Activity 1: The World Population Data Sheet at a Glance
Find answers to the following questions using the current World Population Data Sheet. Provide students with blank world maps and have them locate, shade, and label the countries identified in the questions that follow.
- What is the current population of the world?
- Rank, in descending order, the 10 countries with the largest population.
Rates are often used, instead of absolute numbers, to determine how frequently a population or demographic event is occurring—rates show how common an event is. Rates also make it possible to compare countries that vary greatly in terms of population size.
The crude birth rate (CBR) is the annual number of births per 1,000 population.
- Which country has the highest CBR? Which country has the lowest?
The crude death rate (CDR) is the annual number of deaths per 1,000 population.
- Which country has the highest CDR? Which country has the lowest?
The infant mortality rate measures the number of deaths each year to infants under 1 year of age per 1,000 live births.
- Which country has the highest infant mortality rate and what is that rate? Which country has the lowest and what is that rate
The total fertility rate (TFR) is the average number of children a woman would have if she maintained today's level of childbearing throughout her reproductive years.
- Which countries share the highest TFR and what is it? Which countries share the lowest TFR. What is it?
The age and sex structure of a population refers to the number or proportion of males and females who are in each age category. Age-sex structure tells us about a population's past trends in fertility, mortality, and migration. It also provides information about the population's potential for future growth. The greater the proportion of people in the younger-adult age groups, the greater the potential for more births and population growth.
- Which country has the "youngest" population, that is, the highest proportion of population under age 15? Which country has the "oldest" population, that is, the highest proportion of population over age 64?
- In which country are people expected to live the longest? Which country has the lowest life expectancy?
- Which African country has the highest proportion of people living in urban areas? In Asia? In Latin America? In Europe? In Oceania?
Gross national income in purchasing power parity per capita (GNI PPP/capita) converts income into "international dollars" and indicates the amount of goods and services one could buy in the United States with a given amount of money.
- Which country is the wealthiest in terms of GNI PPP/capita? Which is the second wealthiest? Which are the poorest two countries?
A population grows because there are more births than deaths or more people are moving in than moving out. The difference between births and deaths is expressed as a percentage called the rate of natural increase.
- Which major region is growing the fastest through natural increase? Which major region is growing at the slowest rate? Within the major regions identified, which subregions are growing fastest? … slowest?
- Which country is growing the fastest through natural increase? Which country is growing at the slowest rate?
A population projection is a computation of future changes in population numbers based on assumptions about future trends in fertility, mortality, and migration.
- Rank the 10 countries with the largest projected populations for both 2025 and 2050 (in descending order).
- Which country (ies) is projected to drop out of the top 10 by 2050? Which country (ies) is projected to be added to the top 10?
- Rank the major regions according to population size (in descending order) for the present, for 2025, and for 2050. What trend can be observed in terms of population change?
Based on the information collected (above) from the current World Population Data Sheet, write an essay (1-2 pages) discussing current patterns and trends in population at global, regional, and national scales. Be sure to support any generalizations with specific examples from the data sheet.