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Hannah Ritchie, Max Roser


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus


Annual Change in GDP, Population and CO2 Emissions

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  • This interactive line graph and data table show the annual change in GDP, population, and CO2 emissions.
  • Students can use the line graph to compare the data for any country or continent, or they can use the graph to view global data.
Teaching Tips


  • The interactive provides two ways for students to explore data (line graph and table).
  • Students may choose to view datasets for various geographic locations and time periods.
  • Related research and the data sources are linked in the Sources section.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Educators should take time to get familiar with this resource before sharing it with students.
  • Students should be familiar with the term gross domestic product.


  • In economics classes, students could discuss the connection between changes in population, CO2 emissions, and GDP. 
  • Statistics teachers could show students the graph and ask them to think about the following questions:
    • What can you learn from this data?
    • What can you not learn from this data?
    • What do you think is the statistical relationship between change in CO2 emissions and change in GDP?
    • What do you think is the statistical relationship between change in CO2 emissions and change in population?
Scientist Notes

Datasets from the UN population division, census, and other statistical publications from national population offices, etc. are valid to establish the actual global population growth rate. Also, the Maddison project and the World Bank database provided data on CO2 and GDP. Hence, this resource is integral and relevant for students to gain deep insights into the percentage change in population growth, GDP per capita, and CO2 emissions. The resource is recommended for teaching.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
      • MS-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
  • Related Resources


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