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Population Pyramid Lecture

A lecture on how to read and analyze population pyramids

greg miller

on 27 May 2011

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Transcript of Population Pyramid Lecture

Population Pyramids (Work in Progress) What is a population pyramid? How to analyze a population pyramid. How to read a population pyramid. A population pyramid is an age
structure diagram. It shows the age
distribution of a population in a given place,
usually a country or a state. Not all age structure diagrams
are shaped like a pyramid, but most
countries at one time did have the shape you see below, which resembles a pyramid. Here are some examples of
other shapes that are also
called population pyramids. These pyramids are used
to determine the age structure
of a given place. Inferences can be made
about the place based on this age structure. Each layer of the diagram represents
an age group (0-4, 5-9etc.). The diagram
is usually split into male and female distributions
within each age group. The number of people in
each age group can be shown as a total number
or a percentage of the total population. The pyramid of Kenya shown here
indicates that there are a little over 3 million
boys and 3 million girls under the age of 5. Inferences can be made about
a society based on the distribution
of the age structure on the diagrams. Notice that France's pyramid is shaped
more like a chimney. When anyalyzing this
pyramid it is useful to observe the top, middle and
bottom of the diagram. The top: One can observe differences in
the male and female distribution in the
elderly population and speculate as to why
this difference exists. One can also compare the
percentage of elderly in the pyramid for France
and compare it to India and speculate about reasons
for the difference. The middle: One can observe if the
middle of the diagram protrudes out.
This indicates a possible baby boom in
that society. The boom continues until
the age group below the boom is smaller.
For example in the diagram of France, the boom
appears to be over in the age category 5-10. The bottom: One can observe whether the
younger age groups (0-5,5-10) are growing
or not growing. Making Infernces By observing a population pyramid
and doing some correlative research
you will find that some trends emerge. Most pyramids with a triangular
shape (large bottom, skinny top) are indicative
of a developing nation in stage 2 of demographic
transition. Most pyramids with
chimney type of shape are indicative
of a developed country in stage 3 or 4 of
the demographic transition. One can make reasonably accurate
predictions about the economic stucture
and status of a country, the status of women,
the availability of good health care and the overall
living conditions in a country, just by looking at
the shape of the population pyramid. One must be careful to do research to
find out if one's predictions based on
the population pyramid is correct. Within
countries situations vary and there are
always some exceptions to the assumed
generalizations made by observing a
population pyramid.
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