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 13th (it will be out in January 2020), 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.

You can download an iPhone app for the 13th edition from the App Store (search for Weeks Population).

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

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The New Nation of South Sudan

Today was the first day of reality for the nation of South Sudan, which came into being as a result of a "divorce" (as the BBC calls it) from the rest of the nation of Sudan. This followed a vote for secession that took place this past January, which I noted at the time was itself the result of a peace agreement made back in 2005.

The population of the new country is estimated to be somewhere between 7.5 and 9.7 million, and it is described by everyone as one of the poorest nation's in the world, although it does have oil reserves, and apparently has been getting some direct foreign investment from China. However, there are still rebel groups working in the new nation, so it will probably have a rocky start to life, hampered by very low levels of literacy, and very high rates of infant and maternal mortality.

BBC News has a nice set of maps with data from the Demographic & Health Surveys (DHS) and other sources that do a nice job of orienting you to South Sudan, with comparisons to the new, now slightly-less-populous-than-before Republic of Sudan.

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