Chapter 13: Economic Performance
"Learning About an Occupation"
Population trends are important to many groups. Politicians
watch population shifts to see how voting patterns may change.
Community leaders are interested because increases or decreases
in local population impact services such as sanitation, education,
crime prevention, and fire protection. Businesses use census
data to help determine new plant locations, products and services,
and sales territories.
For this activity, students will use information from the
U.S. Census Bureau International Database Population Pyramid
Web site to examine current statistics related to population.
Previous Knowledge Expected
Students should be familiar with the following terms:
life expectancy: average remaining life span in years
for persons who attain a given age
population pyramid: diagram showing the breakdown of
population by age and sex
Applied Content Standards (from the
National Council on Economic Education)
Standard 1: Productive resources are limited. Therefore,
people cannot have all the goods and services they want; as
a result, they must choose some things and give up others.
Standard 15: Investment in factories, machinery, new
technology, and the health, education, and training of people
can raise future standards of living.
1. Students will generate and interpret a population pyramid.
2. Students will list types of data available on the International
3. Students will list the current ranking of countries by
Student Web Activity Answers
1-4: Answers will vary. Current figures should be obtained
from the Web site.
Extending the Lesson
Encourage students to create population pyramids for other
countries. Have them compare the results. Which countries
have greater populations in the bottom section of the pyramid?
Which at the top?
Have each student select a population statistic that is available
on the site. Have students present the current figure and
the importance of that figure to the class.
Student Web Activity