What Are World Demographics? (with picture)

Nicole Long
Nicole Long
Birth rates can tell much about a country, as nations with developed economies tend to have low birth rates.
Birth rates can tell much about a country, as nations with developed economies tend to have low birth rates.

World demographics refer to various identifiable attributes of the world’s population. Statistics associated with world demographics include population, population growth rates, and average age. Other world demographics include statistics related to the population of individual countries, such as average number of retired individuals and life expectancy.

Various organizations and professions utilize world demographics statistics. Economists use them to help predict future economic trends related to wealth and national income. Census statisticians collect data for demographic reports to help governments formulate budgets and identify specific trends related to both local and world growth.

Statistics related to the global population are typically the most commonly discussed world demographic. Population for each country and the global community contribute to this data. Specifically, overall population is used as a foundation for further review of the numbers. When tracked over time, this information can provide information related to the effect of population growth on the global economy.

Population growth rates are calculated by analyzing the change in total population over a specified time period. By comparing the change in population over a set period of time, economists and others can analyze the impact of economic, cultural, or historical changes that also occurred during the same time period. This can also relate to observing the change in specific age groups, such as the young and the elderly.

Another type of world demographic is the average age of the population. The age of a given population can provide an insight into population declines related to health, wealth, and vitality. A population’s age provides a wealth of information, such as average birth rate and average life expectancy. Global and regional life expectancy can be analyzed to determine the underlying cause of longer life, such as diet or cultural practices.

The sex of the current world population is another example of a world demographic. This statistic provides information related to the percentage of males and females in the total world population. Sex can also be used in combination with average age and life expectancy to deduce further statistical evidence related to which sex lives the longest.

A number of other statistics related to world demographics can be found. Economists review trends related to retirement age when talking about the future wealth of a country or the overall global population. Other breakdowns of the global population provide demographics such as percentage of various races and religions that exist worldwide.

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Discussion Comments


@feruze-- I agree with you that it's important to know about demographics, but I don't think that this information is enough because demographics actually change pretty quickly. Just in the next couple of decades, researchers are expecting some important differences in world demographics.

For example, it is said that by 2025, the world will be largely populated by Chinese and Indians. Islam is expected to become the world's largest religion by that time and the largest age group is supposed to be those over 65 years old.

So it's not enough to know current demographics, we also need to be able to make educated guesses about the near future and what changes will take place. Demographics is incomplete without additional research in my view. It's necessary to know what world religion demographics are for example, but we also need to know which religion is the fastest growing to understand what the world will look like in several decades.

What do you think?


I like looking at world demographics because I think it gives me a better perception of the world. Sometimes we tend to think of the world the same as the place we live. I used to think this way too, but after seeing several world demographics maps in class, I realized how little I know about the world.

For example, I didn't know that there are now more men in the world than there are women. I also didn't know that Christianity, Islam and Buddhism are the three largest religions in the world in terms of membership.

Considering how global the world is becoming and how easier it is to travel, live and work in other countries, I think it's very important to know what the world and its populations look like.


I participated in a really interesting simulation once that used demographic data to determine the wealth, prosperity and development in a country.

One of those demographics was infant mortality rate which is the number that die in every one thousand infants. I never thought that this information could be used to reach conclusions about how well a country is doing but it can be.

As we played the simulation and the country improved in various areas such as economy, education and health, the infant mortality rates slowly went down.

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    • Birth rates can tell much about a country, as nations with developed economies tend to have low birth rates.
      Birth rates can tell much about a country, as nations with developed economies tend to have low birth rates.