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Population Pyramids in Lebanon and the MENA region

I was looking at the Population Pyramid website – God knows why.

I found the population pyramids fascinating. I downloaded the ones for the arab world since the 1950s. I wrote a script to do it. You can re-use it for downloading data for any country.

Make sure you have wget installed. If you can’t install it, try using curl.

for i in `seq 1950 2020`;
    wget "https://images.populationpyramid.net/capture/?selector=%23pyramid-share-container&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.populationpyramid.net%2Fworld%2F"$i"%2F%3Fshare%3Dtrue" -O $i".png"
echo images downloaded

I figured how to build the script by looking at the url of the images. For example, this one.

Here is how the url is structured (it is not pretty):

You can replace the year and the location to get the image you need.

After downloading the images, it was easier to visualize the changes by creating an animated GIF. I used ImageMagick and this one-liner.

convert -delay 35 -loop 0 *.png animated.gif

(to install ImageMagick, use brew install imagemagick)


Here is the population distribution of the world in 1950 and 2018.

World Population 1950

World Population 2018

The animated version is much more fun

World Population 1950-2018

Since I am from Lebanon, I was interested in my country’s data. Here are the graphs for 1950 and 2018.

Lebanon Population 1950

Lebanon Population 2018

Here is the GIF. As a background, Lebanon’s civil war was from 1975 to 1990.

Lebanon Population 1950-2018

I found Lebanon’s pyramid in 1957 to be pretty crazy. The population was 1.6 Millions, with a huge portion of the population being kids. I wondered if there was a glitch in the data.

Lebanon in 1957

Neighboring countries

Here are the exported images for some neighboring countries. I arranged them from the “youngest” to the “more evenly distributed”. Lebanon comes at the bottom of the list. Only UAE, Qatar and Bahrain have less new-born babies than Lebanon.

Some countries in the Gulf have such a weird gender distribution… the more you scroll, the weirder it gets.

Data is for year 2019.

Palestine Palestine - 7.6

Yemen  Yemen - 7.3

Egypt Egypt - 6.8

Jordan  Jordan - 6.4

Algeria Algeria - 5.7

Syria Syria - 5.6

Morocco Morocco - 5.0

Libya  Libya - 4.9

Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia - 4.8

Kuwait Kuwait - 4.

Oman Oman - 4.5

Tunisia Tunisia - 4.5

Iran Iran - 4.2

Bahrain Bahrain - 3.8

Qatar Qatar - 3.0

United Arab Emirates  UAE - 2.6

You can download and create GIFs for the country that you want by re-using the script. I didn’t create and add all the GIFs because it will become too dizzying to look at.

If you can’t get it to work, chat with me on @migheille and I will probably do it for you.