for support in order to survive. They also have an effect on the figures for the total population of the UK as the numbers entering the country are not accurately recorded and therefore figures for the total population of the UK are somewhat inaccurate.

There are a number of ways in which the current population problems are being experienced in the UK can be rectified. Selective immigration policies, such as those imposed in Australia, could help ensure that fewer immigrants become a burden on our economy. Unfortunately, the increasing number of senior citizens has already resulted in more support being needed to provide for them: consequently, it would help if a larger proportion of the immigrant population were skilled and therefore help to play their part in supporting all members of their newly chosen society.

Incentive to encourage an increase in the birth rate need to be introduced, especially for the professional classes who, at present, are shunning the idea of having large families. Tax incentives could be provided to those who earn over a certain amount in order to encourage them to have two or more children. The tax rebates could increase in direct proportion to the number of children in a family (up to the third child, where upon it would remain constant) however, this would be difficult to implement unless tax concessions or greater allowances could be provided for lower income families to compensate for this tax incentive fort the higher earners.

Maintaining a sustainable economy would be vital in order to initiate and sustain this type of programme but improving the economy would be even more preferable. Making industries more efficient, providing development grants for small businesses, and working to increase international trade opportunities are just a few of the ways in which the economy could be strengthened. Furthermore, an improved economy would help to increase everyone’s standard of living and greater personal wealth might encourage people to have larger families, as well as enabling them to provide a greater contribution in caring for the elderly.

Increasing the retirement age would also help to reduce the number of people dependant upon state pensions and support. Since life expectancy has increased and people remain healthier for longer, this would not be impossibility and, in fact, might well be appreciated by the many able and active elderly people.

Hopefully, these policies would create a significant enough change to stabilise the population in the UK as well as boost the economy sufficiently to be able to support our ageing population.

Afghanistan

After the reign of the Taliban, industrialisation will take place which means that more people will be employed. This encourages people to get an education, which would hopefully allow them to understand about contraception, which should encourage less children. Obviously you cant put a law in place for a one child policy as people in the rural areas, on in minority group wont adhere to it.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a complete contrast to the United Kingdom is a struggling impoverished nation with a rapidly increasing population. The country’s hostile physical feature e.g. Mountainous NE, and its arid deserts in large swathes of the rest opf the country mean that he country’s transportation system is very poor which affects amny aspects of Afganistans development like establishing large industries. A more devastating problem hindering their development is the feuding between tribes.

However above and beyond this the fact that the population of Afghanistan is at present growing at such a rapid rate – annual growth rate is 3.5% – is causing millions of Afghans to live in poverty. The statistics for Afghanistan show the infant mortality rate to be 149 in every 1000 live births i.e. there is a less than 15 percent chance of reaching the age of 5 years. Families expect to lose children which means they have larger families to compensate for this. This is one of the main reasons for the average fertility rate per woman being so high, 5.9 hcuildren per adult female (3 time greater than females in the UK) none the less, the birth rate in Afghanistan is so much greater than the overall death rate (42 per 1000 cf. 18 per 1000) that this high infant mortality rate has little effect on the annual growth rate.

Life expectancy is short in Afghanistan, 45.9 years old average age. This means that Afghanistan as a country with a young population and a rapid growth rate. However, the working/ productive life of adults is short due to this lower life expectancy. This puts a large burden on the working population to be able to support their dependence. Limited working opportunities increase this problem to a further extent.

The predicted statistics for 2025 indicate that the birth rate could drop to 30 per thousand, as well as the death rate lowering to 12 per 1000. However the life expectancy will probably have increased to approximately 55 years old, and the infants death rate could be reduced to 94 per 1000 live births – hence the reason why the annual growth rate is still likely to be 1.8% i.e. Too large for the ocuntry tp cope with. The problem is that even with the reduction of the overall population growth, an ever expanding number of dependants will still be generated and this rules out in Afghanistan being unable to support its own people.

Although one of the most effective solutions to the population problem in Afghanistan would be the emancipation of women, their traditions, and religious beliefs are so fundamental to their society that a change of this nature would be virtually impossible to implement. There fore, other solutions need to be offered to the afghan people.

Economic aid would be of an immense benefit to the afghan government to help them to implemnt any new proposals. However, this cannot be relied upon, so the afghans must try to find possible solutions that they can put into action by themselves.

Encouraging people to move closer to existing cities could be one viable solution to the problem. This would malke it easier to seatblish decent amenities for greater numbers of people. More people would have access to a better standard of living with the provision of electricity, fresh running water, proper sanitation systems, quicker access to medical aid, proper roads and transportation, and more educational opportunities. Hopefully, with the improvement of general living standards, health problems may be reduced and therefore the infant mortality rate might be reduced and life expectancy be improved.

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Kylie Garcia

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