This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at:

Thursday, January 1, 2015

What Was Hot in 2014?

As I do on New Year's Day each year, I have taken a look back at the most popular items in the past years. Who are the winners among the more than 300 that I posted in 2014, based on the number of hits on each one? Here they are:

1. By a wide margin, the biggest hit of 2014 was about the road to successful aging:

2. Migration lessons from the World Cup in Brazil came in second (I actually did a double-take remembering that the World Cup was this past year--a lot has happened since then):

3. Migration was also the topic of the third most popular post, although in this case it referenced the global migration flow maps put together by the Vienna Demographic Institute:

4. The rather sad story about the demographics of Puerto Rico was fourth on the list:

5. Aging was back in the spotlight for the fifth most popular post, which appeared on April 1st, but it was no April Fool's joke--it was about aging in Spain:

6. Only a few days later I posted a fairly lengthy piece on Russian demographics which are, in my opinion, important for our understanding of Putin's political maneuvering:

7.  My link to the Population Reference Bureau's 2014 World Population Data Sheet was seventh on the list, and I'm glad to see that it is still very popular. In the old days, it was one of those things that I always had in my briefcase, and I always required students to buy--"never leave home without it!" Now, you can "carry" it with you on your mobile device.

8.  The number of Muslims in India was eighth most hit upon. You could win a lot of bets at bars, I'm guessing, by asking people which country in the world has the second greatest number of Muslims (you might even win most of the time if you asked who was #1 in the category):

[Note--if you are into quizzes and have an iPhone or iPad, check out the PopQuizzes on my iPhone app--see above for the link, if you don't already have it]

9. I was in Copenhagen when I posted the ninth most popular item about the new surge out of Syria. Danes, like other Scandinavians, are very accepting people, although of course in a relatively small country there is only so much room for foreigners:

10. The tenth most popular story takes us back to the Indian sub-continent, to news that fertility in Pakistan is not declining as quickly as most demographers had projected:

While this is technically a look back, most of these stories will still be affecting us in 2015--as will the others that I have posted that didn't make the top ten list.

Happy New Year!


  1. Prof Weeks

    The two most surprising things to me about your blog in 2014 ...

    1. The complete lack of contributions by your own students - past and present. WHERE are they?? I do not suggest that you punish them for not providing feedback, though heaven knows .... they deserve a bowl of gruel for breakfast (Oliver Twist)!!! Perhaps you should offer them some incentive in 2015 if they read an article and comment on it?? Just a thought!

    2. Your own dogged persistence to share your views about Demographics and the World, when the most frequent commenter here is usually just ME - and I have never even taken a class in demographics!! Hahahahaha! Please keep up the great work. I am sure that when the famous artist Paul Gauguin made portraits of people in Tahiti - he had absolutely no idea if they would mean anything to the world at a later date. In the same way, your efforts as a "lone blogger" may eventually make a bigger impact than you suspect!!

    best wishes and Happy New Year,
    Pete, Redondo Beach, CA

    1. Hey, Pete. I really do appreciate your comments, which are always spot on. I don't do the blog to get comments, but I appreciate them when they come along. What I have seen from students (and heard from them) over the years, is that that these kinds of things light up the bulbs in their brain--helping them to see the world differently (and, I hope, with more understanding) than before. They don't need to tell me about it in this blog--I know that it's happening! Happy New Year!