Gapminder-The World's Database
Ever since the innovation in technology allowed the world to be more socially connected, databases and softwares were created to track trends in the demographics of countries. Gapminder is a visual database which portrays and compares trends in countries and is available to almost any individual in the world who has access to the internet.
The site literally consists of an animated scatter plot which attains circles representing countries, and the axis which have options such as economy, population etc. which can be compared with one another to show relationships between many variables. The circles representing the countries are detailed due to being coloured representing different regions and sized representing the population of countries.
In a recent gapminder endeavour, I compared the percentage of population increase in countries with the percentage of adult literacy rate. In the beginning of the investigation, I assumed that countries with lower literacy rates would have a higher annual population increase; however, despite my somewhat logical assumption, gapminder proved otherwise.
The first figure demonstrates trends between countries in the year 1985. India and China are known to be the most populated countries in the world; however, their literacy rates are not as low as I assumed they would be due to the population size. My assumption was based on the fact that since individuals are not able to access a proper education, they are unaware of the consequences of having large families; therefore, would be more likely to attain larger families than countries with higher literacy rates. The database proves that in high populated countries, it is not always the case because despite India and China's large populations, the percentage of their annual population increase and adult literacy rate seems to be rather constant. Even countries at the very bottom of the y-axis (low adult literacy rate) seem to have a steady population increase; therefore, the fact that literacy rate may influence how a country's population sustains itself, does not apply in this situation.
As the years go by and come to 2007, gapminder shows the most recent statistics in these two trends. Despite there being more innovations and discoveries, the population trends and literacy rate proves to have stayed consistent in many countries.
The last image shows the tracking of trends in China, India, Burkina Faso and Qatar. Despite the steady population percentage and literacy rate increase in countries like China and India, Qatar which started at a high literacy rate shows drastic increases in population percentage; therefore, again proving the idea that a country's literacy rate may not be as influential on how its population is sustained. Burkina Faso does not show a tremendous increase in population percentage; however, does seem to show an upward trend in literacy rate.
In conclusion, after this investigation, I was surprised to find that literacy rate may not entirely impact the increase or decrease in a country's population. Consistency in a country's population is a cycle which is started when individuals are born around the same time and grow to have their own children around the same time. Literacy rates will improve and may not be as consistent as more people try to pursue an education to attain a better future for themselves and their children. In the end, unless there is a massive boom in a population, it will remain steady; however as country's develop, trends in variables such as literacy rates will continue to rise.