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Population and Urbanization
Chapter Review

      A Planet with No Space for Enjoying Life?

      What debate did Thomas Malthus initiate?

      In 1798, Thomas Malthus analyzed the surge in Europe’s population. His conclusion, called the Malthus theorem, was that because the population grows geometrically but the food supply increases only arithmetically, the world’s population will outstrip its food supply. The debate between today’s New Malthusians and those who disagree, the Anti-Malthusians, continues. Pp. 598–602.

      Why are people starving?

      Starvation is not due to a lack of food in the world, for there is now more food for each person in the entire world than there was fifty years ago. Starvation, rather, is due to a maldistribution of food, which is primarily due to drought and civil war. Pp. 602–603.

      Population Growth

      Why do the poor nations have so many children?

      In the Least Industrialized Nations, children often are viewed as gifts from God, they cost little to rear, they contribute to the family income at an early age, and they represent the parents’ social security. Consequently, people are motivated to have large families. Pp. 603–606.

      What are the three demographic variables?

      To compute population growth, demographers use fertility, mortality, and migration. The basic demographic equation is births minus deaths plus net migration equals growth rate. Pp. 606–609.

      Why is forecasting population difficult?

      A nation’s growth rate is affected by unanticipated variables—from economic cycles, wars, and famines to industrialization and government policies. Pp. 609–611.


      What is the relationship of cities to farming and the Industrial Revolution?

      Cities can develop only if there is a large agricultural surplus, which frees people from food production. The primary impetus to the development of cities was the invention of the plow about five or six thousand years ago. Almost without exception, throughout history, cities have been small. After the Industrial Revolution stimulated rapid transportation and communication, cities grew quickly and became much larger. Today urbanization is so extensive that some cities have become metropolises, dominating the area adjacent to them. The areas of influence of some metropolises have merged, forming a megalopolis. Pp. 611–618.

      Models of Urban Growth

      What models of urban growth have been proposed?

      The primary models are concentric zone, sector, multiple-nuclei, and peripheral. These models fail to account for medieval cities, many European cities, and those in the Least Industrialized Nations. Pp. 618–621.

      City Life: Alienation and Community

      Is the city inherently alienating?

      Although some people experience alienation in the city, others find community in it. Five types of people who live in cities are cosmopolites, singles, ethnic villagers, the deprived, and the trapped. Pp. 621–625.

      Urban Problems and Social Policy

      Why have U.S. cities declined?

      Three primary reasons for their decline are suburbanization (as people moved to the suburbs, the tax base of cities eroded and services deteriorated), disinvestment (banks withdrawing their financing), and deindustrialization (which caused a loss of jobs). Pp. 626–627.

      What is the rural rebound?

      As people flee cities and suburbs, the population of most U.S. rural counties is growing. This is a fundamental departure from a trend that had been in place for a couple of hundred years. P. 628.

      What social policy can salvage U.S. cities?

      A Manhattan Project on Urban Problems could likely produce workable solutions. Three guiding principles for developing urban social policy are scale, livability, and social justice. Pp. 628–629.

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