Population structure is the percentage distribution of males and females by age group within an area and can be displayed using a population pyramid. However, populations WITHIN COUNTRIES can vary drastically, and there are marked differences between rural and urban areas. The population pyramids above are incredibly revealing in terms of the differences between rural and urban areas in richer nations. Newcastle and London are typical urban areas, whilst Berwick is in Northumberland which is a mainly rural county of England. These can be summarised as;
In MEDCs there is also a movement of young working age from rural areas (e.g. Northumberland) to urban areas (e.g. Newcastle). There is pronounced migration because the opportunities for education and employment are far greater in Newcastle and London than they are in Rural areas. There are also much better amenities, entertainments and service provision. There is also a movement of people from urban to rural areas where;
People retire to the countryside
Couples move to the countryside in search of a better environment to raise their families.
This has knock on impacts for service provision and the populations of these areas. Northumberland is effectively ageing and has fewer and fewer young people. This means that there are issues with providing care homes for the elderly but also has big knock on impacts for schools there. Many of the schools have been forced to go from a 3 tier school system (first, second and high schools) to a 2 tier system (primary and secondary) in order to save money by closing smaller
uneconomic schools. It also has long term economic impacts for the economic sustainability of the region. In the meantime the urban areas have to cope with
influxes of young people. With Newcastle as an example with its 2 universities, it receives huge numbers of students. Suburbs have to absorb large numbers of
these students in rented accommodation, which raises issues of multiple occupancy residents where many people live in the same house, parking issues,
issues with to let signs, noise abatement and anti-social behaviour. In contrast to this, these students support one of the biggest employers and their money
goes directly into the local economy.