29234 - international Demography

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Local and Global Development (cod. 5912)

Learning outcomes

Students will learn some new skills about the main interactions between demographic trends and social and economic development. At the end of the learning process students will know: the demography of the main world areas, the more influencing mechanisms of the demographic transitions in terms of mortality, fertility and migration, how governments deals with demographic and family policies. Practical work will be organized in order to make the students able to appropriately extract and use reliable demographic data from international databases.

Course contents

- Why study Demography in a Local and Global Development Course

- Topics’ concepts and definitions; sources of international demographic and socio-economic data usually concerning development issues; how to work with data.

- Methodologica tools to built up demographic and social indexes.

- Main theories on the relationship between demographic trends and economic development;

Demographic, social, economic and gender inequalities in World's population;

- Inequality measures.

- Sustainable Development indicators. How to built and analize them.

- Health inequalities and survivorship

- Unequal access to wealth and health by gender.

- Demography and conflicts

- Demography and globalizazion processes

Comparative Demographic Analyses

- Demography and social change in the Mediterranean area;

- Population problems in developing countries. Some Case studies: Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, China, India.

- The International conferences on population; Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals

- United Nation population prospects;



The teacher will provide part of the texts at the beginning of the course.

Main references:

G.A. Micheli, Demografie, McGraw-Hill, Milano, 2011, Chapters 1 to 5.

A. Angeli, S. Salvini (2018), Popolazione mondiale e sviluppo sostenibile, Il Mulino, Bologna.

S. Salvini (2021), Globalizzazione: e la popolazione?. Le relazioni fra demografia e mondo globalizzato, Firenze University Press, Firenze

AISP (2023), Rapporto sulla popolazione. Le famiglie in Italia. Forme, ostacoli, sfide, Il Mulino, Bologna

A. Rosina, R. impicciatore (2022), Storia demografica d’Italia. Crescita, crisi e sfide, Carocci Editore, Roma.

Other useful references:

  1. Un Criteria for Least Developed Countries definitions:


  2. United Nations (2022). World Population Prospects 2022: https://population.un.org/wpp/Publications/.

  3. Millennium Development Goals: United Nations Development Programme, What are the Millennium Development Goals?(http://www.undp.org/mdg/basics.shtml)

  4. Sustainable Development Goals: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

Teaching methods

The course is organized with all the lectures taught in presence.

-Some work on demographic data and main demographic subjects is expected

- The Student will be called to active partecipation with discussions on previously agreed subjects.

Assessment methods

Assessment method (for attending students)

The exam consists of a work presentation (planned with the professor during the course) that develops the demographic situation of a geographical area or a specific topic. The work will have to provide a power point file for the speech and a text whose characteristics will be agreed upon. During the discussion the student will be asked to answer to some methodological questions concerning his work.

Assessment method (for non-attending students)

The exam is oral and consists of a discussion on the course contents and a Research paper (10 pages max + ppt presentation) that must be developed individually. The topic will be agreed upon with the teacher (even by mail)- (if the student does not achieve a sufficient grade in the oral part, the paper remains valid until the end of academic year, i.e. February of the subsequent year).

For the exam, the student must enroll via electronic bulletin board in accordance with mandatory deadlines. If some students fail to enroll by the due date they must inform the professor before the official closing, who will insert them in the list.

Teaching tools

Video, Internet, Power point files on Virtuale. Excel and other software depending on the knowledge already acquired by the student.

Office hours

See the website of Rosella Rettaroli


No poverty Good health and well-being Gender equality Reduced inequalities

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.