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About the population pyramid and data

Population pyramids are commonly used by demographers to illustrate age and sex structure of a country's population.   Countries that are expected to grow rapidly typically have a large number of individuals in their reproductive years and the population pyramid is wider of "heavier" at the bottom.  In contrast, populations that are expected to have slow, zero, or negative growth typically have more individuals beyond reproductive age, and their pyramids tend to be "top heavy".  Population distributions of Mexico (rapid growth) and Germany (negative growth) can be found in QELP datasets #032 and #033 , respectively.

The US population pyramid is nearly symmetric about the vertical axis reflecting the fact that all age groups contain roughly equal numbers of males and females.  There are slightly more males up until age group 20-25. The drop in the number of males as compared to females is quite substantial in age group 25-29 (why?), and then after the number of females exceeding the number of males slowly grows. There is a population "bulge" in the middle of the pyramid representing the so called baby boomers of ages 35 to 50, and another small bulge for ages between 10 and 20 years.  The small bulge represents mostly children of baby boomers and is an "echo" of the older and larger baby boom generation.  The number of people of working age (between 20 and 65) is about 162 million and the number older than 65 is 35 million; this is roughly a ratio of 4.5 workers to 1  retiree. Will the same ratio exist in 15 to 30 years when the baby boomers enter retirement age? What would the population pyramid look like if 4.5 workers were needed to support every retiree in the future?

The number of individuals in one age group that move to the next age group is based upon each age group's survival rate.  For example, every five years a fraction of age group 15-19 will survive to graduate to the 20 to 24 year age group.  As a country ages, the population distribution and corresponding pyramid shape will generally change. For example, the population bulge in the middle of the US pyramid will (most likely) move upwards over time so that in 25  years the bulge will be present at the top of the pyramid.  Dynamic, time dependent population pyramids can be viewed at the extraordinary website http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idbpyr.html . This site is part of the much larger US Census International Data Base (IDB) website where additional country by country demographics can be found.

Source of the Data:  US Census  http://www.census.gov/

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View the Data

 United States Population, year 2000 Source: US Census Bureau AGE MALE FEMALE 00-04 9639 9227 05-09 10122 9659 10-14 10196 9712 15-19 10237 9672 20-24 9502 9098 25-29 8926 8993 30-34 9721 9904 35-39 11105 11209 40-44 11231 11402 45-49 9780 10126 50-54 8399 8867 55-59 6398 6927 60-64 5046 5631 65-69 4334 5102 70-74 3876 4877 75-79 3103 4319 80-84 1866 3047 85-89 883 1821 90-94 319 861 95+ 92 336

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