29234 - international Demography

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Rosella Rettaroli

  • Credits 8

  • SSD SECS-S/04

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Local and Global Development (cod. 9200)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


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

No poverty Zero hunger Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Students will learn some new skills about the main interactions between demographic trends 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

The course is organized with all the lectures taught in presence and simultaneously on MS TEAMS. The number of students allowed in class is determined on the basis of class capacity and by the health and safety provisions that deal with the pandemic emergency.


- Topics’ concepts and definitions; sources of international demographic and socio-economic data; work with data.

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

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

- Multidimensional poverty and inaquality measures.

- Health inequalities and survivorship

- Unequal access to wealth and health by gender.

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

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;

- Population movements


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.

Aurora Angeli, Silvana Salvini (2018), Popolazione e sviluppo nelle regioni del mondo. Convergenze e divergenze nei comportamenti demografici, Il Mulino, Bologna.

Other useful references:

  1. Un Criteria for Least Developed Countries definitions:


  2. United Nations (2019). World Population Prospects: The 2019 Revision, Key Findings and Advance Tables. ESA/P/WP.241.(https://population.un.org/wpp/Publications/ ) – Introduction to the 27 th revision of World Population Prospects https://www.un.org/development/desa/pd/sites/www.un.org.development.desa.pd/files/undesa_pd_2021_egm_wpp2022_session_i_patrick_gerland.pdf.

  3. 2000-2015 Millennium Development Goals: United Nations Development Programme, What are the Millennium Development Goals?(http://www.undp.org/mdg/basics.shtml)

  4. 2015-2030 Sustainable development goals: https: //sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld

Teaching methods

The course is organized with all the lectures taught in presence and simultaneously on MS TEAMS.

-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) 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 IOL. Excel and other softwares

Office hours

See the website of Rosella Rettaroli