Graphing serves as a way to produce visual representations of data. The evidence in this section provides three different representations of the same data: the population in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom between 1950 and 2005.
Total population of any country is comprised of a complex set of data that includes births, deaths, immigration, and emigration. This section focuses on the question of natural increase. Without people coming and going, national populations would be defined by the rates of births and deaths. In periods in which the rate of births outstrips the rate of deaths, population increases. Conversely, when deaths begin to outpace births, population declines.
Demography is a tool that historians often use to project trends into the future. In order to create models that predict the future, demographers take many variables into consideration, including trends in births and deaths and immigration trends. They also usually produce multiple projections based on different sets of assumptions. The graphs in this section show the United Nations projections for the period between 2000 and 2050. In addition to baseline, high, and low estimates, the UN includes data on the population rate with no immigration.
Another common tool of demographers is the population pyramid, which graphically represents a country's age and gender balance. This section provides you with population pyramids for three periods: 1950, 2000, and 2050.