Cover Image
close this book How the population changes
View the document Contents
View the document Aims/objectives
View the document Activity no. 1 - More or less
View the document Activity no. 2 - Let's take a census of our group
View the document Activity no. 2 - Let's take a census of our group
View the document Activity no. 3 - Population investigative reporter

Activity no. 2 - Let's take a census of our group


Let's take a census of our group

A small-scale census to enable group members to understand how population is measured.

HOW?


How?

Note: Care should be taken in the discussion that group members are not caused embarrassment by suggesting that their family is too large. What is right for the future was not necessarily right for the past.

  • The group leader first explains what a census is and how it helps to identify population changes.
  • He asks each group member basic information about his family (number of people, their ages, education, employment, deaths, etc.) and completes forms like the one on page 22.
  • The group leader totals the results of the group members' surveys on a large sheet of paper as on page 23, to give the population of the entire group.
  • The population change is calculated as

Population of group now minus population of the group last year

  • The group members then discuss the significance of their results and compare the population of one family to another.

FOR WHAT?/ WHY?

So that the participants will be able to:

  • Understand the value of a census.
  • Understand how a census is taken and what kind of information can be found in census data.
  • Understand the concept of population density by comparing one family to another.
  • Make observations about the needs of the group based on the census (food, housing, education).

WITH WHAT?


WITH WHAT?

  • A tally sheet to record the census information from the group members (copied from the sample on the following pages).
  • The background information on the following pages.
  • Group participation and interest.

Our group census

Name of member

Total family members

No. of births

No. of deaths in past year

Change in past year

 

males

females

     
           
           

 

Group census totals

Name of member

Total family members

No. of births

No. of deaths in past year

Change in past year

 

males

females

     
           
           

TOTALS

         

 

Some background information for the group leader

How do we measure population and population change?

One way we can measure the population of an area is to count all the people. This is called a census.

A census does more than just count the number of people. It also gathers information about the people's age, sex, the numbers of people in each household, the number of births, deaths, employment status, education, etc.

Census are usually taken at regular intervals, most often once every 10 years. By comparing the information from two or more census of the same area, we can see how the population is changing. And we can also predict how the population will change in the future if present behaviour continues. This can help us to plan for the needs of our community or country in the future, to ensure that there will he enough resources for everyone. Or if we see that the needs of everyone will not be met if the population continues to grow as quickly as it is now, we can make decisions about how we can slow down the growth of the population.

The census figures from many developing countries show that the population is growing much more quickly than it used to. Recently, advances in modern medicine have caused a decrease in the number of people who die each year, especially young children. However, even though the number of children dying has decreased, parents are continuing to have many children. The result is that there are many more births than deaths each year; this is causing rapid increases in population.

An important concept is that of population density, that is, how many people there are per unit of land - usually a square kilometre (km²). A village on an areas of 2 km² with a population of 1000 people has twice the population density of a village with 1000 people living on an area of 4 km².