79188 - Demography

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows basic instruments to analyse structural and dynamic aspects of populations. Particularly, the student is able: - to measure population size, variation and distribution in time and space - to measure and analyse population structural characteristics - to measure and analyse demographic dynamics components

Course contents

Introduction to population studies.

Sources of demographic data.

Population composition and variation. Relations between demographic dynamics and structures.

Basic elements of demographic analysis: crude and age-specific rates, standardization methods.

Age, period and cohort; Lexis diagram, managing data and processes on the diagram. Period and cohort analysis.

Life tables. Life tables conceived as a stationary population. Mortality by cause.

Fertility and reproduction measures.

Migration in population analysis.

The demographic transition (elements).

The demographic forecasts (elements).


Notes of the lectures will be given during the course. It is possible to download them from the web site of AMS Campus - AlmaDL - Università di Bologna

Suggested readings:

- S. Preston, P. Heuveline, M. Guillot, "Demography: Measuring and Modeling Population Processes" (chapters 1, 2, 3 and 5), Wiley, 2000

- J. A. Palmore, R. W. Gardner, “Measuring Mortality, Fertility, and Natural Increase: A Self-Teaching Guide to Elementary Measures”, East-West Center, 1994

Teaching methods

All topics are illustrated with demographic data using some demographic software packages and Excel.

Assessment methods

The final exam aims at evaluating the achievement of the following educational targets:

- to know the main international sources of demographic data

- to calculate the main demographic indicators

- to measure and analyze the components of population dynamics.

The exam consists of a practical test in the computer lab and an oral test. The final vote is an average of the marks obtained in the two tests.

Teaching tools

Video projector, computer lab.

Office hours

See the website of Francesco Scalone