AP Human Geography : Population & Natural Hazards

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Human Geography

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Population & Natural Hazards

A potato famine in __________ in the nineteenth century reduced the population of that country by half as millions of people died of starvation or emigrated.

Possible Answers:

Peru

Germany 

Italy 

Ireland

Colombia 

Correct answer:

Ireland

Explanation:

The Irish Potato Famine began in the middle of the nineteenth century and by the end of that century, the population of Ireland had been reduced by half. The rural poor in Ireland (the vast majority of the population at the time) had become dependent on the potato to sustain themselves, and when the crop failed due to potato blight, people starved by the millions or emigrated in desperation to escape the same fate. This incident provides many lessons (not least of all to resist the urge to become dependent on one seemingly super-crop) and continues to inform political relations to this day (e.g. between Ireland and Great Britain, and Ireland and the United States).

Example Question #2 : Population & Natural Hazards

The introduction of this disease, carried by Europeans to the Americas, devastated the Native American population who had had no previous exposure to the disease and thus had developed no immunity.

Possible Answers:

Smallpox

HIV

The Bubonic Plague

Syphilis

Malaria

Correct answer:

Smallpox

Explanation:

When the Europeans arrived in the New World, the population of the Americas was somewhere between thirty and one hundred million people. (Scholars frequently disagree over this statistic.) They arrived bringing a type of systematic violence unfamiliar to many of the native people, and these atrocities were responsible for significant loss of life, but far more native people were killed by the diseases that the Europeans brought with them. When people have had no exposure to a disease in their history, they will not have developed any natural immunities or defences to it; this makes them much more vulnerable to the disease than the carriers. The Europeans had been living with, and dying from, smallpox for centuries, but the Native Americans had not. The disease spread rapidly through North and South America, usually faster than the Europeans could move themselves, and decimated the native population. By some estimates, as many as ninety percent of the native population succumbed to the disease.

Example Question #3 : Population & Natural Hazards

The most statistically significant epidemic to hit Europe in the last thousand years is called __________.

Possible Answers:

the Spanish Flu

the Black Death

the Syphilis Panic

the French Pox

the Typhoid Epidemic

Correct answer:

the Black Death

Explanation:

The Black Death was carried into Europe in the 1300s by fleas on rats aboard trading ships arriving in the powerful Italian city-states. The continent had experienced previous incarnations of “the plague” and would experience several more in the centuries to come, but this particularly incarnation spread like wildfire through the European population. Within five years the population of Europe was reduced by one-third; whole towns and regions were lost to history.

Example Question #4 : Population & Natural Hazards

The term “endemic” means __________, whereas the term “pandemic” means __________.

Possible Answers:

an isolated city that arose largely independent of the outside world . . . a major urban center that attracts immigrants from all over the world

a major urban center that attracts immigrants from all over the world . . . an isolated city that arose largely independent of the outside world

a widespread, or global disease . . . A disease commonly found in a certain area

a disease commonly found in a certain area . . . a widespread, or global, disease

underpopulated . . . overpopulated

Correct answer:

a disease commonly found in a certain area . . . a widespread, or global, disease

Explanation:

Both of these words are used to describe infectious diseases. However, they have very different meanings. A disease that is “endemic” is commonly found within a certain area, but not commonly found outside that area. Whereas a “pandemic” is a disease that is widespread, even global in nature, and threatens all people regardless of where they live. The Spanish Flu of 1918 is one of the most famous recent examples of a “pandemic.” You might remember the recent Ebola crisis was “endemic” to several countries in West Africa, but many feared that the disease would become “pandemic” so people returning from those areas were quarantined and meticulously monitored.

Example Question #5 : Population & Natural Hazards

The Mediterranean Sea, which prevents many African migrants from emigrating to Europe, is an example of a(n) __________.

Possible Answers:

forced migration

pull factor

voluntary migration

push factor

intervening obstacle

Correct answer:

intervening obstacle

Explanation:

The difficulty of crossing the Mediterranean Sea causes many hundreds of African migrants to perish every year in their attempts to make a new life for themselves in the European Union. Anything that acts as limiting factor or a deterrent to migration is defined as an “intervening obstacle” by geographers and demographers.

Example Question #6 : Population & Natural Hazards

Which of the following is not an example of a chronic disease?

Possible Answers:

Diabetes 

Arthritis

Obesity

Heart disease

Influenza

Correct answer:

Influenza

Explanation:

Chronic diseases, also referred to as degenerative diseases, are "old age" diseases that involve long-term deterioration. Influenza is an example of an infectious disease in that it is passed by direct transmission, while all of the other answer choices are not directly transmitted. 

Example Question #7 : Population & Natural Hazards

What is the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic?

Possible Answers:

An epidemic refers to medical emergencies, while a pandemic refers to human rights emergencies. 

A pandemic refers to a disease that has spread worldwide, while an epidemic refers to a disease that has only spread regionally. 

A pandemic refers to diseases that originate from animal sources, while an epidemic refers to diseases that originate from human sources.

An epidemic refers to diseases that originate from animal sources, while a pandemic refers to diseases that originate from human sources.

An epidemic refers to a disease that has spread worldwide, while a pandemic refers to a disease that has only spread regionally. 

Correct answer:

A pandemic refers to a disease that has spread worldwide, while an epidemic refers to a disease that has only spread regionally. 

Explanation:

The difference between an epidemic and a pandemic is that a pandemic refers to a disease that has spread worldwide, while an epidemic refers to a disease that has only spread regionally. An example of a pandemic is the Spanish influenza virus of 1918 that killed over 40 million people.

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