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GeoQ 07 – How has Australia's population structure changed over time?

Please note: This task can be completed by hand.
You can download this activity as a Word (.doc) file using the links at the bottom of the page.


Source: A Picture of the Nation: the Statistician's Report on the 2006 Census, 2006. (ABS cat. no. 2070.0)


1. Draw separate thumbnail sketches for 1901, 1956 and 2006 using the axes provided below.

2. Summarise the shape of each profile beside the thumbnail sketch. (Remember to add details about the top, bottom, height, shape of sides)

3. For which year is the Australian age structure shaped most like a triangle?

4. One of the profiles has a ‘waistline’ i.e. one or more age ranges where there are fewer people compared to the ages above and below it. Which profile displays this feature?

5. What ages are represented by this contraction or waistline?

6. Between which years would the people of this age have been born?

7. Suggest some reasons why fewer people were born in these years.

8. Use data from the diagram to illustrate how life expectancy has changed from 1901 to 2006.

9. Imagine that you are advising the government of the day in each of the three time periods 1901, 1956 and 2006. Study the profiles and decide which broad age groups will require most resources and identify the type of resources needed.


10. The change in the shape of the profiles seen above is typical of countries as they develop from a pre-industrial to modern industrialised societies. Explain this statement with reference to the diagram above.

(Word 106 KB)

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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