When fertility is high the age structure of the population resembles a broad-based pyramid with a large percentage of children compared to the working age population that supports them, as in the example of Uganda in the pyramid on the right. This makes it difficult for families to save money and to invest in the health and education of each child. As fertility declines the age structure changes to one where there may be 2 or 3 people of working age to support each child, as in the example of Thailand in pyramid on the left. This creates an opportunity for savings and investment that is called the ‘demographic dividend’. It was an important factor in the rapid economic growth of many Asian countries.
Countries that have experienced high fertility in the past have a very young population. Even if the total fertility rate dropped to replacement level immediately the population would continue to grow for 40 or 50 years. This happens because as today’s young people mature and enter their reproductive year the number of women of fertile age will continue to grow. As a result the number of births will remain much larger than deaths and the population will continue to grow until the population pyramid becomes more even.
The purpose of this application is to display calculated indicator results for all countries generated by Spectrum. We hope to expand this application in the future to include additional Spectrum modules and results.