Population Explorer™ for Social Sciences

Posted by India Young on July 27, 2018

Can you begin to imagine the many ways population data are used in social sciences? The possibilities are endless. Social Sciences are focused on the social and health science disciplines such as economics, geography, anthropology, and sociology. Curious about a population affected by disease outbreak? or maybe you want to map the populations that live within a specific cultural territory or impoverished zone?  The Population ExplorerTM application offers an interactive-mapping tool that is straightforward and based on the most accurate, validated, and current demographic data available.

       Below we delve into how our data are used in social sciences. 

Social Sciences (1)

Social scientists find relevance and importance in using data markers to connect the dots of human behavior in logical ways that improve our understanding of society and provide essential information-driven observations to decision-makers. - U.S. Census Bureau 2018

Population Explorer’s proprietary software offers the social sciences sector voluminous opportunities to access critical, current, and compelling population statistics. We source data derived from National Bureaus of Statistics and the US Census Bureau International Program as well as remote sensing for validation. Population ExplorerTM  provides accurate data on populations, living in even the most remote parts of the world. The data is made available with a few clicks of the mouse using the Population ExplorerTM application. We especially pride ourselves on making our application and data available to non-profits and educational institutions through a highly-discounted pricing model. Below we cover different subject areas where the Population ExplorerTM  application is particularly valuable to the social sciences sector.       



Demography and the social sciences are intertwined. Demography refers to the observed, statistical, and mathematical study of human populations, and is focused on the aspects of size, distribution, and composition (Mayhew, 2015). Sociology, in particular is laden with opportunities to compare population data with social variables. In fact, the intersection of demography and sociology was coined "social demography" in the 1970's (Hirschman and Tolnay, 2005). In general, sociology in concerned with studying the demographic variables like fertility, mortality, migration, age, and gender. A more specific discipline of "population studies" focuses on comparing theories and hypotheses from other science disciplines and synthesizing these data with population data (Hirschman and Tolnay, 2005).

Our population and demographic statistics are used across the sociology research sector including post-secondary learners. Within the field of sociology, there are many overlapping disciplines where the Population ExplorerTM  application can be used to answer demographic questions. For example, researchers work to answer questions about population and changing racial identities, population, and relationship behavior, or criminology and demographics. Below we see a map of Belfast, UK in Northern Ireland. We have selected the urban area within Population ExplorerTM and overlaid a density heat map of males ages 20-24. The resulting map shows us where this demographic is concentrated and the population statistics associated with this spatial extent. We can then upload points indicating crime occurrences or other socio-economic variables and compare these locations with our heat map.

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These images illustrate population dynamics in Belfast, UK in Northern Ireland. The urban population is approximately 473 k and the largest age bracket is 50-54 year olds (below).

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Another clear connection between the Population ExplorerTM  application and the social sciences is in the field of Geography. Human Geography in particular focuses on the spatial study of population distribution, density, dynamics, migration, and more specifically "spatial demography" (Dartmouth, 2018). Human geographers aim to use data, statistics, modeling, and measurements to find patterns and trends in populations. Our application goes hand-in-hand with GIS users who are looking for population data to overlay with other shapefiles. Interested in the demographics of an area affected by land use changes or a forest fire? One can simply upload the shapefiles of the areas affected by fires and view the populations affected around the region. Population Geography is another branch of Human Geography that focuses on how people and their distributions form a "geographic character" (Briney, 2017). One may want to compare different population densities of an area to deduce changes between age and gender brackets. Below we see four maps that illustrate how Population ExplorerTM heat images change with different population density overlays.

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These images illustrate various population densities in Belfast, UK in Northern Ireland. 

Economics and Political Science

Population ExplorerTM tools can also be applied to research in the Business, Political Science, and Economics industries. These users appreciate the ability to be able to draw buffer areas, create unique shapes, and then add density layers over target areas. Economists and planners use population data to inform policy in defining Economic Development Incentive areas. Interested in demographics for a specific voting district? Use Population ExplorerTM to compare these statistics and make analyses about election outcomes. Our data helps inform the decision making process of these users. Below, we see a series of maps created in Population ExplorerTM which compare different economic and political regions in the United States. 

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This image shows different socio-economic areas within the Los Angeles, California region.

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This image shows an Economic Development Zone in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Economists can study the demographics to determine where these zones should be created. 

Des Moines, Iowa Voting Ward -3 (1)

This image shows a comparison of age and gender densities within the Ward - 3 voting district of Des Moines, Iowa. 

Population Explorer's user-friendly platform is a flexible resource that meets the needs of multi-level users. Social Sciences is a broad discipline and our tool was designed to be adaptable and intuitive in order to fit into countless user toolkits. When the project calls for critical population data, you can turn to Population Explorer to provide authoritative, global data, quickly and effectively.


We are currently offering a free TWO-WEEK trial so you can try the Population Explorer tool for your next project. For memberships, we offer a variety of license types depending on your organization.

                          Population Explorer for Social Sciences


Tags: Population Mapping, GIS, Science, education, research, academia, university, geography, sociology, economics, political science

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