Interact

Example: Population Trends

We are now ready to work with large tables of data. The file below contains “Annual Estimates of the Resident Population by Single Year of Age and Sex for the United States.” Notice that read_table can read data directly from a URL.

# As of Jan 2017, this census file is online here: 
data = 'http://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/popest/datasets/2010-2015/national/asrh/nc-est2015-agesex-res.csv'

# A local copy can be accessed here in case census.gov moves the file:
# data = path_data + 'nc-est2015-agesex-res.csv'

full_census_table = Table.read_table(data)
full_census_table
SEX AGE CENSUS2010POP ESTIMATESBASE2010 POPESTIMATE2010 POPESTIMATE2011 POPESTIMATE2012 POPESTIMATE2013 POPESTIMATE2014 POPESTIMATE2015
0 0 3944153 3944160 3951330 3963087 3926540 3931141 3949775 3978038
0 1 3978070 3978090 3957888 3966551 3977939 3942872 3949776 3968564
0 2 4096929 4096939 4090862 3971565 3980095 3992720 3959664 3966583
0 3 4119040 4119051 4111920 4102470 3983157 3992734 4007079 3974061
0 4 4063170 4063186 4077551 4122294 4112849 3994449 4005716 4020035
0 5 4056858 4056872 4064653 4087709 4132242 4123626 4006900 4018158
0 6 4066381 4066412 4073013 4074993 4097605 4142916 4135930 4019207
0 7 4030579 4030594 4043046 4083225 4084913 4108349 4155326 4148360
0 8 4046486 4046497 4025604 4053203 4093177 4095711 4120903 4167887
0 9 4148353 4148369 4125415 4035710 4063152 4104072 4108349 4133564

... (296 rows omitted)

Only the first 10 rows of the table are displayed. Later we will see how to display the entire table; however, this is typically not useful with large tables.

a description of the table appears online. The SEX column contains numeric codes: 0 stands for the total, 1 for male, and 2 for female. The AGE column contains ages in completed years, but the special value 999 is a sum of the total population. The rest of the columns contain estimates of the US population.

Typically, a public table will contain more information than necessary for a particular investigation or analysis. In this case, let us suppose that we are only interested in the population changes from 2010 to 2014. Let us select the relevant columns.

partial_census_table = full_census_table.select('SEX', 'AGE', 'POPESTIMATE2010', 'POPESTIMATE2014')
partial_census_table
SEX AGE POPESTIMATE2010 POPESTIMATE2014
0 0 3951330 3949775
0 1 3957888 3949776
0 2 4090862 3959664
0 3 4111920 4007079
0 4 4077551 4005716
0 5 4064653 4006900
0 6 4073013 4135930
0 7 4043046 4155326
0 8 4025604 4120903
0 9 4125415 4108349

... (296 rows omitted)

We can also simplify the labels of the selected columns.

us_pop = partial_census_table.relabeled('POPESTIMATE2010', '2010').relabeled('POPESTIMATE2014', '2014')
us_pop
SEX AGE 2010 2014
0 0 3951330 3949775
0 1 3957888 3949776
0 2 4090862 3959664
0 3 4111920 4007079
0 4 4077551 4005716
0 5 4064653 4006900
0 6 4073013 4135930
0 7 4043046 4155326
0 8 4025604 4120903
0 9 4125415 4108349

... (296 rows omitted)

We now have a table that is easy to work with. Each column of the table is an array of the same length, and so columns can be combined using arithmetic. Here is the change in population between 2010 and 2014.

us_pop.column('2014') - us_pop.column('2010')
array([  -1555,   -8112, -131198, ...,    6443,   12950, 4693244])

Let us augment us_pop with a column that contains these changes, both in absolute terms and as percents relative to the value in 2010.

change = us_pop.column('2014') - us_pop.column('2010')
census = us_pop.with_columns(
    'Change', change,
    'Percent Change', change/us_pop.column('2010')
)
census.set_format('Percent Change', PercentFormatter)
SEX AGE 2010 2014 Change Percent Change
0 0 3951330 3949775 -1555 -0.04%
0 1 3957888 3949776 -8112 -0.20%
0 2 4090862 3959664 -131198 -3.21%
0 3 4111920 4007079 -104841 -2.55%
0 4 4077551 4005716 -71835 -1.76%
0 5 4064653 4006900 -57753 -1.42%
0 6 4073013 4135930 62917 1.54%
0 7 4043046 4155326 112280 2.78%
0 8 4025604 4120903 95299 2.37%
0 9 4125415 4108349 -17066 -0.41%

... (296 rows omitted)

Sorting the data. Let us sort the table in decreasing order of the absolute change in population.

census.sort('Change', descending=True)
SEX AGE 2010 2014 Change Percent Change
0 999 309346863 318907401 9560538 3.09%
1 999 152088043 156955337 4867294 3.20%
2 999 157258820 161952064 4693244 2.98%
0 67 2693707 3485241 791534 29.38%
0 64 2706055 3487559 781504 28.88%
0 66 2621335 3347060 725725 27.69%
0 65 2678525 3382824 704299 26.29%
0 71 1953607 2519705 566098 28.98%
0 34 3822189 4364748 542559 14.19%
0 23 4217228 4702156 484928 11.50%

... (296 rows omitted)

Not surprisingly, the top row of the sorted table is the line that corresponds to the entire population: both sexes and all age groups. From 2010 to 2014, the population of the United States increased by about 9.5 million people, a change of just over 3%.

The next two rows correspond to all the men and all the women respectively. The male population grew more than the female population, both in absolute and percentage terms. Both percent changes were around 3%.

Now take a look at the next few rows. The percent change jumps from about 3% for the overall population to almost 30% for the people in their late sixties and early seventies. This stunning change contributes to what is known as the greying of America.

By far the greatest absolute change was among those in the 64-67 agegroup in 2014. What could explain this large increase? We can explore this question by examining the years in which the relevant groups were born.

  • Those who were in the 64-67 age group in 2010 were born in the years 1943 to 1946. The attack on Pearl Harbor was in late 1941, and by 1942 U.S. forces were heavily engaged in a massive war that ended in 1945.

  • Those who were 64 to 67 years old in 2014 were born in the years 1947 to 1950, at the height of the post-WWII baby boom in the United States.

The post-war jump in births is the major reason for the large changes that we have observed.