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What's New Who's Online? Member Login x. Natural hazards : This entry lists potential natural disasters. For countries where volcanic activity is common, a volcanism subfield highlights historically active volcanoes. Environment - current issues : This entry lists the most pressing and important environmental problems. The following terms and abbreviations are used throughout the entry: Acidification - the lowering of soil and water pH due to acid precipitation and deposition usually through precipitation; this process disrupts ecosystem nutrient flows and may kill freshwater fish and plants dependent on more neutral or alkaline conditions see acid rain.
Acid rain - characterized as containing harmful levels of sulfur dioxi. Environment - international agreements : This entry separates country participation in international environmental agreements into two levels - party to and signed, but not ratified. Agreements are listed in alphabetical order by the abbreviated form of the full name.
Geography - note : This entry includes miscellaneous geographic information of significance not included elsewhere. People and Society :: New Zealand.
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Population : This entry gives an estimate from the US Bureau of the Census based on statistics from population censuses, vital statistics registration systems, or sample surveys pertaining to the recent past and on assumptions about future trends. The total population presents one overall measure of the potential impact of the country on the world and within its region. Note: Starting with the Factbook, demographic estimates for some countries mostly African have explicitly taken into account t.
Nationality : This entry provides the identifying terms for citizens - noun and adjective. Ethnic groups : This entry provides an ordered listing of ethnic groups starting with the largest and normally includes the percent of total population. European Languages : This entry provides a listing of languages spoken in each country and specifies any that are official national or regional languages.
When data is available, the languages spoken in each country are broken down according to the percent of the total population speaking each language as a first language. For those countries without available data, languages are listed in rank order based on prevalence, starting with the most-spoken language. English de facto official Religions : This entry is an ordered listing of religions by adherents starting with the largest group and sometimes includes the percent of total population. The core characteristics and beliefs of the world's major religions are described below.
Baha'i - Founded by Mirza Husayn-Ali known as Baha'u'llah in Iran in , Baha'i faith emphasizes monotheism and believes in one eternal transcendent God. Its guiding focus is to encourage the unity of all peoples on the earth so that justice and peace m. Christian Age structure : This entry provides the distribution of the population according to age. Information is included by sex and age group as follows: years children , years early working age , years prime working age , years mature working age , 65 years and over elderly.
The age structure of a population affects a nation's key socioeconomic issues. Countries with young populations high percentage under age 15 need to invest more in schools, while countries with older population. This is the population pyramid for New Zealand. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right.
The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page under the References tab.
Dependency ratios : Dependency ratios are a measure of the age structure of a population. They relate the number of individuals that are likely to be economically "dependent" on the support of others.
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Changes in the dependency ratio provide an indication of potential social support requirements resulting from changes in population age structures. As fertility leve. Median age : This entry is the age that divides a population into two numerically equal groups; that is, half the people are younger than this age and half are older.
It is a single index that summarizes the age distribution of a population. Currently, the median age ranges from a low of about 15 in Niger and Uganda to 40 or more in several European countries and Japan. See the entry for "Age structure" for the importance of a young versus an older age structure and, by implication, a low versus a high.
Population growth rate : The average annual percent change in the population, resulting from a surplus or deficit of births over deaths and the balance of migrants entering and leaving a country. The rate may be positive or negative. The growth rate is a factor in determining how great a burden would be imposed on a country by the changing needs of its people for infrastructure e. Rapid population growth can be seen as.
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Birth rate : This entry gives the average annual number of births during a year per 1, persons in the population at midyear; also known as crude birth rate. The birth rate is usually the dominant factor in determining the rate of population growth. It depends on both the level of fertility and the age structure of the population. Death rate : This entry gives the average annual number of deaths during a year per 1, population at midyear; also known as crude death rate. The death rate, while only a rough indicator of the mortality situation in a country, accurately indicates the current mortality impact on population growth.
This indicator is significantly affected by age distribution, and most countries will eventually show a rise in the overall death rate, in spite of continued decline in mortality at all ages, as declining. Net migration rate : This entry includes the figure for the difference between the number of persons entering and leaving a country during the year per 1, persons based on midyear population.
An excess of persons entering the country is referred to as net immigration e.
The net migration rate indicates the contribution of migration to the overall level of population chan. Urbanization : This entry provides two measures of the degree of urbanization of a population. The first, urban population, describes the percentage of the total population living in urban areas, as defined by the country. The second, rate of urbanization, describes the projected average rate of change of the size of the urban population over the given period of time. For example. Major urban areas - population : This entry provides the population of the capital and up to six major cities defined as urban agglomerations with populations of at least , people.
An urban agglomeration is defined as comprising the city or town proper and also the suburban fringe or thickly settled territory lying outside of, but adjacent to, the boundaries of the city. For smaller countries, lacking urban centers of , or more, only the population of the capital is presented. Sex ratio : This entry includes the number of males for each female in five age groups - at birth, under 15 years, years, 65 years and over, and for the total population.
Sex ratio at birth has recently emerged as an indicator of certain kinds of sex discrimination in some countries. For instance, high sex ratios at birth in some Asian countries are now attributed to sex-selective abortion and infanticide due to a strong preference for sons.