Soil and water pollution in China

Soil and water pollution is an increasing problem in China. Soil contamination occurs in most countries with a lot of farmland, heavy industry and mining. In Ukraine, for example, which has all three, about 8% of the land is contaminated. However, China is the world’s largest producer of food and of heavy industrial commodities such as steel and cement. China’s soil contamination is so great that it is impossible to remove all the contaminants. The country has many brownfield sites (contaminated ...

Japan’s changing demography

Japan’s ageing population is having a number of impacts – some demographic, some social and economic and even some technological! Japan has entered a vicious cycle of low fertility and low spending that has led to a huge decline in lost GDP and a population decline of 1 million people, all since 2012. One commentator has suggested that it is death of the Japanese family. A 2016 study conducted by a Japanese research firm found that even though nearly 70% of ...

Changes in the number of people living in absolute poverty

In 1981 some 42% of the world’s population were extremely poor. Since then the number of people in absolute poverty has fallen by about 1 billion. By 2013, the most recent year for which reliable data exist, just 10.7% of the world’s population was poor (living on less than $1.90 a day at 2011 purchasing-power parity). The World Bank’s estimate for the number of people living in absolute poverty 2016 is 9.1%. It took Britain about a century, from the 1820s ...

PRE IB: Getting ahead in IB Geography

This blog was written by experienced Geographer Garrett Nagle.  You can read more student and teacher blogs by Garrett here. The new Geography syllabus, which will be taught from September 2017 and examined for the first time in May 2019 begins with a quote from an IB Student from the British School in Rio de Janeiro: ‘Geography is the only subject that has given me the skills to interpret and understand reality in a way I could not imagine before and ...

Changing mortality in England and Wales

Better health care and improved living conditions has led to a continuing fall in mortality in England and Wales since the end of the Second World War. Between 2003 and 2013, life expectancy in England rose by 3 years for men and 2.3 years for women. Deaths among the elderly are expected to push up the mortality rate eventually, but probably not until after 2025, when many of the population reach their late 70s and 80s. However, in 2012 and ...

Final tips for the Geography examinations

The first tip is crucial – read the questions – carefully. Sometimes, answers that score low marks have not focused on the question, and answered a different question! You have five minutes reading time at the start of each paper, and it is important to make the most of this time, so read and re-read the question paper carefully, and choose the question (s) that you will answer. Underline the command terms – are you being asked to describe, explain, ...

Family planning in South Korea

For Koreans wishing to have a child in 2017, there is good news. Starting in July 2017, those receiving infertility treatment will be guaranteed three days of unpaid leave per year. At the same time, paternity leave will increase from KRW 1.5 million (c. £1000) to KRW 2 million (c. £1250) fir fathers staying at home to care for their second children. Thirdly, the government plamns to have infertility treatment covered by health insurance  from September 2017, and finally, from ...

Singapore’s smart city

With the rate of Southeast Asia’s urbanisation projected to increase from 48% in 2015 to 65% in 2050, there is mounting pressure on governments to find solutions to challenges and improve their efficiency in the distribution of public services. Driven by the desire to improve sustainability with minimal resources, the adoption of smart infrastructure can significantly improve a city’s business climate, environmental awareness and standard of living. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, across Asian cities the demand for smart city ...

Poverty in the UK damaging children’s health

‘Stark inequalities’ and high rates of child death, obesity and ill-health were all highlighted in a report on child health in the UK. Children living in the most deprived areas are much more likely to be in poor health, be overweight or obese, suffer from asthma, have poorly managed diabetes, experience mental health problems and die early. Children in the UK have higher death rates, obesity and ill-health than in much of Europe. The UK could do far more to improve ...

US bank, Citigroup, plans new operations away from London after Brexit

The US bank, Citigroup, has been in talks with Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Netherlands in search for new European base once UK leaves EU. Citigroup currently employs 9,000 people in the UK, and a further 12,000 people across the EU. Citigroup has set out 25 criteria to weigh up which financial centre in the European Union will house the new operation it expects to set up due to decision of the UK to pull out of the European Union ...