The structure of a population depends on birth and death rates and also on migratory movements. It shows population according to age and gender at a point in time. You use these diagrams to study one country or to compare countries .
To the right
To the left
Figures are usually, but not always,
in percentages to make for easier
slope of pyramid indicates the death rate
width of the base is related to birth rate/fertility rate
proportions of men and women can suggest male or female migrations
height of graph can indicate life expectancy (ignore the very thin end
of the wedge as occurs on graph B as these people are a definite minority)
"kinks" indicate dramatic reductions in birth rate or increases in death rate in the past
area of graph indicates total population - compare areas of
different population age groups or different sex on one graph
The overall shape of the population pyramid can indicate whether it is an
Economically More Developed Country or Economically Less Developed Country
Read the book CORE HIGHER GEOGRAPHY, pages 200, 201 and 202.
Make sure you understand what the captions for diagrams A,B and C are explaining.
Define- in sentences- the terms in bold print on the last page, making sure that you quote the formula for the last one.
You should be comfortable discussing more than one use of such diagrams!
You may be asked to discuss the problems highlighted by the trends seen in a pyramid.
Read the CORE book again, page 202, 203. Read the bullet points.
There are 7 questions on the next
slides for each bullet point.
Answer them in one (or two)
MEDC’s trends seen in a pyramid.
1. With the increase of old dependents, what FOUR categories will an MEDC government need to spend increasing amounts of money on?
2. As the numbers of older people increase, from what group will governments reduce funding ?
3. With a fall in the number of employed, what FOUR ways can a government increase the number of workers?
4. How can governments ease the shortage of economically active using non-UK resources?
Answers trends seen in a pyramid.
1. An MEDC government will need to spend more money on pensions, health care, housing and public transport.
2. Governments will reduce funding to education and children’s health care.
3. The FOUR ways can a government increase the number of workers include retirement delayed, get unemployed back to work, getting women to do all types of work and re-training.
4. Governments ease the shortage of economically active using non-UK resources by encouraging immigration.
LEDC’s trends seen in a pyramid.
5. In what areas will an LEDC government need to spend increasing amounts of money on with the increase of young dependents? (Why is this difficult?)
6. As the numbers of young people rise through the age-ranges, why will the population explosion get worse? What problems will need to be tackled by their already-burdened governments?
7. Once these youngsters reach old age, explain how the problem of supporting them will be worse for their governments than for MEDC ones.
Answers trends seen in a pyramid.
5. LEDC governments need to spend increasing amounts of money on education and healthcare.
6. The population explosion will get worse as the ‘children’ will have their own children by then. They will need the services not being met for their parents now. They need to tackle family planning.
7. Supporting them will be worse for their governments as there will be little money and few services yet even more people to cater for.
Using Core Higher Geography page 225, complete question 3. trends seen in a pyramid.
Stage 1 trends seen in a pyramid.
to grow but at slower
rate. Low C Death Rate.
Crude Birth Rate.
Both birth rates and
death rates are
high, so population
growth rates are
slow but population
is usually restored
due to high birth
rate. Short life
to grow at an
exponential rate due to fall in Crude Death Rate. More living into middle age.
Life expectancy rises
Infant mortality rate falls.
Low Crude Birth Rate
and Crude Death Rate
Higher dependency ratio
and longer life expectancy
Crude Death Rate does
Rise slightly because of
The ageing population
Scotland before 1760
Remote parts of
Scotland 1870 -1950
Scotland 1760 - 1830
Republic of Congo
Referring to a country or countries which you have studied, describe and account for the changes in population from the beginning of stage 2 to the end of stage 3.
Take a copy of the WIDER WORLD page 21, question 7 part bii.
The Three Scotlands describe and account for the changes in population from the beginning of stage 2 to the end of stage 3.
• Rural Scotland, areas with histories of rural
depression and population decline that are now, once
their age and sex structures are taken into account,
showing positive natural increase with above average
fertility and low mortality;
• Lothian and Aberdeen and their eastern Scottish
hinterlands, cities now characterised by low mortality,
high in migration, and very low fertility, helped by the
high proportion of un-partnered adults, high housing
costs, and higher than average numbers of women not
only in employment but ‘employment focused’ (indicated
by working over 37 hours per week);
• Greater Glasgow, which continues to suffer from very
high levels of mortality, the highest in Scotland, Britain
and much of Europe and high out migration, which
combine with a low birth rate and low in migration to
produce a situation of significant population decline.