Aug 252012

Gapminder is a wonderful resource for an overview of all manner of things geographic. The link below will take a few minutes to load, but should then show how Mexico’s GDP/person (on a purchasing power parity basis) and life expectancy have changed since 1800. The size of the yellow circle for each year is proportional to Mexico’s total population, with a scale that can be user-modified at the bottom right of the graph. Hover your mouse over a circle for the year to be identified.

The early figures for GDP/person are unlikely to be very reliable, but once we reach the 20th century, the figures are based on better assumptions and data. After falls in GDP/person and life expectancy in the early stages of the Mexican Revolution (which began in 1910), both variables increased steadily until about 1926. While life expectancy has continued to rise since then, with the occasional dip, GDP/person shows some obvious “blips” such as the early 1950s when it fell quite sharply.

It is interesting to play with the chart and look at how GDP/person and life expectancy have changed for other countries.

To do this:

  1. Select one or more countries by clicking on them [each country is identified when your mouse hovers over it]
  2. Use the slider at the bottom of the chart to select the time period of interest
  3. Sit back and prepare to get engrossed in the world of Gapminder!

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