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The Wilds of Madagascar
Population Dynamics

Part I: Provide a thumbnail sketch of population data.
  1. Complete the following chart by adding data for the United States.

    MadagascarUnited States
    Age Structure
    (1999 est.)

        0-14 years
        15-64 years
        65 years and over


    Population growth rate

    2.8 %
    Infant Mortality Rate

    89.1 deaths/1,000 live births
    Life expectancy

    male 52.0 years
    female 54.5 years

Part II: Calculate percentages of age structure in the two populations.
  1. To complete the chart below you must calculate percentages. To calculate a population percentage, divide the number of people in a given age bracket by the total number of people in the population and multiply this ratio by a hundred. The total number of people when you add up the numbers in Part I is 15,790,000. For example, in Madagascar for the 0-14 age group the percentage is given by :

    7,600,000 x 100 = 48%

    MadagascarUnited States
    Age Structure
    (1999 est.)

        0-14 years
        15-64 years
        65 years and over


Part III: Create pie and bar graphs.
  1. Present the percentage data in Part II in pie-chart and in bar-graph form using the graph paper, compass, ruler, and colored pencils. Make two pie charts: one representing the age distribution in Madagascar and one representing the U.S. population. Each chart should have a title and the percentage numbers written in the pie wedges. Represent the data in bar-graph form using red and blue pen to distinguish the two countries.

  2. If you were to present this data to an audience which graph type would you choose and why?

Part IV: Consider implications of the above information.
  1. As you look at the above information, what are some of the major differences you see in population dynamics between the United States and Madagascar?
  2. In terms of the population dynamics, what are some of the major challenges each country faces?
  3. What government policies would you recommend that each country adopt to alleviate some of the problems caused by that country's age population distribution? Describe the policy and how it would help. Be sure to include cost considerations as you decide on your recommendations.

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