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Human Population Growth

James Mariner

Graph the data in the following table on (1) a piece of ordinary graph paper, and (2) on a piece of 4-cycle semi-log paper.

Population (in millions) of the World and Selected Regions. (Carr-Sanders estimates to 1900, United Nations Data to 1960, and Population Reference Bureau data after 1960.)

Europe and Asia Latin North World
   
Year Asiatic USSRExcl'd
USSR
Africa
America
America Total
1650 103 327 100 12 1 545
1750 144 475 100 11 1 728
1800 192 597 100 19 10 906
1850 274 741 100 33 26 1171
1900 423 915 141 63 81 1608
1920 485 997 151 92 120 1834
1930 530 1069 164 110 134 2008
1940 579 1173 183 132 145 2216
1950 594 1272 219 162 166 2406
1960 641 1665 273 208 199 2972
1970 702 2027 352 283 226 3580
1980 751 2558 469 359 250 4416
1990*                      
1997* 806 3475 743 490 298 5840
*Information available from Population Reference Bureau
**Former USSR included for continuity.

Note that the semi-log graph allows you to compare rates more easily than an analog graph.


Answer the following questions by referring to your graphs:
  1. What is meant by growth RATE? What units are used to express growth rate?

  2. Has the growth of any of the REGIONS graphed been constant? Explain

  3. Which REGION had the greatest growth RATE for the entire period recorded? How is this shown?

  4. Which REGION has had the greatest growth RATE for the 20th Century?

  5. For the decade 1950-1960, list the REGIONS in the order of grown RATE, with the fastest-growing region listed first.

  6. As completely as you can, account for the surges in population growth rate during the 20th Century for the various regions shown. Use the back of the page, if necessary.

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