Study Questions

Chapter 2

The following data are taken from the Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. Its task is to provide the European Union with statistics at European level. See the following URL for more details:

Since the mid to late 1960s, many European countries have seen the rate of population growth begin to slow. This demographic shift has implications for younger age cohorts, as the smaller cohorts of younger persons who must bear the burden of pension and retirement costs for Europe's aging population. Data on the percentage of a country's population in 2007 that is above age 65 are presented below. (Note: throughout this exercise that answer may vary due to rounding).

Belgium 17.1 Germany 19.8 Norway 14.6
Czech Rep. 14.4 Greece 18.6 Portugal 17.3
Denmark 15.3 Ireland 11.1 Sweden 17.4
Finland 16.5 Lexembourg 14.0 Switzerland 16.2
France 16.2 Netherlands 14.5 U.K. 16.0
  1. Construct a frequency distribution for these countries using the following intervals as categories: <10-12%, 12.1-14%, 14.1-16%, 16.1-18%, >18.1%
  2. Using the frequency distribution that you constructed in Question #1, construct a cumulative frequency distribution using the same five categories.
  3. Next, construct a percentage distribution. This may seem like an odd request, given that our categories are percentages. However, what we want to know is what percent of cases fall within each of the five intervals that were listed in Question #1.
  4. Naturally, we are also interested in the cumulative percentage distribution. Construct this using your answer from Question #3.
  5. Summarize your results from Question #5. Be sure to address where particular countries fall within this distribution and whether countries that fall within the same interval share any commonalities that seem to be relevant.
  6. In reviewing your work thus far, suppose that you become convinced that the intervals defined in Question #1 are too broad. Suppose instead that we consider the following intervals: <12%, 12.0%-12.9%, 13.0-13.9%...and so on. Construct the appropriate frequency distribution for these data.
  7. Considering your answer from Question #6, how many countries have between 14% and 18% of their population over the age of 65?
  8. Construct a cumulative frequency distribution using your answer from Question #6. Use this to confirm your answer to Question #7.
  9. Considering your answer from Question #6, what percentage of countries has between 14% and 18% of their population over the age of 65?