Students who have studied models for population are likely to be familiar with the exponential and the logistic population models. The goal here is to explore the role of modeling assumptions in choosing which model to use. We will compare and contrast the United States census data and the Guatemala census data, and how these two datasets fulfill or fail to fulfill the modeling assumptions of the exponential and logistic models. Along the way, we will introduce the concept of the per capita population growth rate, and calculate the per capita population growth rate for the exponential model, the logistic model, and estimate the per capita population growth rate from the two census datasets.
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