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Mapped: Each Region’s Median Age Since 1950

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Each region median age mapped

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Mapped: Each Region’s Median Age Since 1950

Over the last 70 years, the global population has gotten older. Since 1950, the worldwide median age has gone from 25 years to 33 years.

Yet, despite an overall increase globally, not all regions have aged at the same rate. For instance, Europe’s median age has grown by 14 years, while Africa’s has only increased by 1 year.

Today’s animated map uses data from the UN Population Index to highlight the changes in median age over the last 70 years, and to visualize the differences between each region. We also explain why some regions skew older than others.

Factors that Affect a Region’s Median Age

Before diving into the numbers, it’s important to understand the key factors that influence a region’s median age:

  1. Fertility Rate
    The average number of children that women give birth to in their reproductive years. The higher the fertility rate, the younger a population skews. Since 1950, the global fertility rate has dropped by 50%.
  2. Mortality Rate
    The number of deaths in a particular region, usually associated with a certain demographic or period in time. For example, global child mortality (children who have died under five years of age) has been on the decline, which has contributed to an increase in the average life expectancy across the globe.
  3. Migration
    International migration may lower a region’s population since migrants are usually younger or working age. In 2019, there were 272 million migrants globally.

The Change in Median Age

As mentioned, not all regions are created equal. Here’s how much the median age has changed in each region since 1950:

The Highs

Regions that have seen the most growth and generally skew older are Latin America, followed by Europe and Asia.

Interestingly, Asia’s notable increase is largely influenced by Japan, which has the oldest population on the planet. The country has seen a significant increase in median age since 1950—it’s gone from 22 to 48 years in 2020. This can be explained by its considerably low fertility rate, which is 1.4 births per woman—that’s less than half the global average.

But why is Japan’s fertility rate so low? There are more women in the workforce than ever before, and they are too busy to take on the burden of running a household. Yet, while women are more prosperous than ever, the workforce in general has taken a hit.

Japan’s recession in the early 1990s led to an increase in temporary jobs, which has had lasting effects on the region’s workforce—in 2019, about 1 in 5 men were working contract jobs with little stability or job growth.

The Lows

In contrast to Asia’s growth, Africa has seen the lowest increase in median age. The region’s population skews young, with over 60% of its population under the age of 25.

Africa’s young population can be explained by its high birth rate of 4.4 births per woman. It also has a relatively low life expectancy, at 65 years for women and 61 years for men. To put things into perspective, the average life expectancy across the globe is 75 years for women and 70 years for men.

Another trend worth noting is Oceania’s relatively small growth. It’s interesting because the region’s fertility rate is almost on par with the global average, at 2.4 births per woman, and the average life expectancy doesn’t differ much from the norm either.

The most likely reason for Oceania’s stagnant growth in median age is its high proportion of migrants. In 2019, the country had 8.9 million international migrants, which is 21% of its overall population. In contrast, migrants only make up 10% of North America’s population.

Unique Challenges for Every Region

Age composition has significant impacts on a region’s labor force, health services, and economic productivity.

Regions with a relatively high median age face several challenges such as shrinking workforce, higher taxes, and increasing healthcare costs. On the other end of the spectrum, regions with a younger population face increased demand for educational services and a lack of employment opportunities.

As our population worldwide continues to grow and age, it’s important to bring attention to issues that impact our global community. World Population Day on July 11, 2020, was established by the UN to try and solve worldwide population issues.

“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the world’s blueprint for a better future for all on a healthy planet. On World Population Day, we recognize that this mission is closely interrelated with demographic trends including population growth, aging, migration, and urbanization.”

– UN Secretary-General António Guterres

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Misc

Visualizing the Market Share of U.S. Soft Drinks

Dr Pepper tied Pepsi as America’s No. 2 soda in 2024.

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Line chart showing the change in market share of U.S. carbonated soft drinks between 1995 and 2023.

Visualizing the Market Share of U.S. Soft Drinks

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Soda, with its sweet flavors and refreshing carbonation, is one of the preferred drinks among Americans, especially kids, and is also a significant part of the beverage and food industry.

In fact, the U.S. soft drink market has seen increasing growth and is anticipated to reach $388 billion in annual sales by 2025.

In this graphic, we visualize the change in market share of U.S. carbonated soft drinks between 1995 and 2023, based on sales volume data from Beverage Digest, as tabulated by The Wall Street Journal. Figures are rounded.

Dr. Pepper Ties Pepsi as America’s No. 2 Soda in 2024

Coke has reigned for decades as the best-selling soft drink in the United States.

At 130 years old, Coke also is the most consumed soda in the world, with an estimated 1.9 billion servings across 200 countries. As a result, Coca-Cola is one of the world’s most valuable brands.

While Coke has maintained 17-20% market share since 1995, Pepsi has seen a drop from 15.0% in 1995 to 8.3% in 2023.

Pepsi was surpassed by Diet Coke at the end of the 2000s but regained the second position during the 2010s. In 2024, however, Pepsi saw Dr. Pepper tie it as America’s No. 2 soda.

Market Share of U.S. Soft Drinks1995200020052010201520202023
Coke20.8%20.2%17.6%17.5%18.7%19.5%19.2%
Dr. Pepper5.7%6.3%5.7%6.5%7.2%8.0%8.3%
Pepsi15.0%13.5%11.2%9.8%9.1%8.7%8.3%
Sprite5.1%6.6%5.7%5.8%6.6%7.8%8.1%
Diet Coke8.8%8.6%9.8%10.2%8.6%7.9%7.8%

Sprite and Diet Coke complete the list of best-selling soft drinks in the country, with 8.1% and 7.8% market shares, respectively. Combined, the three Coca-Cola brands (Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite) have 35% of the market.

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