Mid-Term Exam

Sample Questions



1.       An individual who refers to population growth as an “irresistible force,” and who proposes the development of family planning programs in order to halt the “relentless increase in population” would be defined as a


          a.       Malthusian

          b.       Neo-Malthusian

          c.       Non-Malthusian

          d.       all of the above



2.       Which of the following sees Carrying Capacity as a relatively fixed limit beyond which a population cannot grow without causing either increasing poverty or environmental degradation?


          a.       Malthusians

          b.       Neo-Malthusians

          c.       Non-Malthusians

          d.       Malthusians and Neo-Malthusians

e.       Malthusians and Non-Malthusians



3.       Which of the following facts contradicts John Weeks’ statement that population growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is a major obstacle to economic development in that region?


a.       Contemporary population growth rates in Africa are comparable to those of the United States during the 19th century, when the U.S. experienced unprecedented economic growth.

b.       Africa is on the average the least densely settled continent rather than the one with the highest population density.

c.       The European countries and Japan have much greater population densities than practically every country in Africa; yet most of these countries maintain much higher standards of living than any of the African countries.

d.       all of the above.



4.       Frank Furedi ("North Waging Cultural War against South.") criticizes Westerners for


a.       assuming that they have the right and moral superiority to undermine the cultural practices of indigenous peoples which Westerners find offensive.

b.       attempting to impose Western views regarding population growth onto indigenous peoples in Third World countries for whom those views are not necessarily appropriate.

c.       expecting peoples in non-Western countries to adopt behaviors and lifestyles that may be at variance with prevailing norms in those countries.

d.       all of the above.

e.       none of the above.



5.       Nicholas Hildyard (“Too Many for What?”) states that “no matter how much food is produced, how few babies are born or how dramatically numbers fall, it is the nature of the modern market economy remorselessly to generate ‘scarcity.’  Blaming such socially-generated scarcity and ecological degradation on ‘overpopulation’ or ‘underproduction’ has long provided the more powerful with an explanation for human misery that does not indict themselves… .”  This statement indicates that Hildyard adopts a _______ approach to explain the relationship between population and poverty.


          a.       Malthusian

          b.       Neo-Malthusian

          c.       Non-Malthusian



6.       If social scientists are going to propose and test theories of population growth, then they must make sure that those theories contain concepts and principles that are operationally defined.  This means that the specific phenomena under investigation and the proposed relationships among them must be measurable.  If these are not measurable, then the theory is not testable.  If the theory is not testable, then it is not falsifiable, and if it is not falsifiable, it is not scientific.


a.       True

b.       False



7.       With a population estimated at 124 million in 1993 living on a territory about the size of California, Japan is 3 times more densely populated than Europe and 12 times more densely populated than the U.S.  Japan’s population has more than tripled since 1872, when it stood at only 35 million.  During that time, Japan changed from being an underdeveloped, predominantly agricultural society into a modern technologically advanced, industrial nation containing the second largest economy in the world, the longest average life expectancy of any country in the world and one of the highest standards of living in the world.  Japan’s development most closely supports which of the following individual’s theory of population growth?


          a.       Paul Ehrlich

          b.       John Weeks

          c.       Thomas Malthus

          d.       Julian Simon

          e.       Ester Boserup

          f.       d & e



8.       Which of the following statements is most correct?


a.       Researchers and political leaders in Western countries (Europe, the U.S., etc.) have always been concerned about the consequences of population growth.

b.       Concern about world population growth has largely been a post-World War II phenomenon.

c.       Western countries have primarily expressed concerned about population growth in non-Western countries.

d.       Leaders in Western countries expressed particular concern about population growth in the West during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

e.       b & c

f.       a & d



9.       Which of the following best represent the sequence followed during the Demographic Transition?


a.       HBR/LDR   Ú      LBR/HDR     Ú      LBR/LDR

b.       LBR/LDR     Ú      HBR/HDR     Ú      LBR/HDR

c.       HBR/HDR    Ú     HBR/LDR      Ú      LBR/LDR

d.       LBR/LDR     Ú      HBR/LDR     Ú      HBR/HDR



10.     Each day, news reports state that the stock market was up or down that particular day due to some announcement out of the White House, to a comment made by the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank or to some other event that occurred during the day.  No data was gathered to determine if, in fact, there is a cause-effect relationship between the said statement or action and the behavior of the stock market.  Such claims, therefore, are best considered _________ explanations.


a.         post hoc

b.         non-sequiteur

c.         meaningless question

d.         ad hominem

e.         begging the question



 11.     Which of the following quotes expresses a non-Malthusian approach to population growth?


1.        "There are too many Asians for their own good.  They have been breeding trouble for themselves  --and for the whole world."

2.       "No other phenomenon casts a darker shadow on the prospects for international development than the staggering growth of population."

3.       "China quite literally cannot feed more people … the greatest tragedy that China could suffer, at the present time, would be a reduction in her death rate."

4.       "The people are not poor because they have large families; they have large families because they are poor."

5.       "The greatest single obstacle to the economic and social advancement of the majority of the peoples in the underdeveloped world is rampant population growth."



12.       According to the following table:


              Country                Area                   Population          Population          Energy Consumption

                                             (km2)                    (1,000s)                 Density                        Per Capita

                                                                                                          (per km2)           (kg. oil equiv. 1990-99)


         Congo                     342,000                     2,864                            8                                    211

         Ethiopia               1,104,300                     1,095                          54                                      17

         Germany                 357,022                   82,177                       230                                4,086

         Kenya                      580,367                   29,549                         57                                      96

         Nigeria                     923,768                 108,945                      128                                      96

         U. Kingdom            242,900                   58,744                      240                                 3,938




a.       Population density in the developing countries is higher than in the developed countries, suggesting that the former need to control their population growth if they are to develop economically.

b.       Neo-Malthusian claims that population growth in developing countries constitutes a threat to the survival of the peoples in these countries is not supported.

c.       Individuals in developing countries consume more resources and place a greater stress on the global environment than those in developed countries.

d.       all of the above.







Population Syllabus




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