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Population pyramids are graphs that can tell us a wealth of information about a place's people.
These special graphs are called “pyramids” because most nation’s statistics take the shape of a upward-sloping pyramid.
The statistics on a population pyramid give governments and others the tools they need to make informed decisions and plans for the future.
Population pyramids are easier to interpret that most people think!
Pyramids are types of graphs that depict the basic shape of a country's age and gender structure in a way different from charts like this:
They are created by making horizontal bars to show how many males and females fall into specific age categories.
A population pyramid begins with a bar graph that shows the number of people in a country, at each age group. Millions Of People Age groups
The bar graph is turned on its side, next to another bar graph, turned on its side.
Population in millions, Males under 4 years old. Population in millions, Females 10-14 years old.
Pyramids are created with the youngest group at the bottom and the oldest on top.
There are three general shapes of population pyramids;
1. Rapid Growth 2. Slow Growth 3. Near Zero Growth
A rapid growth's pyramid really has the triangular shape of a pyramid because each group is larger than the one born before it.
These shapes of pyramids are common in nations with young populations with high birth rates.
Many developing nations’ pyramids reflect this shape.
A slow-growth population's pyramid is more of a straight, column-shape.
It seems to be a nearly equal distribution of the population at most age group categories.
This shape is common in developed countries, like the United States.
Near-Zero, or Negative Growth:
A population that is not growing, or actually decreasing produces a different shaped pyramid.
The bottom of its pyramid narrows.
Many highly industrialized societies are actually experiencing negative population growth.
Their pyramids reflect the fact that fewer children are being born and more elderly are living longer.
How do Pyramids Predict the Future? Explain the changing needs of government services,
If a country's population is growing tremendously, the need will be immediate for more schools and teachers, then eventually, the need for more health services for the elderly!
Burkina Faso, 2000 Burkina Faso, 2025
Possible usage of natural resources,
Let’s look at population pyramids for Indonesia for the next few decades… Can you predict what decisions and plans will need to be made for the future?
Population pyramids are useful predictors of the growing needs of our planet!
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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