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age and sex structure

  The composition of a population according to age and/or sex. These universal characteristics of human populations are fundamental to understanding demographic processes of fertility, mortality and migration. Age composition is often summarized in terms of age groups — e.g. 0-15 years, 15-64, and 65 or over: the sex ratio is most commonly expressed as the number of males per 100 females. Characteristics of both age and sex may be expressed in the population pyramid and may vary markedly both among and within countries. Age and sex structures reflect past demographic behaviour, give some indication of likely future trends and are of great significance in, for example, social policy. (PEO)

Suggested Reading Daugherty, H.G. and Kammeyer, K.C.W. 1995: An introduction to population, 2nd edn. New York and London: The Guilford Press, ch. 5. Petersen, W. 1975: Population, 3rd edn. New York and London: Collier-Macmillan, ch. 3.



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