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Population Growth Report: Germany and Malawi

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Introduction:

This report is portraying a detailed comparison of the change in population in two contrasting countries; Germany and Malawi. Germany which is a high-income and developed country is bound to differ from Malawi which is a low-income and less developed country in terms of various population characteristics and trends.

Map of Germany Map of Malawi

(‘The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency”)

(‘The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency”)

Malawi has been ranked among the least developed countries in the world. With the country being at the second stage of demographic transition, many things have changed for the better but some key determinants still hinder and delay the country’s progress. An example is the country’s economic instability.(“Africa :: Malawi — The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency”) Germany on the other hand is among the most developed countries in the world. The country has economic stability and proper social and public facilities such as schools and hospitals. In this report, I will collect data and explore various demographic indicators and historical, political, social and economic events and factors that have shaped the population throughout the years. (“Europe :: Germany — The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency”)

Important factors that have shaped Germany’s population

  • In the mid 1950s, Germany encouraged workers to migrate from their country in order to “spur economic growth” which was intended to be for a temporary period but over time, the workers had their families join them which grew the number of foreigners to more than 7 million by 2001. (John Michael Wallace-Hadrill and Berentsen)
  • Wealth is distributed favourably which encourages development and growth. The government assists those who do not meet certain requirements in terms of taxes and other fees such as hospital bills and tuition which closes the gap between wealthy people and the less advantaged. This improves the quality of life and has an overall impact on life expectancy and migration
  • The country has a favourable health care system which is accessible to all. It is efficient and progressive, with the government being able to fund the right equipment and staff. A system like that has had a lasting impact on life expectancy due to the good health care provided.
  • In 1945, after the second World War, Germany gained over 12 million refugees which increased their population significantly. Once the refugees gained residence and started families, there was a rise in population growth around 1950.
  • Germany has always been reliant on migration to grow their population which means that people do not have big families. After the sudden increase, migration reduced and the population began to decrease. Now the country is facing very low birth rates and the government continues to encourage larger families.

Important factors that have shaped Malawi’s population

  • Malawi relies on other countries and organisations such as the World Bank and IMF to support some major findings such as improved health care and more efficient education. This may slow down industrialisation and impact population growth due to the hesitation and caution that these donors take because of Malawi’s history of political and economic corruption. In the long run, this leads to limited necessities such as hospitals furthermore decreasing life expectancy.
  • An inconsistency in policies may also lead to an unnecessary growth in population. This refers to shifting of ideas and lack of proper implementation of practices like family planning which Malawi needs in order to have a stable population.
  • Rural areas tend to be less modernised which results in ignorance when it comes to things like healthcare and child vaccination which increases child mortality rates.
  • Malawians used to migrate to areas such as Zimbabwe and South Africa in search of work. A few years after their independence in 1964, international migration became less practiced due to the country’s initiative to improve its economy. This made other Malwaians return to their country and internal migration came to a rise. This led to an increase in population which shaped the country’s demographic patterns today.
  • Malawi practices agriculture among the people on a small scale and with a growing population, there is a lot of pressure in terms of long term jobs and agricultural land which impacts the economy.

Glossary

Child Mortality

Probability of a child dying before reaching a certain age (“World Population Prospects – Population Division – United Nations”)

Crude Birth Rate

Number of births over a given period divided by the person-years lived by the population over that period. It is expressed as the number of births per 1,000 population. (“World Population Prospects – Population Division – United Nations”)

Crude Death Rate

Number of deaths over a given period divided by the person-years lived by the population over that period. It is expressed as the number of deaths per 1,000 population. (“World Population Prospects – Population Division – United Nations”)

Natural Increase

The surplus (or deficit) of births over deaths in a population in a given time period. (Glossary of Demographic Terms – Population Reference Bureau)

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Demographic Transition Model (DTM)

A model used to show the shift of birth and death rates from high to low levels in a population. The mortality decline is usually prior to the fertility decline, resulting in rapid population growth during the transition period. (Glossary of Demographic Terms – Population Reference Bureau)

Literacy Rate

Percentage of people in a certain sample of population or country that have the ability to read and write. (“World Population Prospects – Population Division – United Nations”)

Population pyramid

A graphical representation of the age and sex of a specific population that changes shape according to the structure of the population. It may take the form of a pyramid, have a columnar shape (box) , or have an irregular profile (cup). (Glossary of Demographic Terms – Population Reference Bureau)

Life expectancy

The average number of years of life expected by individuals who would be subject during all their lives to the mortality rates of a given period. It is expressed as years. (Glossary of Demographic Terms – Population Reference Bureau)

Processing past and future population data

Population trends and predictions for Germany

Germany’s population has three clear demographic trends. A low birth rate, high life expectancy and an ageing society. This proposes that the country is currently at the fourth stage of demographic transition where birth rate and death rate are both at a low level and they are nearly balanced. The birth rate is roughly equivalent to the death rate and there is little growth in population. It is fixed at a low level. This is evident in the graph above which shows a fluctuating natural increase between 1970 and 2020 way below the zero mark. The death rates remain stable with no drastic change between 1950 and 2000. The birth rates plummeted between 1960 and 1970 and proceeded to decrease with slight and hardly noticeable growth between 1975 and 2015. With the declining birth rates, you should have expected a shift to larger families but this is not the case. After the second world war, Germany received millions of refugees from former German territories and after the partitioning of Germany in 1949, more migration followed making the country more populace. The immigrants were young and skilled which contributed to their economic boom. Up until recently, Germany’s population growth has relied on migration gains. With an ageing population, the need for young skilled people is indisputable. The number of ageing people also puts a strain on the economy’s ability to support the retired citizens’ pension requirements.

Population trends and predictions for Malawi

Malawi’s population has three main determinants of its demographic pattern. A high birth rate, low life expectancy. This suggests that Malawi is currently in the second stage of demographic transition where an increasing growth in population is brought about due to a stable decrease in birth rate and death rate. Death rates remain stable and low due to successful and impactful economic and social changes that have led to the improvement of living standards among the people. There are multiple explanations as to why the birth rate decreases. Mostly, maternal and child health has been significantly improved which strengthens the quality and length of life. The country’s population continues to rise at a steady and more manageable pace as the death rates proceed to decline while the rate of birth decreases but stays higher than the birth rate; this information can be seen on the graph above. There has been a significant decrease in crude birth rate since 1990. The number of births are dropping due to the positive effects of growth in the economy, more modernised social views and the growing and encouragement of family planning facilities and practices. Though in the rural areas and some urban areas, the idea of contraceptives and the importance of planning has not yet sunk in and the people have become so accustomed to unplanned birth that transitioning proves to be difficult. This proves to be the main factor that leads to rapid population growth in the country.

Analyzing Population Trends

The impact of life expectancy and income on population trends in Germany and Malawi

Using the data shown on the above scatter plot, I will be exploring my hypothesis that women who achieve a lower level of education, are likely to have more children. There seems to be an evident correlation between babies per woman and the mean years in school for women during the reproductive age (15-44). Malawi with an increasing population and high birth rates is expected to have a higher number of children born than Germany and this is supported in the scatter plot above. As the number of babies per woman rises, the years of school attendance reduces by a significant number. Germany on the other hand, has low birth rates and the natural increase rate is very low therefore the country is expected to have few births and smaller families. The country is also more modernised than Malawi in terms of social practices and policies. Germany has family planning policies and efficient education systems which makes the women focus on other educational opportunities. In Malawi, their social practices are still outdated and things like early marriage are very common. This leads to school dropouts and early pregnancies, explaining why the years of education are so low and the number of babies had are very high. Babies per woman is an important indicator of population trend because knowing the statistics of the total fertility rate, indicates which stage your population is at. It is also the main source of population growth. Mean years in school for women aged 15-44 is equally important because this indicates that this age group is the most capable of reproduction.

Conclusion

Malawi and Germany are evidently in different stages of demographic development. Malawi is a developing country with a substantial increase in population due to the high birth rates; which are encouraged by the community’s social practices and the limited years that the women in the country attend school. Germany is the opposite with a low natural increase which is threatening their population growth; this is due to modernised social practices and the pursuit of a career and efficient education policies which encourage everyone to attend school. Furthermore, Malawi’s and Germany’s pyramid shapes differ. Malawi has an expanding, youthful population which is displayed by a Christmas tree shaped pyramid. Germany has a contracting, ageing population which is supported by the pyramid’s columnular structure with a bulge in the middle.

In conclusion, Malawi has made visible progress in controlling population growth and advancing skills, knowledge and healthcare. This shows potential development in the future.

Works Cited

  1. “Africa :: Malawi — The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency.” Cia.Gov, 2019, www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mi.html.
  2. “Europe :: Germany — The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency.” Cia.Gov, 2019, www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gm.html.
  3. “Flag of Germany Image and Meaning German Flag.” Country Flags, www.countryflags.com/en/flag-of-germany.html. Accessed 14 Apr. 2020.
  4. “Flag of Malawi Image and Meaning Malawia Flag.” Country Flags, www.countryflags.com/en/flag-of-malawi.html. Accessed 14 Apr. 2020.
  5. “Gapminder Tools.” Gapminder.Org, 2020, www.gapminder.org/tools/#.
  6. “Germany – Population Structure.” Encyclopedia Britannica, www.britannica.com/place/Germany/Population-structure. Accessed 17 Apr. 2020.
  7. Glossary of Demographic Terms – Population Reference Bureau. www.prb.org/glossary/.
  8. John Michael Wallace-Hadrill, and William H Berentsen. “Germany | Facts, Geography, Maps, & History.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 20 Mar. 2019, www.britannica.com/place/Germany.
  9. klaus kästle – nationsonline.org. “Germany – Political Map – Nations Online Project.” Nationsonline.Org, 2015, www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/map/germany_map.htm. Accessed 5 Aug. 2019.
  10. News, A. B. C. “Germany’s Population in Crisis.” ABC News, abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=5667781&page=1. Accessed 17 Apr. 2020.
  11. “Political Map of Malawi – Nations Online Project.” Www.Nationsonline.Org, www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/map/malawi_map.htm. Accessed 14 Apr. 2020.
  12. “Population Pyramid | Sociology | Britannica.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 2020, www.britannica.com/topic/population-pyramid. Accessed 10 Jan. 2020.
  13. “World Population Prospects – Population Division – United Nations.” Un.Org, 2019, population.un.org/wpp/GlossaryOfDemographicTerms/.

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Population Growth Report: Germany and Malawi. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved August 15, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/population-growth-report-germany-and-malawi/
“Population Growth Report: Germany and Malawi.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/population-growth-report-germany-and-malawi/
Population Growth Report: Germany and Malawi. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/population-growth-report-germany-and-malawi/> [Accessed 15 Aug. 2022].
Population Growth Report: Germany and Malawi [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2022 Aug 15]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/population-growth-report-germany-and-malawi/
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