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Role of Demographic Rates & Population Distribution on Population Health

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  • 0:01 Healthy Populations
  • 0:40 Demographic Rates &…
  • 2:27 Population…
  • 4:04 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

We all want to maintain healthy populations, and demographics and population distribution can help. Explore these ideas and then test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Healthy Populations

Look at this population. This population does not look healthy and I don't know why. I mean, this population over here looks just fine, so why doesn't this one? What's going on?

There are a lot of things that can affect the health of a specific population and to figure this out, we're going to need… numbers, lots and lots of numbers. Statistical research can actually reveal a lot of important information about a population, and we're going to use it to figure out why this population is just not as healthy as their neighbors.

Demographic Rates and Population Health

If we're talking statistics and populations, that means we'll be discussing demographics, which is, very simply, the statistical analysis of a population. Demographics can include information on size, age, income, and various other factors so it's a great place to start. Let's begin by reviewing the demographics of these two populations.

In the healthy population and the unhealthy population, the average age and age range of the population is about the same. A greatly older or younger population could have indicated one reason for health issues, but that's not the case here. Okay, how about income? Again, it looks like the average income and wealth distribution are about the same, so the inability to afford healthcare is not causing our sick population.

Well, let's look at size. Again, these populations are about the same size. Geez, we can't catch a break. But maybe this category requires a closer look. After all, population size can be influenced by a bunch of different factors. Immigration and emigration, the artificial change in population from people moving to or leaving an area, is one way that population can change. Of course, population can also change from the number of births and deaths. Well, now, this is interesting. It looks like the healthy population has a low number of births and a low number of deaths, but the unhealthy population has a very high number of both. So there is something different happening in the unhealthy population. Let's check that out.

Population Distribution and Population Health

We can tell that there's something going on here. Besides just the fact that one population is healthier than the other, we now know that one has much higher rates of birth and death. So let's look at this from the perspective of population distribution, or the patterns of where people live. The healthy population lives in a somewhat densely-populated area, meaning there are a lot of people who live there. However, it's not too dense and this area where they live is very pleasant. The temperatures are nice, there is a fresh-water river, and the soil is good enough for very healthy crops.

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