Demography. A Short Introduction

Essay, 2003

5 Pages


Table of Contents


Works Cited


Demography is a broad social science discipline. (“What is Demography”) The word ‘demography’ comes from the Greek word ‘demos’, which means population and ‘graphy’, which means to describe or draw. (Luczkovich) In it’s most simplistic terms, demography is the study of how human population changes. Various data is collected and then analyzed to see how populations have changed over a period of time, and to predict how they will act in the future. These changes occur due to births, deaths, immigration, emigration, and natural aging. Demography can be studied as a study of the Earth’s entire population, or by specific groups such as: geographic area, age, gender, race, nationality, and a variety of other aspects.

More specifically, however,

demographers deal with the collection, presentation and analysis of data relating to the basic life-cycle events and experiences of people: birth, marriage, divorce, household and family formation, employment, ageing, migration and death. The discipline emphasizes empirical investigation of population processes, including the conceptualization and measurement of these processes and the study of their determinants and consequences. Practitioners frequently draw on related disciplinary areas - sociology, economics, political science, anthropology, psychology, public health and ecology - to illuminate their analyses. They may explore biological and biosocial aspects of fertility and mortality in areas such as reproductive health and epidemiology. (“What is Demography”)

Demography goes one step further. It also involves dealing with the study of social and economic change, and how changes in demography affect the environment. Concepts such as: life tables, population momentum and stable populations, have allowed society to better understand social change. As an offshoot, demography has spurred vast amounts of literature on topics such as: health and morbidity, family systems, women’s roles in society, and the cultural context of changes in demography. (“What is Demography”)

Demography is utilized by a wide array of people, for a variety of tasks. Social researchers gather and utilize demographic information. The study of demography is utilized in government for planning and administration. This information can be utilized for educational planning, labor market analysis, and social policy development. Market researchers, in the private sector, utilize demography in the development and promotion of their products, as well as for investment planning. (“What is Demography”)


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Demography. A Short Introduction
University of Phoenix
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Kimberly Wylie (Author), 2003, Demography. A Short Introduction, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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