Population

economic-dictionary

The population is the set of people or animals of the same species that are found at a given time and place.

That is, although the word population is usually more used to refer to a human community, it can also apply to other animals.

It should be noted that one can speak of populations of countries, localities or any geographical delimitation with political autonomy. Thus, knowing the population of a city is important, for example, to know how many people are entitled to cast their vote.

It is worth mentioning that the science that studies human populations is called demography, analyzing how they are distributed and how they evolve over time.

population characteristics

Among the characteristics of a population are:

  • It is a group that is constantly evolving. Its older individuals will pass away, while new members of the group will be born. Thus, depending on the birth and death rates, the average age of the population could go up or down.
  • An individual can belong to one population and another at the same time. For example, those who are part of the population of Lisbon are also part of the Portuguese population.
  • The populations are studied from statistics, from which they seek to find certain indicators such as the average life expectancy.

Population in statistics

In statistics, to study populations (especially if they are very large) a sample is usually taken. That is, a subgroup of the target population is selected and they are given a survey or test.

For the conclusions of the study to be reliable, the sample must have the same characteristics as the population.In other words, if the mean age of the population is 25 years, that must also be the mean of the sample.

Population types

We can distinguish two types of population:

  • Absolute: Refers to the total number of individuals living in a geographic area. For example, the 30 million inhabitants of Peru.
  • Relative: Refers to population density. That is, it refers to how many people live per square meter. Thus, you can compare the data of two countries or cities to find out which one has the highest concentration of people.

Active population

The active population is an economic magnitude that is defined as the number of people of working age in a territory.

The individuals in this group have a paid job or aspire to access one. That is, if they are unemployed, they are looking for a job.

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