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Highlighted Copy: A Country’s Shape Is More Than Its Borders



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Highlighted Copy A Country s Shape Is More Than Its Borders What Is A Population Pyramid A population pyramid is one way to look at the demographics of a country Demographics are population characteristics such as age gender race religion or language A population pyramid looks at only age and gender It is constructed to show how many people in a particular age group are male or female This is done using a horizontal bar graph The result is a clear picture of how a country s population breaks down according to gender and age and where the most people occur according to those two pieces of information How To Read A Population Pyramid The first step is to look at the scale across the bottom of the pyramid It tells if the numbers represent thousands or millions Next look at the age groupings These are usually going up the middle of the pyramid Then notice that males are shown on the left side of the graph females on the right Lastly to determine how many males or females are in a certain age group find that age group in the center go to the end of the horizontal bar either left or right then go down to the scale to see how many Interpreting A Population Pyramid Population pyramids can show if a country s population growth is slow rapid or negative little to none A country with rapid growth will have a wide base and narrow top A country with slow growth will have almost equal numbers from top to bottom A country with negative growth will have fewer at the bottom and top and most of the population in the middle Determining growth rate leads to questions of what kinds of services would a government expect to need to provide Do more children mean more schools daycare facilities and the need for more teachers Do more elderly mean more retirement centers pension plans and health care Does a large number in the middle mean more jobs job training programs and universities Why are so few at the bottom Are more children due to economics children provide farm labor or money from



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