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Please complete the following Lab questions. 1 Human Population and World Development Lab EN 100 Student Name:

Please complete the following Lab questions.

1

Human Population and World Development Lab
EN 100

Student Name: ____________________________________

Introduction: Today you will get to play around with and answer questions using real data about the

global population over time and by world region.

Directions:

1. Go to gapminder.org.

2. At the top of the page, under “You are probably wrong about”, click on one of the available

topics (“Extreme poverty”, “Global warming”, etc.).

a. Which topic did you pick? ________________________

b. Answer the questions as best you can.

c. How many did you get right? _________

d. Which correct answer was most surprising to you, and why?

3. Now go to gapminder.org/tools

4. You should see a bubble chart showing Life Expectancy for different countries relative to their

Income level.

5. At the top of the page, click on “How to Use” and watch the 2 minute video.

a. Remember that on a graph the y-axis is the vertical line, while the x-axis is the horizontal

line.

b. Now that you’ve watched the video, how do you change the labels on the y and x-axes

within Gapminder?

c. What do the size of the bubbles represent?

0

1

2

3

4

0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3

Y-
ax

is

X-axis

2

Data Context: Now you are going to configure the graph in order to answer specific questions about

specific countries. But first let’s give you some information about the data you are using so you can best

understand the trends you will see.

The data in these charts are compiled from a variety of sources. Data from high-income

countries are mainly from registers (like the census), whereas surveys are from a common source in low-

and middle-income countries. Such surveys are based on interviews with a representative sample of the

population. The sources for the data can be found by clicking on the small “?” next to the axis label.

Sometimes the data display a straight line for a few years. This is due to rounding. Yearly fluctuations in

the data are often smoothed out in many sources. Hence, temporary crises (like a short war or drought)

are not always visible. The uncertainty (or accuracy) of the data varies, but there is a consensus

regarding the general trends displayed. Many graphs use a so-called log-scale, which expand the scale at

low values and compress the scale at high values. This does not affect the answers. The log scale gives a

more correct picture in many cases. For example, 100 extra dollars per year makes a huge difference for

a person earning $400 per year. The same $100 might not even be noticed by someone earning

$100,000 per year. Lastly, many countries had different borders or did not exist at all in the past. The

data concerns the area of the present day borders of the county.

6. Now, adjust the y-axis to “Infant Mortality” by clicking on the y-axis arrow, selecting “Health”,

and then selecting “Newborn & Infants”.

7. Change the x-axis to “Time” (it’s one of the grey choices).

8. In the list of countries to the right, select Singapore, Sweden, and Venezuela.

9. Make sure “Trails” is selected in the bottom right corner.

10. Click the play button to watch the change in infant mortality rates over time for these three

countries.

a. Which regions of the world are each of the three selected countries from? (Americas,

Europe, Africa, or Asia; note the map in the top right corner)

b. Why do you think we have data for Sweden from 1799 to today, but the data for

Singapore and Venezuela starts in 1929?

c. Which country has the lowest infant mortality rate today?

Historical Context: Singapore in 1930 was still a British colony. The infant mortality was four times as

high as in Sweden. Since well before that year Venezuela had been an independent nation and was

already a major exporter of oil.

World War 2: Singapore was occupied by Japan and the population suffered severely from the war. The

war had minor effects on the health of children in Sweden and Venezuela.

After the war: Singapore quickly regained its pre-war health.

1950s and onwards: economic development and health improvements were fast in Sweden and even

faster in Singapore.

3

In the 1990s: Singapore becomes richer than Sweden. Infant mortality becomes lower in Singapore

around the year 2000. Singapore had high economic growth, high and effective investments in health

and also benefited from being a compact city state. The health improvements were part of a global

pattern of improving health.

11. Now click “Deselect” in the bottom right to remove Sweden, Singapore, and Venezuela.

12. Select Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, and Turkey.

13. Click the play button again.

a. Which regions of the world are each of the three selected countries from? (Americas,

Europe, Africa, or Asia)

b. Which country has the lowest infant mortality rate today?

Historical Context: Nicaragua, Sri Lanka and Turkey are all middle income countries that have made

significant progress in the areas of health and economics. Sri Lanka, however, has had better health than

the other two countries for many years. This is partly due to widespread literacy and access to health

care.

14. Now, change the y-axis to “Income”.

15. Deselect all previous countries and select Botswana, Egypt, and Moldova.

16. Click the play button again.

a. Which regions of the world are each of the three selected countries from? (Americas,

Europe, Africa, or Asia)

b. In which country is the average income per person highest today?

Historical Context: Botswana experienced a slow, but positive, progress as an English colony. They

became independent in 1966 and has since been a stable democracy. Well-managed diamond mines

have given the country one of the highest economic growth rates in the world and made it one of the

wealthiest countries in Africa.

Egypt before 1954 was a semi-democracy, constrained by British colonial interventions. Attempts to

industrialise were not very successful. In 1954 the military took power in a coup. From the 1960s and

onwards the economy has progressed.

Moldova was one of the Soviet Republics up to 1991. At independence the economy collapsed, but it is

now slowly recovering.

The indicator “Income per person” is the same as GDP per capita. We call it “income” in Gapminder

World to make it easier to understand. The “income per person” has been adjusted for inflation and for

differences in living costs across countries. The adjustment for living costs is based on so-called

purchasing power parities. The income per person in a county cannot be much lower than $300 US per

year for any longer time. The reason is that below that level of income almost everyone would be

4

starving to death. Hence, the $800 US per person that people in Botswana had in 1950 was a very low

income.

17. Keep the same countries, but change the y-axis to “Life Expectancy”.

18. Press play.

a. In which country do people live the longest on average today?

b. Read the historical context and then answer why you think the country with the highest

income per person could also have the lowest life expectancy.

Historical Context: Egypt has made continuous improvements in health. Fairly good economic growth is

part of the explanation. Furthermore, more and more people have clean water to drink and foreign aid

has helped to fund vaccination and healthcare throughout the country. They have also eradicated

malaria.

Moldova started off quite well, but has only made slow progress during recent years due to many

economic and social problems. The economic collapse after independence in 1991 is a major

explanation for this.

Botswana initially made good progress in health, based on good economic growth and a well functioning

government. In the 1980s, however, the HIV/AIDS epidemics hit the country hard. Treatment for AIDS

has become available, but the country still has high transmission of HIV.

19. Change the y-axis to “Age at 1st marriage (women) by clicking “Population”.

20. Deselect all countries; select Algeria, Canada, and Phillippines.

21. Press play.

a. Which regions of the world are each of the three selected countries from? (Americas,

Europe, Africa, or Asia)

b. In which country today do women on average marry at the oldest age?

Historical Context: Girls in Canada, like in most western countries, historically married at a relative high

age. However, the age at marriage was at an all-time low in the decades after World War II. Canadian

women have since reverted back to a higher age at marriage in the last decade.

In Algeria girls used to marry at a relative young. In the 1960s Algerian women started to marry at an

increasingly higher age. This happened partly because it became the norm across the Arab world that a

couple should have their own home. This meant that they had to save for a long time before they could

get married. Another factor was the longer time girls spent in school.

In the Philippines the age at marriage have not changed much in the last 50 years.

5

22. Change the y-axis to “Babies per woman”.

23. Deselect all countries, and select Tunisia, Bangladesh, and Argentina.

24. Press play.

a. Which regions of the world are each of the three selected countries from? (Americas,

Europe, Africa, or Asia)

b. Which country has the fewest number of children per woman today?

Historical Context: Argentina, in 1950, had already changed to small families and women, on average,

had a bit more than three children per woman. The number of children per woman has decreased

further in the last decades.

In Bangladesh in 1950 girls married very early, had few rights and gave birth to an average of 6 to

children. In the 1980s Bangladesh initiated an effective family planning program. Female family planners

reached out to women in their homes and family planning services were provided in rural areas. Political

and religious leaders supported the idea of small families. Together these actions helped to decrease the

fertility rate very fast, even though the improvements for women have been relatively limited.

In Tunisia in 1950 girls married relative young and had many children. In the 1960s Tunisian women

gradually started to marry at a higher age. This happened partly because it became the norm across the

Arab world that a couple should have their own home. This meant that they had to save for a long time

before they could get married. Another factor was the longer time girls spent in school. In the 1980s

family planning services started to have an increasing impact as well, so the number of children

decreased fast.

25. Change the y-axis to “CO2 emissions per person”.

26. Deselect all countries, and select China, France, and the USA.

27. Press play.

a. Which regions of the world are each of the three selected countries from? (Americas,

Europe, Africa, or Asia)

b. Which country emits the most tones of CO2 (carbon dioxide) per person today?

c. Read the historical context and then answer this question: looking at the pattern, do

you think China is going to overtake the U.S. in CO2 emissions per person? When do you

estimate that will happen?

d. If China does overtake the U.S., do you think that will overall be a good or bad thing for

our planet?

6

Historical Context: China is today the country that emits most CO2 in total, but that is because it has

such a large population. Each American still emits almost four times as many tons CO2 as each Chinese

person do. In 1900 China emitted negligible amounts of CO2 per person and it increased very slowly.

From the 1970s, the emissions had started to grow faster, as economic growth accelerated.

The US and France were both industrialized by 1900. Various energy sources were more readily available

in the US than in France. Hence, the energy system was more energy intensive from an early date in the

US. Income per person grew strongly during the 20th century in both countries, and the CO2 emissions

followed this pattern. Numerous crises affected the emission of CO2: the 1st world war (mostly in

France), the depression after 1929 (with the strongest effect in the US) and the 2nd world war (mainly

seen in France). In the 1970s the oil prices increased massively at two occasions. These events are

known as the 1st and 2nd oil crisis. They provoked actions to use the energy more efficient and to switch

to energy sources with less emission of CO2, e.g. nuclear power. Many of these changes remained even

after the oil-price dropped again in the 1980s. Furthermore, the production in the high income countries

became more focused on producing things that required less energy (e.g. producing medicines, just to

take one example).

28. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the link titled “Will saving poor children lead

to overpopulation?”

29. Watch the video.

a. List three reasons why increasing the survival of children in poor countries will help

reduce the overall global population trend.

b. Before the world population is expected to stop growing, how much is the global

population expected to increase by?

30. Last question: click on another link in Gapminder (any link!) or create your own chart with

Gapminder and tell me one thing you learn from it. Then you’re done!

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