Discuss what is meant by a pattern and what is meant by a trend.



Suggestion: A trend occurs over years whilst a pattern is the similarities and differences between two or more variables at a specific moment in time.

Analyse the graph below and identify one trend and one pattern.

Life Expectancy at Birth by Region 1950-2050

Source: UN World population Prospects. 2008

Graph - Life Expectancy at Birth by Region, 1950 - 2050; Wikipedia Creative Commons


A trend is that in all regions life expectancy is increasing.

A pattern is that the more developed regions are consistently better than say Africa.

NB It is not essential to know cross regional comparisons on a world basis but an ability to cite awareness of differences is useful.

‘Babies born in Glasgow are expected to live the shortest lives of any in Britain. One in four Glaswegian men won't reach their 65th birthday.

Image - European city of Culture?, Christopher Furlomg / getty images

The Black Report identified four possible explanations for the social class inequalities.

These were: artefact explanations, theories of natural or social selection, cultural/behavioural explanations and materialist explanations.

Task 1: Summarise the four explanations.

Check your understanding by matching the correct summary to the explanation.

Next task

Task 2: What criticisms could be made of any or all of the explanations?

Artefact explanations

Theories of natural or social selection

Cultural / behavioural explanations.

Materialist explanations


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