A working knowledge of the basic vocabulary of population geography is required in order for students to master important underlying concepts. Likewise, students need to understand the mathematical relationships implicit in population statistics and the broader social and economic implications of such relationships. Students should be able to present demographic data in a graphic format that supports analysis and interpretation.


  • To develop a working vocabulary for population geography
  • To understand relationships and implications of demographic data
  • To construct and analyze population pyramids at different scales

Content Standards

AP Human Geography*: Unit II—Population Unit
A. Geographical analysis of population
1. Density, distribution, and scale
3. Patterns of composition—age, sex, race, and ethnicity

Student Activities

Lesson Resources

Population Handbook, 6th edition 

Population: A Lively Introduction, 4th edition

World Population Data Sheet 

[Note: The page numbers provided refer to the pages of the publication, not the pdf file.]

Central Concepts: Population characteristics and composition

Case Locations:

This lesson plan is part of a teaching package, Making Population Real: New Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities.

* AP and the Advanced Placement Program are registered trademarks of the College Entrance Examination Board, which was not involved in the production of these lesson plans.