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DEMOGRAPHICS - Population Distribution in Hawai`i
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The demographic structure of a population can be summarized by a population pyramid showing the distribution of people by age and gender. The sum of all age and gender groups equals 100 percent of the population.

A classic "pyramid" shape describes a young population with many infants and few elderly. A "pillar" shape corresponds to a more mature population with more even distributions of individuals across age groups. Events such as wars, baby booms, or periods of high in/out migration can affect the age/gender structure significantly. This structure also predicts effects in a population. For example, if a population pyramid shows a bulge in the 10-19 age group, a major population boom can be predicted over the next decade or two when this age group enters the child-bearing years. In later years, such a bulge could also be expected to account for increased numbers of elderly. The baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) constitute such a bulge in the population pyramid.

Evaluating the population structure using population pyramids aids our understanding of demographic shifts impacting the demand for and geographic distribution of health care services and the ability of working adults to support dependent populations.


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