Researchers and demographers have always tried to forecast the population changes. There are various factors that play a major role in influencing the population. There are four forces that have been established to be the main influencers of population changes. These include fertility rates, migration, and the mortality rate.
Fertility rates keep changing over time and this has an influence on the population. In cases where the fertility rate is high, the population grows at an increasing rate. Contrarily, a decrease in the fertility rate leads to a decrease in the population hence the alternating rates creates a disparity in population over various times. With regard to migration, the population changes only in some regions of the world. However, with constant movement of people from one area to another, the population of one area declines as the other increases.
Mortality rate is another determinant that has a great influence on the dynamics of the population. Mortality rate is defined as the death rate of the population. The age structure of the population influences its mortality rate. The elderly and the infants are perceived to be at a higher risk of dying than the middle-aged. It is presumed that communities with high populations of either the elderly or infants experience variations in populations.
Effects of Urbanization on the Environment
Urbanization refers to the increase in the population and the number of industrialization settlements being established. It involves the increase in the extent and also the number of urban centers. Due to increase in urbanization, there have been both negative and positive impacts. Increased levels of urbanization is caused by either natural or growth of the population or increased migration into the already established urban centers. The forces behind urbanization include opportunities and services that are perceived to be in the towns. In most cases, there are positive relationships between the national levels of population growth and the rate of urbanization.
Urbanization causes various effects on the environment that lead to environmental degradation. Management of the urban environmental sustainability may pose difficulties. Some of the negative environmental effects brought by the increased urbanization include land insecurity within the regions close to the towns, poor water quality, and increased air pollution as a result of increased industrialization, noise pollution increases, and more waste disposal problems (Cui et al 2012). It is impossible to inhibit urbanization but the effects of the population increase may be controlled through imposition of certain measures by the responsible authorities.
Population Changes Approaches
The structural functional approach defines the society as a structure that has several interdependent parts. It depicts the society with regard to the various elements such as traditions, norms, customs, and institutions. The societal structure is emphasized and placed centrally during the analysis. Many functionalist approach aspects are similar to those of other approaches. Some of these alike aspects are the function, influence and origin, as well as the evolutionary changes. External factors and conflicts tend to have an effect on the general population changes (Macionis 2011).
Symbolic interactionism addresses the method in which people formulate and maintain the society through meaningful interrelations. The approach deems that the society ultimately shapes the character of an individual. Individuals within the society use designated signs and language during communication (Macionis 2011). The society has a role in influencing characteristics such as migration which is mostly a result of individual perceptions. If individuals decide not to relocate from one region, the population may not change but if the individuals migrate constantly due to negative perceptions due to influence from the society, the people emigrate from the area thus influencing the population dynamics.
The other previously discussed approaches of sociology do not cover the issue of conflicts within them. The approach focuses on the society that is constituted of social bonds, interaction of the members, and the means of socialization. The approach also describes the society as comprising of stratified social classes that may influence the population negatively or positively towards changes (Macionis 2011). Under this approach, the population changes may be influenced by the aspects covered under this category such as the social bonds. Where there are no strong social bonds, the fertility rate may be influenced negatively hence lowering the population and vice versa.
There are various forces that bring about divergence of the population over time. The changes also impact the environment if the population increases in the urban centers. These environmental issues affect the living conditions of the persons within the towns. There are various approaches that the governments and other responsible authorities that try to address the issues of the impacts of the urbanization on the environment. One of the most effective ways through which the environmental conditions can be addressed is through controlling the housing schemes within the towns so as to address the issue of housing problems. Also, there should be established measures that restrict the industries being set up within the towns.