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Chapter 3: Human Populations

After completing this chapter you will understand:

  • The basics of population dynamics including how birth and death rates regulate population size, the role of migration, and how populations develop different age characteristics. 
  • How human population growth has varied over time, factors influencing the dramatic increase in human population, and what it will likely be in 2050. 
  • Where the human population is distributed, how this distribution is changing, and where most people are likely to live in 2050.
  • The relation of human population to the general environmental health of the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere. 
  • What the concept of sustainability is and why the number of people is important to achieving it. 
  • What carrying capacity is and how people change Earth’s carrying capacity for themselves and other living things. 
  • Why the study of human population dynamics is important to you and your future prosperity. 

Use the navigation on the left to explore the resources for this chapter.

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