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Regional population structures at a glance

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21 July 2018

Diversity in population age structures is all too easily hidden behind national averages. Today every country in Europe faces the challenges of demographic ageing to some degree. Yet, the severity of the issue varies substantially by region, city, or even urban district.

Using ternary colour coding and low-level administrative data Ilya Kashnitsky (NIDI) and Jonas Schöley (University of Southern Denmark) produced a detailed snapshot of the regional age structures across Europe. For each region the map shows the percentages of young, working-age and elderly population and how this composition compares to the European average.

 

Colour-coded map of population structures in European Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics 3 regions in 2015

Colour-coded map of population structures in European Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics 3 regions in 2015

In this paper an innovative data visualization technique – ternary colour coding – was used in which the data speak colours. The authors use the technique to spotlight the issue of population ageing in Europe focusing on regional differences. Demographic history of a population is imprinted in its age structure. The map tells numerous demographic stories – at a glance.

Reproducibility: Replication materials are on github. The paper can be easily reproduced in a couple of minutes using R.

The map in high resolution and computer monitor colors: https://i.imgur.com/OFFShqF.png

Citation of the paper:

Kashnitsky, I. & Schöley, J. (2018),
Regional population structures at a glance. The Lancet 392 (10143): 209-210. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31194-2

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