Parallel Computing in the Computer Science Curriculum > Workshops > SIGCSE 2012 > SIGCSE 2012 > Human Demographics

Human Demographics

This page authored by Scott Cooper, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, based on an original activity by Ginger Booth, Yale University.
Author Profile

This activity has undergone a peer review process.

This activity has undergone a peer review process by which submitted activities are compared to a set of criteria. Activities meeting or revised to meet these criteria have been added to the collection. To learn more about the review criteria, see []. More information about the peer review process can be found at [].

This page first made public: Jan 16, 2007

This material was originally created for Starting Point:Introductory Geology
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.


In this biology simulation students explore factors that change human population growth including age at which women begin to bear children, fertility rate and death rate. Simulations are provided for seven countries including the USA, China, Egypt, Germany, Italy, India and Mexico. There are also accompanying questions that walk students through some interesting scenarios.

Learning Goals

Context for Use

This would be most effective as an out of class assignment, although it could be adapted for a laboratory.

Description and Teaching Materials

Students are given a worksheet that walks them through several activities using a human demographics simulator. You could assign individual questions, or the entire worksheet to students.

Information is provided on seven different countries, and two simulations are shown on the page, one with the original parameters, and the second with the new parameters entered by the students. Thus students can make comparisons between countries, and within a country in response to changes in a parameter. Human Demographics Worksheet (Microsoft Word 143kB Jul25 06)

Teaching Notes and Tips

Students will need a good background in populations, reading population pyramids, and fertility and mortality rates.


There are multiple questions on the worksheet that could be used in formative or summative assessment.

References and Resources

MERLOT description of the Human Demographics website that contains the java simulation used in this activity.