NUFS139 SJSU Gelo 3 Interpreting Population Pyramids Worksheet

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Problem 1:

a. Examine the population pyramids of the two most populous countries in the world, China

and India. From the shape of the population pyramids, predict which country is growing

faster and explain why. To check your hypothesis, see the population projection for 2040

for these countries on page 4.

b. Study the table below and the corresponding country’s pyramid. Why is the percentage of

individuals under the age of 15 a good indicator of future population growth?

Problem 2:

For Kenya, the percentage of women of childbearing age will increase between 2000 and 2025.

The values are shown below.

48% of women were of child-bearing age in2000

58% of women were of child-bearing age in2025

How will this change impact future population growth?

a. What trend do you notice in adult dependency between 2015 and 2040? How could you

explain this change?

b. What will be the impact of this trend on government policies? Why is it important for a country to have the majority of its population in the 15 – 64 age group?

Problem 3:

The adult (or old age) dependency ratio is the ratio of seniors (people older than 64) to the

working-age population (people 15-64). This ratio is used to measure the burden on those in the

labor force (ages 15-64).

Problem 4:

The population pyramid of Kuwait, an oil-rich country in the Middle East, has an unusual shape.

a. Describe the age- and sex-structure of the population of Kuwait.

b. Give a likely explanation for the unusual shape of this population pyramid.

c. Is the Kuwaiti population growing, stable or decreasing?

Problem 5:

Resource use. Is it the size of the population or how many resources the people consume that

matters? The chart below shows current and projected energy use in quadrillion BTUs by

country or region, and population for 2016 and projected population for 2040.

a. Consider the projections for energy use and population projections in 2040. What can you

say about population growth and energy needs? What factors must one consider besides

population?

NuFS 139 GELO 3: Interpreting Population Pyramids Worksheet
Population Pyramids
Study the pyramids below, for countries used in the following problems and/or discussed in the
video World in the Balance. What might you guess about each country’s population over time
from the shape of its pyramid?
Problem 1:
a. Examine the population pyramids of the two most populous countries in the world, China
and India. From the shape of the population pyramids, predict which country is growing
faster and explain why. To check your hypothesis, see the population projection for 2040
for these countries on page 4.
b. Study the table below and the corresponding country’s pyramid. Why is the percentage of
individuals under the age of 15 a good indicator of future population growth?
Table 1. Percent of Population aged 0-14 by
country
1960
2015
China
40%
17%
India
40%
29%
Japan
30%
13%
Kenya
46%
42%
Kuwait
36%
22%
United States
315
19%
NuFS 139: GELO 3 Interpreting Population Pyramids
2
Problem 2:
For Kenya, the percentage of women of childbearing age will increase between 2000 and 2025.
The values are shown below.
48% of women were of child-bearing age in 2000
58% of women were of child-bearing age in 2025
How will this change impact future population growth?
Problem 3:
The adult (or old age) dependency ratio is the ratio of seniors (people older than 64) to the
working-age population (people 15-64). This ratio is used to measure the burden on those in the
labor force (ages 15-64).
Table 2. US population by age in 2015 and 2040
Age
2015
2040
0-14
19%
17%
15-64
66%
61%
65+
15%
22%
Total population
321 million
380 million
a. What trend do you notice in adult dependency between 2015 and 2040? How could you
explain this change?
b. What will be the impact of this trend on government policies? Why is it important for a
country to have the majority of its population in the 15 – 64 age group?
NuFS 139: GELO 3 Interpreting Population Pyramids
3
Problem 4:
The population pyramid of Kuwait, an oil-rich country in the Middle East, has an unusual shape.
a. Describe the age- and sex-structure of the population of Kuwait.
b. Give a likely explanation for the unusual shape of this population pyramid.
c. Is the Kuwaiti population growing, stable or decreasing?
Problem 5:
Resource use. Is it the size of the population or how many resources the people consume that
matters? The chart below shows current and projected energy use in quadrillion BTUs by
country or region, and population for 2016 and projected population for 2040.
Table 3. Energy Use and Populations
2016
Energy Use
Population
(BTUs x1015)
(millions)
US
98.7
323
China
134.1
1,373
India
29.1
1,266
Japan
20.9
126
Africa
23.8
1,218
Projections for 2040
Energy Use
Population
(BTUs x1015)
(millions)
105.7
380
190.1
1,364
62.3
1,571
21.5
114
44
2,063
a. Consider the projections for energy use and population projections in 2040. What can you
say about population growth and energy needs? What factors must one consider besides
population?
NuFS 139: GELO 3 Interpreting Population Pyramids
4

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