Demography is the statistical study of human populations. It can be a very general science that can be applied to any kind of dynamic human population, that is, one that changes over time or space (see population dynamics). It encompasses the study of the size, structure and distribution of these populations, and spatial and/or temporal changes in them in response to birth, migration, aging and death.
Map of countries by population
Demographic analysis can be applied to whole societies or to groups defined by criteria such as education, nationality, religion and ethnicity. Institutionally, demography is usually considered a field of sociology, though there are a number of independent demography departments. Formal demography limits its object of study to the measurement of populations processes, while the more broad field of social demography population studies also analyze the relationships between economic, social, cultural and biological processes influencing a population. The term demographics is often used erroneously for demography, but refers rather to selected population characteristics as used in government, marketing or opinion research, or the demographic profiles used in such research.
Data and methods
There are two methods of data collection: direct and indirect. Direct data come from vital statistics registries that track all births and deaths as well as certain changes in legal status such as marriage, divorce, and migration (registration of place of residence). In developed countries with good registration systems (such as the United States and much of Europe), registry statistics are the best method for estimating the number of births and deaths.
Human population growth showing projections for later this century. (See also alternative view of chart).
A census is the other common direct method of collecting demographic data. A census is usually conducted by a national government and attempts to... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2010, 09). Demography. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 09, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Demography-414306.html
"Demography" StudyMode.com. 09 2010. 09 2010 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Demography-414306.html>.
"Demography." StudyMode.com. 09, 2010. Accessed 09, 2010. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Demography-414306.html.