Growing old: European Population Pyramids

“A population pyramid, also called an age pyramid or age picture diagram, is a graphical illustration that shows the distribution of various age groups in a population (typically that of a country or region of the world), which forms the shape of a pyramid when the population is growing.” (Wikipedia)

Population Pyramids of Europe

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Demographies of China


This week I joined the Department of Asian Studies at Palacký University Olomouc (Czech Republic) as a visiting lecturer by invitation of the CHINET project. In my lecture about New Geographies of China I built on the work I have presented earlier this year at the Conference on the Socio-Economic Transition of China at the same place, teaching the students not only how China’s position is in the global context of demographic, social and economic change, but also how we can visualise this in novel ways. The following three maps are an extract from my presentation that gave an overview of this lecture.
The maps show the distribution of the different age groups in the country divided into children (age 0 to 14), working age (age 15 to 64) and elderly (above age 64) as they are counted in the official Chinese Census released by the National Bureau of Statistics. As the most recent Census figures have not been released at the same level of detail, the following three maps show the state of 2000. Here is an animated version of the three maps showing all three groups one after another (the individual maps are displayed below):

Animation of demographic groups in China projected on a gridded population cartogram
(click for larger version)

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Child Poverty in London

The Campaign to End Child Poverty has today published new figures showing that London contains 14 out of the top 20 local authorities with the highest rates of child poverty across the UK.

Child Poverty Ratios in the London Boroughs, 2014
(click for larger version)

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Inequalities in Immunisation

Save the Children Report CoverGlobal inequalities in health find their expression in a wide range of issues that start in the very early ages of a person’s life. Children are most at risk, as health-related problems can have implications on the rest of their life – if they survive childhood at all. Finding the Final Fifth: Inequalities in Immunisation is the title of a new report published by Save the Children in partnership with ACTION and endorsed by the World Health Organisation.
The report takes a closer look at health inequalities related to immunisation coverage. With children being highly vulnerable, no access to immunisation is one of the preventable causes of death. Further efforts such as the Global Vaccine Action Plan (pdf) are needed to tackle the problem. “Reaching the hard-to-reach must be a priority for all countries“, concludes Save the Children in a statement prior to the 65th World Health Assembly where these issues were on the agenda.
The Worldmapper project contributed a cartogram series to the report, looking at some of the data that Save the Children used in its findings. The data shows how access to health and immunisation compares to mortality rates of children and how this data gives an indication of the prevailing global inequalities. We created four maps, of which three were included in the report (the following maps are modified version of these maps). All of the maps show the countries resized according to the total number of people for each topic that is visualised (i.e. these images work like a cartographic version of a pie chart). The original data sources are given in the report (download link see below). The first map shows the mortality of under-five year old children:

Cartogram / Map of Child Mortality under the Age of Five in the World
(click for larger version)

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The Disappearance of Childhood

Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.
(The Disappearance of Childhood, Neil Postman)

In the previous post I showed a map of the global distribution of malnutrition among the youngest children. To complete this picture, I used the same subnational Global Poverty Data from SEDAC and combined the data about the proportion of children with the total population (derived from the GPW database). Where information was missing, I used information from the national-level UN World Population Prospects to complete the data and generated a grid of the global distribution of children on a subnational level. The result of this is a new gridded cartogram display of the world’s children (aged under 5) which shows each grid cell resized according to the total number of children living there (as in many world maps on this website, I use the worldmapper colour scheme for the countries which makes the map easier to read). The following map therefore gives every child under the age of five the same amount of space, with additional information about the variation beyond the country borders. This is today’s world of children:

Map / Gridded Cartogram of Children in the World
(click for larger map)

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Hungry Children

After several of weeks in the headlines, the United Nations has eventually declared a famine in parts of the Horn of Africa today after large parts of the people there suffer from the worst drought in decades. Malnutrition is a much wider ranging problems in the poorer parts of the world, although it only comes to our mind when we see headlines as we do today. There are startling facts about malnutrition that are very contradictory to the wasteful lifestyles in the wealthy parts of the planet (a recent FAO study suggests that one third of the world’s food goes to waste): Continue reading