29234 - International Demography

Course Unit Page


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

No poverty Gender equality Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows basic instruments to analyse structural and dynamic aspects of developed and underdeveloped populations. Particularly, the student is able: - to measure populations size, variation and distribution in time and space - to measure and analyse populations structural characteristics - to measure and analyse demographic dynamics components – to classify populations depending on their different levels of evolution and development.

Course contents

The course is composed by two teaching units

1st Unit (30 hours)

a)     Sources for demographic and social analysis, international databases.

b)     Methodological tools for the measurements of population variables (growth rates; measures for mortality, fertility and migration, population structures and their evolution),  census-type data analysis.

c)     Population density and its geographical distribution.

d)     The development of word population. UN scenarios for the future.

e)     The theory of demographic transition.

f)      XXth century demographic transitions.

g)     Demographic challenges in PVS. Case studies: Sub-Saharian Africa, Latin America, China and India.

2ndUnit (20 hours)

h)     Economic development and population: Poverty and inequalities.

i)      Word summits on population.

j)      Development indicators and the Millenium Goals.

k)   International migration: theories, demographic and socio-economic consequences.


1) G.A. Micheli, Demografie, McGraw-Hill, Milano, 2011, Capp. Da 1 a 5.

2) A. Angeli, S. Salvini, Popolazione e sviluppo nelle regioni del mondo. Convergenze e divergenze nei comportamenti demografici, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2008.

2) Make a choice among:

A) M. Livi Bacci, Storia minima della popolazione del mondo, Il Mulino, Bologna, nuova edizione 2011

B) Associazione italiana per gli studi di popolazione. Rapporto sulla popolazione. L' Italia nella crisi economica, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2015.

C) UNDP (2017). SDG Accelerator and Bottleneck Assessment. United Nations Development Programme. New York, NY. http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/sustainable-development-goals/sdg-accelerator-and-bottleneck-assessment.html

D) UNFPA (2017). Worlds Apart: Reproductive Health and Rights in an Age of Inequality. United Nations Population Fund. New York, NY. http://esaro.unfpa.org/en/publications/worlds-apart-reproductive-health-and-rights-age-inequality

E) N. De Luigi, A. Martelli, I. Pitti, R. Rettaroli, F. Tosi, S. Volturo, P. Zurla (2017), Giovani, occupazione e lavoro autonomo in Emilia Romagna, scaricabile da http://www.assemblea.emr.it/europedirect/pubblicazioni/filo-deuropa-1/asdasd/filo-deuropa/Filo%2020%20Giovani--Lavoro-autonomo-E-R


Teaching methods

Traditional lectures

Assessment methods

The examination aims to assess the achievement of the following learning objectives: - know the main theories on the long period evolution of the population.
- calculate the main demographic indicators.
- interpret the data and indicators on population present in the political and social literature
- know the main international sources of demographic data
- know the demographic transition in the main areas of the world
The examination consists of a written test. The test is composed by theoretical questions and exercises in which the studens can demonstrate that they can apply the methodological tools acquired and interpret the results. Test is followed by a discussion on a topic chosen from the suggested readings.

Teaching tools

Downlodable Power point files and other documents used during the lessons will be at the student disposal on IOL.

Use of videos and web pages on the Internet.

Office hours

See the website of Rosella Rettaroli