Activity 2: Global Population Patterns and Demographic Transitions

Materials Needed

  • World Population Data Sheet (PDF: 304KB)
  • Graphing paper or graphing software (MS Excel)

Instructions

Refer to the current World Population Data Sheet by the Population Reference Bureau to answer the following questions.

How Do Demographic Characteristics Vary Among World Regions?

  1. Calculate the percentage (to the nearest whole number) of the world's population expected to be living in less developed countries in 2025 and in 2050.

    2025: _______________ 2050: _______________
  2. Rank the following regions according to the demographic characteristics, in the chart below. Rates can be found in the World Population Data Sheet: Africa, Asia, North America, Latin America, Europe.

    Rank
    Crude Birth Rate
    Crude Death Rate
    Rate of Natural Increase
    Region
    Rate
    Region
    Rate
    Region
    Rate
    Highest            
    2nd Highest            
    Middle            
    2nd Lowest            
    Lowest            
  3. Find the country with the highest crude birth rate and fill in the name of the country and the rate in the chart below. If there is more than one country with the same rate, select any one of the countries. Do the same for the highest crude death rate and the lowest crude birth and death rates.

    Highest Lowest
    Hi-Low
    Country
    Rate
    Country
    Rate
    CBR          
    CDR          
  4. Subtract the lowest rate from the highest rate for both crude births and deaths and enter in the chart.
  5. Is the difference between more developed countries and less developed countries greater for the crude birth rate or the crude death rate? Why do you think this is?

Is There Correlation Between Demographic Indicators and Economic Well-Being?

Refer again to the current World Population Data Sheet to complete the chart below:

CBR
CDR
RNI
GNI PPP/capita*
Burkina Faso
       
Canada
       
China
       
Cyprus
       
France
       
Italy
       
Malaysia
       
New Zealand
       
United Arab Emirates
       
Zambia
       

*GNI PPP refers to gross national income converted to "international" dollars using a purchasing power parity conversion factor. International dollars indicate the amount of goods and services one could buy in the United States with a given amount of money.

  1. Use the data collected in the chart above to construct three simple scattergrams relating crude birth rate and GNI PPP/capita; crude death rate and GNI PPP/capita; and rate of natural increase and GNI PPP/capita. [Note: Graphs can be constructed either manually on graph paper or electronically using a software program such as MS Excel.]
  2. In general, what is the relationship between each indicator and GNI PPP/capita? Phrase your response in the form of three generalizations. [for example, "the higher the CBR, the…the GNI PPP/capita"]
  3. Identify countries that are outliers in each graph. How do you account for each country's deviation from the general trend? [Note: This may require some research.]

Extension

Based on the data collected in the final chart above, speculate in which stage of the classic demographic transition model each of these countries would fall.

  1. Which characteristics are most helpful in making decisions?
  2. What additional information would be useful?
  3. Refer to the World Population Data Sheet to gather more information to support an informed decision.
  4. How does the model assist in categorizing countries? What are some limitations?