The topics of population growth and control are fairly common on the IELTS test, and you will often be asked about the problems and solutions to population-related issues. This page contains the most useful IELTS population vocabulary for when you are discussing population and the related socio-economic impacts. There are some exercises for you to IELTS practice using the words you have learnt in context.
Table of Contents
1. Population Vocabulary
- Agriculture – The practice of farming that involves either keeping livestock or growing crops
- Birth rate – The number of births per one thousand people
- Death rate – The number of deaths per one thousand people
- Demographic – A specific segment of the population
- Densely populated – A high number of people living in a specific area, for example, 1000 people per square km.
- Developed countries – Countries that are generally mature economies with high GDP and high incomes
- Developing countries – A poorer, often agriculture-based country, which is often seeking to advance socially and economically
- Economic migrants – People who travel to live/work in a new place because of the job opportunities available
- Emigration – The act of leaving your own country to settle in a new country
- Homogenous – Used to describe how similar or alike something is, in this case, it refers to the similarities in the race of the population
- Immigrants – The incoming people into a country from abroad
- Infrastructure – The physical and organisational structures in society. For example, roads, schools, hospitals etc
- Labour force/Work force – The number of people working or available to work in a particular area
- Migration – The process of moving from one area to another
- Population distribution – How the population is spread throughout a country
- Population growth rate – The speed at which the population is going up or down
- Poverty (Poor) – The state of being poor/Lacking financial resources
- Racial diversity – The different ethnicities that are represented within a population
- Refugees – People that have been forced to leave their homes because of conflict, natural disaster, or persecution
- Rural to urban migration – The act of moving from the agricultural areas to urban areas to seek work
- Skilled workers – Highly trained or educated members of the workforce
- Sparsely populated – A place with a low population density
- Unskilled workers – Workers with limited professional skills or education
2. Population Vocabulary Activity
|Read Full Answer|
Describe some of the problems caused by over-population
Over-population causes many problems in various areas of society. Firstly, when there is rapid rural to urban migration of economic migrants seeking to leave the countryside and work in cities, the education and medical infrastructure is often inadequate for such a large influx of people. Another problem is that if the workforce of a country is made up mostly of unskilled workers then the growth and economic development that come with a larger population will only benefit certain demographics, while the other sectors of society will continue to live in poverty.
3. Population Issues and Solutions Vocabulary/Collocations
Many of the questions on the IELTS exam will ask you what problems are caused by over/under population, or what the solutions are to population crisis. These are some of the most common words and phrases that you will need when answering population-related questions. There is an activity for you to practice using the words in context.
- Access to proper sanitation – Having clean drinking water and an adequate sewage system
- Destruction of ecosystems – The damage caused to plant and animal environments as a result of development
- Economic stagnation – When the economy stops growing
- Natural habitat – The place where an animal or plant usually lives
- One-child-policy – A Chinese policy that specified people were only allowed one child
- Overcrowding – Too many people in a particular place
- Overpopulation – When the population is too high for the environmental setting
- Pollutants – Substances that cause ecological damage
- Population control measures – Policies designed to control population growth
- Rising/Declining fertility rates – The average number of children a woman gives birth to
- To lack adequate resources – To not have enough resources such as food/money/shelter/health resources etc
- Traffic jams – An accumulation of traffic caused by overcrowding
- Underpopulation – When an area does not have enough people living in it, which usually means it cannot grow
- Unsustainable – Not able to be maintained or continued at current levels
- Waste – Unwanted material generated by humans
- Water shortages – When there is not enough water available
- Water-borne diseases – Diseases that spread in dirty water. They are common when sanitation is not adequate.
- Wealth inequality – The unequal distribution of money between rich and poor
4. Population Issues and Solutions Vocabulary/Collocations Activity
|Read Full Answer|
What are the problems of overpopulation and what should governments do to respond to it?
The problem of overpopulation can create many societal issues. Therefore, I think it is important that governments introduce population control measures that are designed to slow down population growth. Extreme overpopulation in urban areas is detrimental to the health of residents because of the poor sanitation that are typical of unplanned developments, and the water-borne diseases that result from it. Also, if the public transport infrastructure is not adequate to move a large number of people, traffic jams can become a huge problem, which adds to the problem of bad air-quality because of more pollutants in the air. I think that the solution is for governments to try and discourage economic stagnation in rural areas, which is one of the main reasons people leave, by stimulating the economy, improving infrastructure, and encouraging people not to migrate to big cities.
Choose the correct word to complete the sentences
1. In some Asian cities the current population growth is unsustainable because the resources and infrastructure are insufficient to cope.
For more practice, Visit IELTS vocabulary for Communication.