Interpreting Population Pyramids Worksheet

Population Pyramids
Study the pyramids below, for countries used in the following problems and/or discussed in the video World in the Balance. What might you guess about each country’s population over time from the shape of its pyramid?

Problem 1:
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.
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?
Table 1. Percent of Population aged 0-14 by country
1960
2015
China
40%
17%
India
40%
29%
Japan
30%
13%
Kenya
46%
42%
Kuwait
36%
22%
United States
31%
19%
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 in 2000
58% of women were of child-bearing age in 2025
How will this change impact future population growth?
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).
Table 2. US population by age in 2015 and 2040
Age
2015
2040
0-14
19%
17%
15-64
66%
61%
65
15%
22%
Total population
321 million
380 million
What trend do you notice in adult dependency between 2015 and 2040? How could you explain this change?
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 4:
The population pyramid of Kuwait, an oil-rich country in the Middle East, has an unusual shape.
Describe the age- and sex-structure of the population of Kuwait.
2. Give a likely explanation for the unusual shape of this population pyramid.
3. Is the Kuwaiti population growing, stable or decreasing?
Problem 5:
Please answer the following questions based on what you learned in this Module.
How do you define the fertility rate of a population? Name a country and it’s fertility rate.
What is the replacement level fertility rate of a population, i.e., what does the fertility rate need to be for a population to replace itself?
What are the two key drivers of population growth?