Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pre Release Question 5

Question 5
Q5) In the 1880s the population did not change at all. How could this be explained ?

A5) This has been an interesting question to consider.

To begin with we went through some of the possible reasons:
- declining birth rate
- increasing death rate
- conflict
- disease
- dramatic out migration

None of these by themselves seemed to be enough.
  • The Boer War was too late, and in any case there was not a large troop deployment in the millions for this conflict
  • There were no major disease outbreaks at the time. Flu pandemics were earlier or later
  • There was no evidence of particular demographic change in the 1880s
But could it be that the graph on the resource is not accurate ?
Some figures from other sources suggest that there WAS an increase in the population during the 1880s

Investigate 2 other sources of Census data and see whether the graph was correct.

It's worth remembering that with all data sources you need to be CRITICAL: question their accuracy and whether you can believe them. Whenever there is only ONE source you need to be certain that they are accurate.

Thanks to members of the SLN community for their helpful suggestions.

Also check out the STATS4SCHOOLS website for some interesting ideas and activities in this area.

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