Human Population Growth And Carrying Capacity Worksheet Template


Name: __________________________________________Date: _________________Period:______________
Human Population Growth and Carrying Capacity
Step 1- Create Human Population Growth Graph
Year A.D.
Number of People (in billions)
Directions: Use the following data to graph the
human population starting in the year 1650. Scale
the x-axis from years 1650 through 2050, and the y-
axis from 0 to 8 billion people. Make sure that you 1)
label your axis, 2) scale the axes so that it uses most
of the graph, 3) plot the points, 4) draw a best-fit line;
and 5) provide a title for your graph. Use graph
paper on the last page!
Step 2- Answer Analysis Q’s after creating the graph.
1. It took 1,649 years for the world population to
double from .25 billion people to .50 billion people.
a. How long did it take for the population to
double a second time? ____________
b. How long did it take for the population to
double a third time? ___________
c. How long did it take for the population to double a fourth time? ____________
2. According to this information, the human population his increased / decreased (circle one)
at a decelerated / accelerated rate (circle one).
3. Based on your graph, in what year will the population reach 8 billion? _____________
Step 3 Read the following section: Earth’s Carrying Capacity
Prior to 1950, the death rate was high, which kept the numbers of humans from increasing rapidly. In
the 19th Century, the agricultural revolution increased food production. The industrial revolution improved
methods of transporting food and other goods. In the 20th Century, advances in medicine, sanitation and
nutrition have decreased the death rates further. These factors combined to produce the rapid growth of the
human population in the 20th century.
As with any population, humans are also limited by factors such as space, amount of food and disease.
The carrying capacity is the number of individuals that a stable environment (earth) can support. Authorities
disagree on the maximum number of people that the earth can support, though the numbers generally range
for 8 to 10 billion. As the population approaches its limit, starvation will increase. Some countries have a much
higher growth rate than others. Growth rate is the number of people born minus the number of people that
die. For bonus, find the growth rates of 3 different countries.
Most countries are trying to reduce their growth rate. Zero population growth means that as many
people are being born as there are dying - to achieve zero population growth, each couple would need to have
no more than two children (to replace the parents). Even if this number is achieved, the population will
continue to grow because the parents will still live on for decades, as their children have children and their
children have children… and so forth. The United States reached zero population growth in the 1980's, and yet
the overall population of the US still increases.


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