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Population Pyramid Data and R Script for the US, States, and Counties 1970 - 2017

Resource Type
Dataset : census/enumeration data
  • Rosenheim, Nathanael (Texas A&M University)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
Population; demographic characteristics; rstudio
  • Abstract

    Population pyramids provide a way to visualize the age and sex composition of a geographic region, such as a nation, state, or county. A standard population pyramid divides sex into two bar charts or histograms, one for the male population and one for the female population. The two charts mirror each other and are divide age into 5-year cohorts. The shape of a population pyramid provides insights into a region’s fertility, mortality, and migration patterns. When a region has high fertility and mortality, but low migration the visualization will look like a pyramid, with the youngest age cohort (0-4 years) representing the largest percent of the population and each older cohort representing a progressively smaller percent of the population.

    In many regions fertility and mortality have decreased significantly since 1970, as people live longer and women have fewer children. With lower fertility and mortality, population pyramids are shaped more like a pillar.

    While population pyramids can be made for any geographic region, when interpreting population pyramids for smaller areas (like counties) the most important force that shapes the pyramid is often in- and out-migration (Wang and vom Hofe, 2006, p. 65). For smaller regions, population pyramids can have unique shapes.

    This data archive provides the resources needed to generate population pyramids for the United States, individual states, and any county within the United States. Population pyramids usually require significant data cleaning and graph making skills to generate one pyramid. With this data archive the data cleaning has been completed and the R script provides reusable code to quickly generate graphs. The final output is an image file with six graphs on one page. The final layout makes it easy to compare changes in population age and sex composition for any state and any county in the US for 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2017.
Temporal Coverage
  • 1970-01-01 / 2017-12-31
    Time Period: Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1970--Sun Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2017 (1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, 2017)
Geographic Coverage
  • States
  • Counties
  • United States
Sampled Universe
The United States, State level, and County Level Population totals by 5 year age cohorts and genderSmallest Geographic Unit: County
  • Cites
    URL: (Dataset)
  • Cites
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-49658-8 (Text)
  • National Cancer Institute, DCCPS, Surveillance Research Program. “County-Level Population Files - 19 Age Groups - 1969-2017 White, Black, Other Adjusted.” Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER), December 2018.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Wang, Xinhao, and Rainer vom Hofe. Research Methods in Urban and Regional Planning. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2007.
    • ID: 10.1007/978-3-540-49658-8 (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2020-01-23 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2020-01-23

Rosenheim, Nathanael (2020): Population Pyramid Data and R Script for the US, States, and Counties 1970 - 2017. Version: 2. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.