A set of maps in the Urban Observatory collection makes the study of the patterns of the age structure of the population quick and powerful. Two maps, Youth Population around the Globe, and Senior Population around the Globe are particularly useful in courses and units focusing on demographics, space, and place. On the youth (grouped typically as 14 and under for most countries with a few exceptions) map, areas with more than 33% youth are highlighted with a dark red shading while a dot representation reveals the number of seniors and their distribution in bright red. Areas with more than 10% seniors (age 60 and over for most countries, with a few exceptions) are highlighted with a dark red shading while a dot representation reveals the number of seniors and their distribution in bright red.
This dataset is comprised of multiple sources. All of the demographic data are from the Esri Business Partner Michael Bauer Research with the exception of nine countries. The maps are presented as map services, which means you can add them as layers to your existing maps of other themes, such as birth rates, growth rates, and life expectancies by country. This, along with the dynamic environment that ArcGIS Online is, allows for great flexibility in your investigations.
There are many ways to teach with these maps and I look forward to hearing how you are incorporating this into your courses, or plan to do so. But in the meantime, one way you can teach with these maps is to compare selected youth and seniors in selected cities, at the same scale. In some rural areas, a higher incidence of youth gives a clue to the presence of college towns and military bases. In others, such as the southeast coast of Florida, the presence of retirement communities makes the senior map quite bright indeed.
In cities, patterns of international migration and country growth rate become evident. For example, examining the map below showing the distribution of youth in Lagos, Nigeria can be contrasted with the same map at the same scale at the location of Tokyo, Japan, underneath it. The higher growth rate in Lagos and throughout Nigeria is reflected in the higher incidence of youth there than in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan. The pattern and number of the senior population is much higher in Tokyo than in Lagos. Within some cities, the pattern of seniors reflects retirement high-rises and neighborhoods, such as in southeast Denver, Colorado, USA.
Below is the map of youth in Tokyo, Japan:
Below is the map showing seniors in Lagos, Nigeria:
Below is the map showing seniors in Tokyo, Japan:
I encourage you to begin investigating these powerful web maps today.