Assignments for non-majors
For your ease in completing each assignment, the background text relevant to the experiment that you will perform is in brown text, instructions for each assignment are indicated by plain text, and questions or activities that you will be asked to provide answers for are indicated by bold text.
The following assignment is designed to help you become familiar with the operation of DemographyLab.
Getting to Know DemographyLab: Demographic Differences Among Nations
Countries differ with respect to population numbers, age structure, and fertility and mortality rates. These differences are caused by many factors, such as geographic size and location, level of economic development, government policies, and religious practices. The following exercises are designed to help you understand the influence of some of these factors on the size and growth of human populations.
Can you classify the population structures into two general patterns? Consider what you know about each of these countries. What do you think is the biggest factor distinguishing these two groups of nations?
Do you see any trends for the fertility rates compared to the population structures? What are they?
a. Do you see any general similarities and differences between nations? Provide possible reasons for these similarities and differences. Hint: To help you determine differences in mortality rates, click on the Run button and choose the Vital Rates view. Export the data from this table to your notebook by clicking on the Export Data button. Click OK to export data to your notebook as text.
b. Do you see any trends for the mortality rates compared to the age structures? What are they? Which age groups show the biggest differences in mortality rate among nations?
c. Do you see any differences in the mortality rates of males compared with females for any of the countries? What are they? What might account for some of these differences?
Select the Fertility Rate view on the input screen of Demography Lab. Examine the fertility rates for Nigeria and India.
a. Develop a list of differences and similarities that appear for the fertility rates of each country. Why might each country show these differences and similarities?
b. Can you think of common societal issues shared by India and Nigeria that might account for the similarities?
c. Provide possible explanations for why it may be difficult to establish contraceptive techniques in these countries that would have a significant impact on population growth.