Population Pyramids in Lebanon and the MENA region

Thanks to Twitter, I stumbled upon the Population Pyramid website.

Population distribution - for gender and age - can be fascinating and telling. (The reasons are many, maybe that’s a topic for another post).

I clicked around that website and downloaded images for different years. Eventually I wanted to visualize things and create little animated GIFs. I noticed that the url for "download image" encodes the name of the country and the year, so I wrote this bash script to get the images and create the animation.

	for i in `seq 1950 2018`; 
		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 All done

	convert -delay 35 -loop 0 *.png animated.gif
  • wget: gets the files and saves them locally.
  • convert: uses ImageMagick to take the png and create a gif.

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


Palestine - 7.6


Yemen - 7.3


Egypt - 6.8


Jordan - 6.4


Algeria - 5.7


Syria - 5.6


Morocco - 5.0


Libya - 4.9

Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia - 4.8

Kuwait Kuwait - 4.5


Oman - 4.5


Tunisia - 4.5


Iran - 4.2


Lebanon - 4.1


Bahrain - 3.8


Qatar - 3.0

United Arab Emirates

UAE - 2.6