GEOG 240 – World Economic Geography: Country Characteristics

GEOG 240 – World Economic Geography Internet Course                        YOUR NAME HERE
Paper #1 – Country Characteristics
Country:


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

In this section, you are to provide general background information on your country.  Use the CIA World Factbook at https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/ as your primary source of information.  In constructing and writing this section, you need to include (at a minimum) the following information:

Geography

The name of your country and where it is located.  Be sure to identify the continent on which it is located (if applicable), where it is located relative to other countries nearby, or major bodies of water (i.e. oceans).

The names of some of the major landforms (rivers, mountains, lakes, desserts, etc.) and the general locations within the country.

The type/types of climate found throughout the country. You may include such things as the average seasonal temperatures and the annual amount of precipitation.

The name of the country’s capital, its population, and where it is located within the country. You may also identify at least two other major cities, their locations and populations as well.


Population

Provide information regarding the countries total population and population density (round to the nearest thousand). Compare and contrast your country’s population density with that of the United States or other countries nearby.

Identify the major/dominant ethnic group or groups (those that have 20% or more of the total population). Be sure to include the percentages for each major ethnic group.

Identify the major/dominant language or languages spoken (those that are spoken by 20% or more of the population). Be sure to include the percentages for each major language spoken.

Identify the major/dominant religion or religions practiced (those that are practiced by 20% or more of the population). Be sure to include the percentages for each major religion.


Government

Identify when the country became independent and when they celebrate their Independence Day (if applicable).

Identify the form of government that the country has. Be sure to include general information regarding the different branches of government (if applicable).

Identify two or three major political parties of the country and the political party that is currently in power (if applicable).

Name the current leader of the country (president, prime minister, king, etc.) of the country ( Note: the CIA World Factbook uses a common convention of capitalizing all the letters in a person’s last name.  This is done to reduce confusion as naming conventions differ throughout the world (example: in China, a person’s last name is always listed first, followed by their given name).  Make sure that you do not use the all capitals convention when identifying individuals in the paper)


Environment

Identify two to five natural resources that are found in the country.

Identify the dominant/major uses of land (those that have 20% or more). Be sure to include the percentages for each land use (if applicable).

Identify at least one natural hazard that affect the country (if applicable).

Identify at least one environmental issue that is currently affecting the country (if applicable).


Economics

Identify the GDP per Capita (Purchasing Power Parity) for the country.

Identify the GDP real economic growth rate for the country (if applicable).

Identify the inflation rate for the country (if applicable).

Identify the labor force composition in terms of the percentage of the workforce engaged in primary, secondary, and tertiary activity (ex: % in Agriculture, % in Manufacturing, % in Services).

Identify at least two major industries.

Identify at least two major export products and two major import products (if applicable).

Identify the amount of any economic aid the country receives (if applicable).


Demographics

Identify the current population growth rate.  Also, be sure you include the current birth rate, death rate, and net migration rates for the country.

Identify the percentage of the population that is 14 years or less in age and the percentage of the population that is 65 years or older in age.

Identify the current total fertility rate.

Identify the current infant mortality rate.

Identify the current life expectancy.


Current Events

Identify the current atmosphere affecting the country. This can include numerous things such as internal conflict, political elections, natural disasters, economic and social conditions, and the like. The issues should be as recent as possible (within the last 5-7 years).  Note #1Use another source besides the CIA World Factbook to find information about the current atmosphere affecting the country.

Note #2Do not provide information regarding drugs, drug trafficking, or human trafficking – points will be deducted if you do.  Check with the instructor if you feel that drugs, drug trafficking, or human trafficking is a major issue affecting your country worthy of mention as a current event.

You can also include information regarding any prominent citizens of note (politicians, authors, activists, celebrities, sports stars, revolutionaries, etc.).

Identify some of the interesting features, historical notes, landmarks, and tourist areas of the country, if possible.


GENERAL IMPRESSION

In this section of the paper, you are to compare and contrast your country with that of the United States and at least one other country in the world to form an overall general impression as to its current state of affairs ( Note: You should, if possible, select as your other country besides the United States one listed from the Country Assignment folder. This will be helpful as you will be required to provide comparative data for the United States and another country from the Country Assignment folder in the Justification section of Paper #2).  Your primary emphasis will be on the environmental, social, political, and economic aspects relative to the United States and the other country selected.  Some important questions you may consider in creating your general impression are as follows:

How does your country’s demographic data (for example – birth rates, literacy rates, life expectancy, etc.) compare to the United States and the other country selected?  Better or worse?

What are the current economic conditions (for example – GDP/Capita, unemployment rates, economic growth rates, etc.) of your country and how does it compare to the United States and the other country selected?  How does the labor force profile (especially regarding primary sector activity) compare/contrast with the United States and other country selected?

What are the physical geographic characteristics?  Does your country have a favorable climate for agriculture?  Is it endowed with mineral and fossil fuel resources?  How does the climate affect agricultural activity and the availability of resources compare/contrast with the United States and the other country selected?  Does the country have any natural or man-made features that are prominent?

Is the current political situation stable or unstable?  Would you recommend traveling to the country?  If so, to what locations and why? If not, for what reasons should one not travel to the country?  Be sure you provide the pertinent statistical data/information for the United States and the other country selected in formulating your response.

Note: For this section, failure to provide information/data for the United States and at least one additional country when comparing/contrasting with your assigned country will result in a substantial reduction in score for the paper.

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Using the above information, write the paper in sentence and paragraph form. Weave all of the information obtained into a coherent whole so that an accurate portrayal of your country emerges.   The samples for Paper #1 below should help give you an idea of how the information for the paper should be organized and presented.  Note: Students are welcome to use the samples for Paper #1 as a template, especially for properly formatting the reference page.

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