2.1 Population Dynamics

Engage: What is growth rate?

Step 1: Go to the ArcGIS Online map, Population Population Dynamics and explore the map.

Step 2: Use the search box in the upper-right corner to find the countries listed below.

Step 3: Click each country for growth rates. Hover over graphs to determine a doubling time.

New Zealand [1% growth rate – approximately 75 years to double]
Costa Rica [2% growth rate – approximately 37 years, but it ranges]
Mozambique [3% growth rate – approximately 25 years to double]
Qatar [15% growth rate – approximately 5 years, depending on when measured]

  • What is the product of a country’s growth rate and doubling time?
  • How is the doubling time determined from the growth rate?

Explore: What can a population pyramid tell you about a country’s growth?

Step 4: Click on the dark blue countries to explore their population graphs.

  • What is typical of the shape of the population graph in high-growth-rate countries?
  • How do low-growth-rate population graphs compare?
  • How long would it take to double Nigeria’s population?

Explain: What causes such rapid growth in certain countries?

Countries experience fast growth curves when life expectancies suddenly increase due to improvements in health services. It generally takes a generation to realize that large families are not as crucial for family well-being.

Step 5: Follow the Current link in the pop-up of a few fast-growth countries to see their population pyramid.

  • What does this pyramid shape imply about the size of the reproductive class of the population?

Elaborate: How are shrinking populations distributed?

Step 6: Click Russia’s population graph and compare this population to the fast-growth countries’ graph that you just examined.

  • What aspects of the population pyramid hints at why the overall population is changing as the graph suggest?

Evaluate: Is the population pyramid shape a good indicator of growth or decline?

  • How do pyramid shapes relate to diminishing-growth countries?
  • How do pyramid shapes relate to slow-but-steady-growth countries?
  • How do fast-growth country pyramids compare?

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Human Geography Lab Manual by R. Adam Dastrup, MA, GISP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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