Population profiles

This video outlines the features associated with population profiles. Population profiles are also commonly referred to as population pyramids.

This video:

  • details the features of population pyramids
  • outlines how to interpret a population pyramid based on its shape and make inferences about a city or country's population changes across a set period.

Watch 'Population profiles' (2:17).

Population profiles are also commonly referred to as population pyramids.

[Music playing]

[Screen shows a blue sky with clouds. Text on the screen reads, ‘Curriculum Secondary Learners – HSIE. Teaching geographical skills series. Population profiles. Presented by Melissa Ellis.’]

Melissa Ellis

A population profile, also known as a population pyramid, is a graph that shows the number, or percentage, of people in a particular age group living in a country, state, or city.

[Presenter is standing in front of a decorative background. In the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, the text reads, ‘Melissa Ellis. HSIE Curriculum Support Project Officer.’]

We can gather a lot of information from population profiles.

[Screen shows a graph with the title, ‘Australian regional population by age and sex 2020’. The left side of the graph is labelled, ‘Male population’. There are red bars travelling left across the screen from the centre axis. The right side of the graph is labelled, ‘Female population’. There are white bars travelling right across the screen.]

They show the number age and gender of a population at a set period in time. It's not surprising that population profiles are also known as population pyramids as they often look like a pyramid.

[Screen shows a blue pyramid shape that appears over the graph.]

Let's look at a population profile. In the centre of a population profile is an axis showing the age demographics. On the left are the number of males in each age group and on the right the number of females in each age group. Along the bottom is the measurement of the number of males and females. Sometimes this is also presented as a percentage.

[Screen zooms in to show the centre vertical axis, which shows the ages of the population. The titles, ‘Male population’ and ‘Female population’ are written below the graph. The screen highlights these titles, and then zooms in to show the numbers along the bottom right-hand side of the graph. The numbers are percentages from 0% to 5%.]

We can interpret a lot from a population profile. If there is a bulge at a point, this would indicate a boom in babies in a certain year or two. The opposite, if there is a dip in the profile.

[Text on screen reads, ‘boom in babies’. The screen draws a line around a cluster of bars that reach closest to the right-hand edge of the graph, showing the largest percentage of age groups in the population. Text on the screen reads, ‘decline in babies’. The screen draws a line around a cluster of shorter bars, showing the smallest percentage of age groups in the population.]

A profile with a bulge at the top and a dip or decline at the base will show an aging population.

[The bars on the graph change to show shorter bars near the bottom of the graph, as well as longer bars near the top.]

We can infer from population profile future needs. For example, aged care support or increase in school facility needs. You can also compare national profiles, which can be very interesting. There we have the basic overview of population profiles. To draw your own, all you need is graph paper and data on number of men and women at a set location in a point in time.

[Text on screen reads, ‘Acknowledgements. NSW Geography K-10 syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales 2015. See the NESA website for additional copyright information. NSW Department of Education Curriculum Secondary Learners. Southern Cross School of Distance Education.’

The screen shows an Indigenous artwork. The artwork features a landscape with native Australian animals. It is titled, ‘Our Country’ by Garry Purchase. The text at the top of the screen reads, ‘Filming of these videos has taken place on Bundjalung land.’ Video concludes by displaying the NSW Government logo.]

[End of transcript]

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