Population Education, December 2023

Written by Pamela Wasserman, Senior Vice President for Education | Published: December 11, 2023

New Interactive Poster Kits Just Released

This fall, PopEd published two new resources to grace classroom walls. Our updated World Population Map depicts countries by their population size, rather than by their land area. This new cartogram represents the global population at 8 billion, using the latest data from the UN Population Division, with each colored square on the map grid representing one million people.

Classroom activities and an introductory reading help students understand this type of map and how it can be useful in interpreting population trends.

Also hot off the press is our double-sided poster, A Quick Trip to 8 Billion. One side is a timeline of milestones (events, movements, and inventions) that have influenced global population trends over the past two centuries. These milestones are divided into five topic categories: people and society, food and agriculture, health and wellness, science and technology, and the environment. These are the same categories featured on the interactive timeline at WorldPopulationHistory.org, where teachers can find a PDF of the poster and accompanying teaching resources.

The other side of the poster has 20+ infographics showing recent trends in population, urbanization, migration, deforestation, biodiversity, carbon emissions, child and maternal mortality, and more. Some of these graphics are a snapshot in time, like how many people live in water-stressed conditions today. Others compare trends when we were at 4 billion people (in 1974) to today’s 8 billion people. While these graphics indicate much progress has been made in human well-being over the past half-century, they also illustrate newer challenges that threaten our health and environment.

There are new activities to help students explore all of the information on this poster, in addition to QR codes that take them to a page on our website describing ways to make a difference on many of the challenges that the poster highlights.

Folded versions of both posters are distributed free in many of our teacher workshops. They are also available in different formats through our PopEd store.