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).

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Demographic Lessons from the World Cup

The FIFA World Cup of the "beautiful game" would, on the face of it, seem an unlikely event to have any demographic lessons. But the DHS program has stepped in with regular posts on its Facebook page about the demographics of countries playing in the World Cup. And Jason Hilton, writing for the blog Demotrends has a nice simulation model that attempts to predict the winner of the games (spoiler alert--no surprise--it's Brazil). Of course, as good demographers, we would not "predict" the outcome, but rather we would project it, using a Bayesian probabilistic model that assigns odds to each potential outcome. However, Jason correctly reminds us that the core set of statistics that demographers (and, of course, all of the sciences) use evolved originally from people who were attempting to understand games of chance--to predict who would win a game, or race, or in this case the World Cup.

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