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Snapshots from around the world.

What are the most populous countries in the world? Where do people live longest? What is the most widely practiced religion on the planet? Check out the charts and graphs on these pages, then answer the questions.

World at a Glance

Total Population: 6.3 billion

Population over age 65: 7 percent

Sex ratio: 1.01 males to 1 female (1)

Life expectancy: 67 years (65 years male; 69 years female)

Annual birth rate: 22 births per 1,000 people

Annual death rate: 9 deaths per 1,000 people

Infant mortality rate: 55 deaths per 1,000 live births

Fertility rate: 2.8 children per woman (2)

Gross world product per capita: $7,900 (3)

Number of independent nations: 193

(1) 2003 estimate

(2) Average number of children a woman bears in a lifetime

(3) 2002 estimate

Sources: 2003 World Population Data Sheet, Population Reference Bureau; The World Factbook 2003, Central Intelligence Agency
Wealthiest and Poorest Nations

(Based on per capita GDP
in U.S. dollars)


Luxembourg $44,000
United States $37,600
San Marino $34,600 *
Norway $31,800
Switzerland $31,700
Ireland $30,500
Canada $29,400
Belgium $29,000
Denmark $29,000
Japan $28,000


East Timor $500 *
Somalia $550 *
Sierra Leone $580
Burundi $600
D.R. of the Congo $610
Tanzania $630
Malawi $670
Afghanistan $700
Comoros $720
Eritrea $740

* 2001 estimate

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Sources: The World Factbook 2003, Central Intelligency
(All figures are 2002 estimates unless otherwise noted.)


(Average lifespan
in years)

 Male Female
 Age Age

Japan 78 85
San Marino 77 84
Italy 77 83
Switzerland 77 83
Sweden 78 82
Australia 77 82
Canada 77 82

Mozambique 33 34
Botswana 36 38
Lesotho 37 38
Malawi 39 40
Angola 39 41
Rwanda 39 41
Zambia 41 40

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Source: 2003 World Population Data Sheet, Population Reference Bureau

Most Populous Countries

(Population in millions)

 1. China 1,289
 2. India 1,069
 3. U.S. 292
 4. Indonesia 221
 5. Brazil 177
 6. Pakistan 149
 7. Bangladesh 147
 8. Russia 146
 9. Nigeria 134
10. Japan 128

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Source: 2003 World Population Data Sheet, Population Reference Bureau

World Population Growth

(Population in billions by year)

1975 4.1
2000 6.1
2025 * 7.9
2050 * 9.1

* Projected

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Source: 2003 World Population Data Sheet, Population Reference Bureau

of the

(Followers of major faiths)

Christianity 32.8%
Islam 19.6%
Hinduism 13.3%
Buddhism 5.9%
Sikhism 0.4%
Judaism 0.2%
Other religions 12.9%
Non-religious 12.5%
Atheist 2.4%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

Source: The World Factbook 2003, Central Intelligence Agency


1. Do more men or women live on the planet? --

2. What is the average life expectancy for women in Mozambique? --

3. After Christianity, what religion has the most followers? --

4. How many of the world's wealthiest nations are located in Europe? --

5. How many births per 1,000 people occur annually worldwide? --

6. What is the worldwide infant mortality rate? --

7. On what continent are the two most populous countries? --

8. What percentage of the world's people practice Buddhism? --

9. What is the per capita gross domestic product in Afghanistan? --

10. According to experts, what will the world population be in 2025? --


Students should understand:

* How to use graphs and charts to compare and contrast the life expectancy, religions, and other facts about the various populations and countries of the world.


Ask students to guess which of the world's countries have the longest and shortest life expectancies. Then ask what factors they considered when forming their answers.


COMPREHENSION: What information do you need to determine whether the world's population is increasing or decreasing? (You need to know the current annual birth and death rates to determine whether the world's population is growing or shrinking.)

MAKING INFERENCES: Are the most populous nations also the poorest? (None of the 10 most populous countries is on the list of the 10 poorest. However, poverty is a problem in several of the most populous countries in Asia.)

MAIN IDEA: According to the graph, how will the rate of population growth change after the year 2025? (The rate of population growth will slow down. From 2000 to 2025, the world population should increase by 1.8 billion, compared to the increase of 1.2 billion by 2050.)


CONTINENT SNAPSHOTS: Divide the class into six groups, and assign each group a continent to profile (excluding Antarctica). Instruct students to create their graphs and tables. For example, each group could create bar graphs showing which 10 countries on their continent have the highest gross domestic product, population figures, literacy rates, or largest area.



* Global connections: How the different characteristics of a nation, such as population size, geography, and life expectancy, affect the quality of life for its people.



* Kiernan, Denise, Great Graphs, Charts & Tables That Build Real-Life Math Skills (Scholastic, 2001). Grades 5-8,

* Priestly, Michael, Scholastic Success with Charts, Tables, and Graphs (Scholastic, 2002). Grades 5-6.


* UNESCO Institute for Statistics ev.php?URL_ID=2867&URL_ DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_ SECTION=201

* U.S. Census Bureau


1. Men

2. 34 years

3. Islam

4. Seven

5. 22

6. 55 deaths per 1,000 live births

7. Asia

8. 5.9 percent

9. $700

10. 7.9 billion
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Graphs and Charts
Publication:Junior Scholastic
Date:Oct 13, 2003
Previous Article:The world in focus: fast facts on 193 countries.
Next Article:Terms to know.

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