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This is an IELTS writing task 1 sample answer essay on the topic of birth rates in China and the USA from the real IELTS exam.

Find all the most recent task 1 topics here and my full IELTS Ebooks here and my online courses here.

You can also find more line charts here.

Dave

IELTS Task 1: Birth Rates China and the USA

The line chart details birth rates for the United States and China from 1920 to 2000. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that while birth rates in both nations followed similar trajectories and fell over the period, China’s decline was the most dramatic. The birth rate in the USA was higher for the majority of the period, with two brief exceptions in the first half of the century.

In 1920, the birth rate in the US stood at around 11%, 1% higher than that of China. The pattern for both nations was similar and erratic until around 1930 when there was a surge in China’s birth rate to 15% and a smaller rise in the US to 12%. Birth rates then dropped for the next 15 years, with China reaching a notable low of 5% and the USA dipping to 6%.

The birth rate in China quadrupled over the next few years to a high of 20%, which preceded a steady downturn with minor fluctuations and a data point at around 2% to end the period surveyed. Similarly, birth rates in the US rose, less significantly to approximately 14%, and thereafter experienced a more gradual slump to finish at 7% in 2000.

Analysis

1. The line chart details birth rates for the United States and China from 1920 to 2000. 2. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that while birth rates in both nations followed similar trajectories and fell over the period, China’s decline was the most dramatic. 3. The birth rate in the USA was higher for the majority of the period, with two brief exceptions in the first half of the century.

  1. Paraphrase what the table shows.
  2. Write a clear overview summarising the differences.
  3. You might need another sentence for your overview.

1. In 1920, the birth rate in the US stood at around 11%, 1% higher than that of China. 2. The pattern for both nations was similar and erratic until around 1930 when there was a surge in China’s birth rate to 15% and a smaller rise in the US to 12%. 3. Birth rates then dropped for the next 15 years, with China reaching a notable low of 5% and the USA dipping to 6%.

  1. Begin writing about the data for the first categories.
  2. Make sure you compare as much as possible.
  3. Some task 1s essays will be a bit longer than others.

1. The birth rate in China quadrupled over the next few years to a high of 20%, which preceded a steady downturn with minor fluctuations and a data point at around 2% to end the period surveyed. 2. Similarly, birth rates in the US rose, less significantly to approximately 14%, and thereafter experienced a more gradual slump to finish at 7% in 2000.

  1. Write about the final, other parts of the graph – include everything!
  2. Compare the categories.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Take some notes on a piece of paper to aid your memory:

The line chart details birth rates for the United States and China from 1920 to 2000. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that while birth rates in both nations followed similar trajectories and fell over the period, China’s decline was the most dramatic. The birth rate in the USA was higher for the majority of the period, with two brief exceptions in the first half of the century.

In 1920, the birth rate in the US stood at around 11%, 1% higher than that of China. The pattern for both nations was similar and erratic until around 1930 when there was a surge in China’s birth rate to 15% and a smaller rise in the US to 12%. Birth rates then dropped for the next 15 years, with China reaching a notable low of 5% and the USA dipping to 6%.

The birth rate in China quadrupled over the next few years to a high of 20%, which preceded a steady downturn with minor fluctuations and a data point at around 2% to end the period surveyed. Similarly, birth rates in the US rose, less significantly to approximately 14%, and thereafter experienced a more gradual slump to finish at 7% in 2000.

Answers

Try to write down or think of an antonym/opposite word for further practice:

details birth rates shows how many people are being born

Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that while overall

similar trajectories almost the same patterns

fell over the period went down over that time

decline drop

most dramatic strongest

the majority of the period for most of the time

brief exceptions times when this was not true

first half of the century first 50 years of 1900

stood at around was close to

pattern trajectory

similar almost the same

erratic uneven

until up to

around close to

surge big rise

smaller rise small increase

dropped fell

reaching a notable low of get to a low point of

dipping falling to

quadrupled 400%, 4x

a high of the largest point at

preceded before

steady downturn consistently going down

minor fluctuations small erratic rises and falls

data point statistic

end the period surveyed finish the time detailed

similarly in a similar way, the same

less significantly to approximately not as much to about

thereafter after that

experienced underwent

gradual slump minor drop

finish end at

Pronunciation

Practice saying the words below using this tip with Google voice dictation:

ˈdiːteɪlz bɜːθ reɪts 
ˈlʊkɪŋ frɒm ən ˈəʊvərɔːl pəˈspɛktɪvɪt ɪz ˈrɛdɪli əˈpærənt ðæt waɪl 
ˈsɪmɪlə ˈtræʤɪktəriz 
fɛl ˈəʊvə ðə ˈpɪərɪəd
dɪˈklaɪn 
məʊst drəˈmætɪk
ðə məˈʤɒrɪti ɒv ðə ˈpɪərɪəd
briːf ɪkˈsɛpʃənz 
fɜːst hɑːf ɒv ðə ˈsɛnʧʊri
stʊd æt əˈraʊnd 
ˈpætən 
ˈsɪmɪlə 
ɪˈrætɪk 
ənˈtɪl 
əˈraʊnd 
sɜːʤ 
ˈsmɔːlə raɪz 
drɒpt 
ˈriːʧɪŋ ə ˈnəʊtəbl ləʊ ɒv 
ˈdɪpɪŋ 
ˈkwɒdrʊpld 
ə haɪ ɒv 
pri(ː)ˈsiːdɪd 
ˈstɛdi ˈdaʊntɜːn 
ˈmaɪnə ˌflʌktjʊˈeɪʃənz 
ˈdeɪtə pɔɪnt 
ɛnd ðə ˈpɪərɪəd sɜːˈveɪd
ˈsɪmɪləli
lɛs sɪgˈnɪfɪkəntli tuː əˈprɒksɪmɪtli 
ðeərˈɑːftə 
ɪksˈpɪərɪənst 
ˈgrædjʊəl slʌmp 
ˈfɪnɪʃ 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks. Note it on a piece of paper so you can remember better:

The line chart d________s b________s for the United States and China from 1920 to 2000. L___________________________________________e birth rates in both nations followed s_________________s and f____________________d, China’s d________e was the m____________c. The birth rate in the USA was higher for t___________________________d, with two b_______________s in the f_____________________y.

In 1920, the birth rate in the US s_______________d 11%, 1% higher than that of China. The p__________n for both nations was s_______r and e_________c u_______l a_______d 1930 when there was a s_____e in China’s birth rate to 15% and a s__________e in the US to 12%. Birth rates then d_________d for the next 15 years, with China r__________________________f 5% and the USA d________g to 6%.

The birth rate in China q____________d over the next few years to a______f 20%, which p_________d a s________________n with m________________s and a d___________t at around 2% to e______________________d. S___________y, birth rates in the US rose, l__________________________o a___________________y 14%, and t____________r e_______________d a more g______________p to f_______h at 7% in 2000.

Listening Practice

Listen to the related topic below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00926-6

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following related questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Family

  1. Are you close with your family?
  2. Who do you talk to in your family the most?
  3. Do you have a large family?
  4. Are families becoming more distant in your country?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related chart below and then check with my sample answer:


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