My previous example of an animated population pyramid for Ireland relied on data from Censuses in Ireland. The Census has generally been held every ten or five years in Ireland. My latest example relies on mid-year annual population estimates from the CSO, covering 1950 to 2009.
You can download the animation (a pdf file 226Kb) from
You can view the file in your browser, and it can also be saved locally as a pdf file. The animation should work in recent versions of Acrobat Reader.
A number of basic features in the changing population structure emerge, I think, fairly readily from running the animation forward (maybe others will spot a lot more):
- Most obviously, overall population growth, as the pyramid takes more real estate on screen
- The missing young people in the 1950s and 1960s as the large numbers of young children don’t stay around long enough to be young adults/adults, so that the distribution is pinched.
- A bit of a reversal of that by the time the early 1970s come along as emigration decreases and indeed we experience net immigration (mainly returned migrants).
- The return of emgration in the 1980s, again reflected in the age structure as young people leave, and so e.g., the age group 15-19 doesn’t transition so readily into 20-24.
- A big impact on age groups 25+ from immigration post 2004 or so
- Absolute increases in older age groups (a percentage version of this graphic would probably work well to bring out proportions) and the systematically higher life expectancy of women at the upper age groups
In any event, a useful way of introducing some of the basic patterns in the data.