Age Distribution One of the many aspects of population that geographers study is its age distribution—how many people fall into different age groups. They often show this information on population pyramids like the one in Figure 5.8. A country that has more young people is likely to experience higher population growth. A nation with more people in older age groups is likely to have a slower population growth. Canada’s population pyramid has a bulge in the middle. Its shape is like that of many industrialized countries. From 1946 to the mid-1960s, the number of births in these countries exploded. The Second World War had ended, and people were settling down to have large families. Many of these “baby boom” children are now in their fifties and sixties. Since most of them did not have big families, the generation coming after them is much smaller. In many non-industrialized countries, the situation is quite different. Many of these countries have a large number of young people and fewer elderly people. Dependency Load People under age 15 and over age 65 usually do not form part of the labour force. Geographers use the term dependency load to describe this segment of the population because these people depend on others for support. If a country’s dependency load is high, it places more of a burden on the working population. For example, working people may have to pay more taxes to meet the health care needs of the elderly and the schooling needs of the young. (As you will read in the next section, immigration and emigration rates can change this pattern.) Future Trends What will Canada’s population look like when you are an adult? The population pyramid in Figure 5.10 below, shows what our age distribution will look like in the future. When you compare it with the population pyramid for 2001 in Figure 5.8 above, you will notice some significant differences. Most important, the over-65 age group will be the fastest-growing population group in Canada in the next twenty years!