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


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