Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Thesis (UNI Access Only)


United States--Statistics, Vital; United States--Population; Age--Statistics; Regionalism--United States;


One of the most important changes in a population with a declining rate of growth is that which involves regional differentiation in the age structure of a country. However, studying just the changes in the age structure of a country does not give a clear picture of the internal changes in age structure. The statistics required in determining the age structure for the country are simply averages. This means that there are some regions with higher rates of change and some regions with lower rates of change in age structure than what is shown for the entire country. This study seeks to analyze the regional variations that existed in the age structure of the United States from 1870 to 1970.

In order to show regional variations in the age structure of the United States, this thesis used two visual methods. The first involved making charts which showed the actual births by ten year intervals and the average median ages for the states within each of the nine regions. The nine regions were based on the areal divisions established by the United States Bureau of the Census.

The second method involved the making of graphs for the age structure of each region. Cohorts of five year intervals were used to show the percentage breakdown of the population. Another graphic method divided the population up into the following age cohorts--0-14; 15-34; 35-64; and 65 or older. This graph showed the percentage of people in the very young, young adult, older adult, and aged for the population of each region. The last graphic method used showed the degree of urbanization at each ten-year interval as it changed throughout the period from 1870 to 1970.

The data for the graphs and charts came from the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth census reports of the United States under the subject area entitled "Population-Characteristics of the Population". Some of the information included in the text and graphs was not included in the actual census reports, so it had to be computed to the necessary numbers or percentages needed in the study of regional variations in age cohorts for the United States.

The findings in this thesis showed that regional variations in age structure did definitely exist in the earlier periods and then became similar as the ten year periods got closer to 1970. The degree of urbanization within each region increased throughout the time period; however, there existed relative degrees of differences in their birth, death, and migration rates. It can then be concluded that as the age structures developed more similarities, the differences in age structure created by a larger population in each region will not be as varied as in the previous years. In the future, all areas will have increasing percentages in the aged, a high percentage of workers due to the high birth rate years of the forties and fifties, and a smaller percentage of young people due to a decline in the birth rates during the sixties.

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Geography

First Advisor

Basheer K. Nijim

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 190 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download