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This chapter is from the book

The Asia Database

For a change of pace and to give you exposure to another database, in this chapter you'll use the Asia database (AsiaChap10.mdb). The database includes "official" statistics on Asian nations, adapted from the renowned CIA World Factbook (in the public domain at www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook). As with all government stats, they have their limitations. Often they are reliable, but some should be taken with a grain (or megaton) of salt. By their very nature, certain statistics (such as land area) are much more accurate than others (such as GDP per capita).

Let's take a quick look at this database. Copy AsiaChap10.mdb to a convenient folder on your hard drive. Open the database and choose Tools, Relationships to open the Relationships window (see Figure 10.2). The Countries table (which, per the Access naming convention we've been using, is titled tblCountries) contains some key data about each nation, including area, population, and fertility rate.


Figure 10.2 The Relationships window for the Asia database.

There are also two validation (or "lookup" tables), tblGovernment and tblHistory; these support data integrity, uniformity, and simplicity. Two foreign ID keys in the Countries table enable one-to-many relationships with the lookup tables.

The Government table assigns types (monarchy, republic, and so on) to the various forms of administration in place on the continent. As you can imagine, a single type encompasses a wide range of governmental forms and situations. But the types can serve as a crude measure of the sort of government that was in place in the year 2002.

The History table has data about the major foreign powers that controlled the country before their independence. Because I've assigned a single type of historical rule to each country, the data is overly general and simplistic. Still, it's fair to say that the Dutch were in Indonesia, the British were in India, and the Japanese remained independent from foreign rule.

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