Modelling World Population Growth

How has the World's population been changing?

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Mathematical models are thrown about all over the place but they are often difficult to understand. They actually underpin a huge amount of research and development in our world and it it is great to have the chance to pursue them during the Maths Studies course. There are all kinds of things to model, but population growth is particularly topical at the moment. This is probably owing to the increasing ease with which the relevant statistics and infographics can be shared. This activity is a great, relevant example to use in class for mathematical modelling and there are lots of ways to pursue it.There is lots to follow here and more can be read about this exercise on To start with, watch the video below and see if you can describe how the population is changing over the time period shown.


A paragraph to explain what the aims of the activity are. This is useful for student and teacher and can be phrased equally. Stuff for teachers only is on the teacher notes page.


This activity starts with a paper based activity as shown below. The Filling the gaps activity sheet can be printed here.

Syllabus links

New - Section.....

Previous - Section....


Here follows an outline of what the task is. If students are not reading this page then the teacher will need to show and give this overview.

a bullet point outline of the activity

I did it my way!

As a practising maths teacher I know that most of us like to give activities our own little twist and do them 'our way'. It would be great to add a little collection of 'twists' from users. You can either add your twist to the comments section below or e-mail them directly to me at In time some of these twists may appear here....

For now I will just introduce a great activity we did to start with. look at the table below and try to fill in the missing gaps! This is terrific for encouraging discussion about different types of graph!


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