Comparing population data for regions that differ a lot in absolute numbers poses some challenges. While percentages come to mind population pyramids using percentages are a lot less familiar and are prone to mis-interpretation. But oftentimes absolute numbers means you have to adjust scales.
In the example below a clear indicator appears when the two population pyramids are scaled differently (which is not the case in all combinations). Here you see a region in the western part of Germany (the state of Hesse on the left) compared to one in the eastern part (Saxony). The latter showing an additional bulge (born in the 1980s).
While the above example had been around for a while, it was updated today both in terms of data and technology wise. The data is Germany’s latest population projection broken down to the “Länder” level (=NUTS1). You can check out the population pyramid comparison at http://www.destatis.de/laenderpyramiden/
This population pyramid is now using the SVG Web toolkit so that it runs out of the box in modern browsers and in Internet Explorer just as well with the help of the Flash plugin.
And while we’re at the topic, let me plug the Animated Population Pyramid of Estonia which was recently published using the same code-base.