Comparing Population Pyramids Around the World

This post is by Niccolo Conte from Visual Capitalist

Population Pyramids

Now Available, Exclusively to VC+ Members.

Dive deeper into what affects the demographics of global economies. Join VC+ to get our special dispatch!

Visualization comparing countries and their population pyramids

Understanding and Comparing Population Pyramids

Demographic data can reveal all kinds of insights about a population, from the country’s fertility and mortality rates to how certain events and policies have shaped the makeup of a population.

Population pyramids are one of the best ways to visualize population data, and comparing the pyramids of various countries and regions side-by-side can reveal unexpected insights and differences between groups.

This graphic uses population data from the United Nations to compare the demographics of some select nations and regions of the world, showcasing how much age distributions can vary.

Three Types of Population Pyramids

Although population pyramids can come in all shapes and sizes, most generally fall into three distinct categories:

  • Expansive Pyramids: Recognized by their traditional “pyramid-like” shape with a broad base and narrow top, expansive pyramids reflect a population with a high birth rate along with a high mortality rate which is most common in developing countries.
  • Constrictive Pyramids: With a narrow base and thicker middle and top sections of the pyramid, constrictive pyramids often occur in developed economies whose populations have low birth rates and long life expectancies.
  • Stationary Pyramids: These pyramids showcase an evenly distributed population across age groups, often found in newly-developed countries which have stable birth and mortality rates.

Each population pyramid is essentially a visual snapshot of a nation’s current (Read more…)