Demography - Population Studies


Demography is a broad social science discipline concerned with the study of human populations, primary with respect to their size, their structure and their development.

Demographers deal with the collection, presentation and analysis of data relating to the basic life-cycle events and experiences of people: birth, marriage, divorce, household and family formation, employment, ageing, migration and death.

The discipline emphasises empirical investigation of population processes, including the conceptualisation and measurement of these processes and the study of their determinants and consequences.

The field of demography is also concerned with the broader nature of social and economic change, and with the impact of demographics change on the natural environment.

Demographic Resources

6 billion Human Beings
There will soon be that many people on earth. By visiting this site, you will understand why the world's population has exploded in recent years and why it might stabilize during the next century. The site is an exhibit from the Musée de l'Homme (Paris, France). The exhibit and the interactive game have been designed and produced by Gilles Pison and Ninian Huber van Blyenburgh.


  • Beyond Six Billion: Forecasting the World's Population - National Academy Press
    A study of the National Research Council's Panel on Population Projections on population projections. It assesses the assumptions behind the projectsion of various agencies (UN Popoulation Devision, World Bank, US Census Bureau), estimates their accuracy and uncertainty, evaluateis the implications of current demographic research, and recommends changes in protocol and new research theat might improve projections.
  • Bennet, Claudette E. (U.S. Department of Commerce)
    African-American Population Statistics
    Selected tables from "The Black Population in the United States: March 1994 and 1993". The selected tables and graphs reflect the latest available census data and information regarding the African-American population of the United States. You'll find official statistics on population, income, employment, family, education and poverty.


Census of Canada

  • Cairo Conference
    The United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was held from the 5-13 September 1994, in Cairo, Egypt. During this this conference world leaders, high ranking officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies gathered to agree on a Programme of Action. The site includes the Final Programme of Action from the conference, UN documents from the conference, full text of NGO and government statements, press releases and speeches, and more.
  • Census and Demographics
    A large collection of data access starting points concerning various populations and groups, particularly in the US. Includes business and economic numeric data. Editor: Larry Schankman.
  • Census, Population, and Demographics — About.com
    A portal for demographers and geographers, edited by Matt Rosenberg.
  • Center for International Earth Science InformationNetwork (CIESIN) — Columbia University, USA
    CIESIN specializes in on-line data and information management, spatial data integration and training, and interdisciplinary research related to human interactions in the environment. The site offers access to some great interactive tools and applications, such as:
    • Demographic Data Cartogram Service [DDCarto
      An interactive order of 1990 census data in prominent GIS data formats.
    • Geographic Correspondence Engine [GeoCorr
      Allows you to select geographic layers and generate 'correlation lists' weighted by population, housing counts, or land area to determine the degree of overlap with other geographic layer.
    • Demographic Data Viewer [DDViewer
      Create maps and calculate statistics for 220 demographic variables from the 1990 U.S. Census. It maps states, counties and census tracts.
  • County and City Data Books (1988-1994)
    Provides access to the electronic versions of the 1988 and 1994 County and City Data Books. The service provides the opportunity to create custum printouts and/or customized data subsets. Presented by the Geospatial and Statistical Data Center (GeoStat) at the University of Virginia, USA.


  • Database on Law and Population
    A searchable database of summaries and excerpts of legislation, constitutions, court decisions, and other official government documents from every country in the world relating to population policies, reproductive health, women's rights, and related topics. The Annual Review of Population Law databases is the culmination of an effort to make available to the public important legal information on the regulation of population growth and distribution. It is produced jointly by Harvard Law School and the United Nations Population Fund. You can search by country, keyword, or year.
  • Demographic Working, Discussion and Conference Papers
    Center for Demography and Ecology (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA).
  • Demography & Sociology Program - ANU, Australia
    A listing of Australian resources on social demography. Editors: Jenny White and Diana Crow.


Global Population Database (GPOPDB)
The GPOPBD from CIESIN is used to map the populations of many countries around the world. The database uses a rectangular grid for mapping of 20 minutes of latitude by 30 minutes of longitude (about 2,000 square kilometers at the equator). For urban areas of more than 25,000 people, density circles are drawn to provide more detail.


Heilig, Gerhard K. (Vienna, Austria)
World Population Prospects - Analysing the 1996 UN Population Projections
The objective is to cut through the maze of available data and identify ten demographic trends which are most relevant for studying global (land-use) change.


Life Expectance - About.com
An overview of life expectancy and what the numbers mean. Includes a chart that provides life expectancy data for every country of the world.



Nelson, Lynn
Population Patterns and Trends
From: Sociology in Global Perspective, Chapter 3.


  • Paul Ehrlich and The Population Bomb
    The human population is likely to double by the middle of the 21st century, soaring past an estimated 10 billion people on the planet at the time when today's children will be middle aged. Will there be enough resources to meet everyone's needs? Or will there be massive social upheaval, famine and rampant pollution? This site is hosted by David and based on Paul Ehrlich's book: 'The Population Bomb' [1968]. It looks at the ideas of one scientist whose theories link overpopulation to a broad range of global problems.
  • Population Council
    A nonprofit, nongovernmental research organization The Council seeks to improve the wellbeing and reproductive health of current and future generations around the world, and to help achieve a humane, equitable and sustainable balance between people and resources. It analyzes population issues and trends; conducts biomedical research to develop new contraceptives; works with public and private agencies to improve the quality and outreach of family planning and reproductive health services; helps governments to influence demographic behavior; communicates the results of research in the population field to appropriate audiences; and helps build research capacities in developing countries. Includes information on programs and research, publications and working papers, and population links.
  • Population Density Maps
  • Population Institute - Washington, D.C., USA
    A non-profit education organization dedicated exclusively to achieving a more equitable balance between the world's population, environment and resources.
  • Population Reference Bureau
    Information on U.S. and international population trends. Includes the annual World Population Data Sheet with the latest population estimates, projections, and other key indicators for 200 countries. Detailed information on births, deaths, natural increase, infant mortality, total fertility, life expectance, urban population, HIV/AIDS prevalence, contraceptive use, GNI PPP per capita, land area, and population per square mile.


United Nations Population Information Network (POPIN)
POPIN is a decentralized community of population institutions organized into regional and national networks in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Northern America. POPIN informs on the official UN estimates and projections for every country in the world, including estimates and projections of several demographic indicators (including birth rates, death rates, infant mortality rates and life expectancy. sThe POPIN site also contains a list of publications, information on population organizations and conferences.


  • World Population Clock
    By David Levine, Sunsite.
    If you want to know how many people live on this small planet. Every 30 seconds you'll be updated.
  • World POPClock — US Bureau of Census
    If you want to know how many people live on this small planet. Every 30 seconds you'll be updated.
  • World Population Figures
    A large collection of data, ranging from country profiles (provinces and main cities) to the highest mountains in the world, to a list of all countries in the world with their capitals, surface area and population. Editor: Johan van der Heijden.

Research Centers

Professional Associations

Journals and Magazines

  • American Demographics [full text] 
    Concentrates on consumer trends for business leaders. The site includes a sources page and a search facility.
  • Asia-Pacific Population Journal
    Published four times a year by the Population Division of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). It is an official publication of ESCAP, but is issued without formal editing.
  • CyberGeo: European Journal of Geography
    Articles on a variety of geographical topics, most are in French but a handgful are in English.
  • Demographic Research [full text] - Max-Planck Institute, Germany
  • European Journal of Population [table of contents]
  • Journal of Population Economics [table of contents & abstracts]
    Editor: Klaus F. Zimmerman.
  • Joural of Population Problems (Jinko Mondai Kenkyu) - Japan [exglish abstracts]
  • Mathematical Population Studies
    An interdisciplinary journal that publishes research papers in the mathematical and statistical study of human populations. You don't get any substance before you pay.
  • Population and Development Review (PDR)
    A quarterly journal examining population dynamics and socioeconomic change. Articles include advances in theory and application, policy analysis, sociographic community studies, and comprehenvise literature reviews. Provides tables of contents and abstracts in English, French and Spanish.
  • Population Index 1986-1996 On-line
    Office of Population Research (Princeton Univ., USA). A quarterly publication that has been available since 1935. Covers all fields of interest to demographers, including fertility, mortality, population size & growth, migration, nuptiality & the family, research methodology, projections & predictions, historical demography, and demographic & economic interrelations. Input is derived from original publications including monographs, journal articles, other serial publications, working papers, doctoral dissertations, machine-readable data files, and relevant acquisitions lists and bibliographies. About 3,500 citations are produced annually. You can search or browse the population index.
  • Population et Sociétés
  • Population Studies [table of contents]
    Concentrates on methods of demographic analysis, conceptual and mathematical theories of demographic dynamics and behaviour, and the use of these theories en methods.
  • Population Research and Policy Review [table of contents]
    Editor: David F. Sly.
  • Review of Population Reviews (CICRED)
  • Journals and Newsletters on Population - United Nations Population Information Network (POPIN).

Demographic Software

  • Demographic Data Viewer (DDViewer)
    Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) & Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), USA. DDViewer allows the user to: create maps at a multitude of geographic resolutions; interpret the image using the statistical summary report; customize the layout; create tabular reports; refer to online help; create simple recodes of variables. Data: The boundary data was derived from the Bureau of the Census TIGER 1992 database. Boundaries are available for states, counties, census tracts, county subdivisions/minor civil divisions, and census blockgroups. One, or a multitude of counties (or entire states) may be defined as the area of interest. Demographic data available for mapping was derived from the Bureau of the Census STF3A 1990. Roughly 225 variables are selectable either for mapping purposes or can be printed in tabular reports. Map layout, colors, legends and titles can be customized by the user. A recoding option is provided enabling the creation of user defined variables.
  • DemoGraphics '96
    Software developed for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in association with the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDO) by Gerhard K. Heilig, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria. DemoGraphics '96 is targeted for teaching on global population issues at the college and university level. It is used to display population trends between 1950 and 2050 for all countries and major regions worldwide in animated charts and maps. All necessary data are included. With "moving age pyramids" students can watch population change unfold over a 100 year period for any particular country. The software also has animated scatter plots, in which students can analyse how a correlation between demographic indicators (such as between fertility and mortality) is changing over time. DemoGraphics '96 and its companion software DemoTables '96 are also used as reference tools, which give immediate access to a large number of demographic indicators.
  • Household Registration System
    A point-and-click revolution in health and demographic research.
  • HumPop and Intlpop
    HumPop is a multimedia tutorial program that introduces and illustrates population concepts and issues. IntlPop is a population change simulation program. You can manipulate variables such as birth rate, life expectance, and migration rate, and simulate populatoin growth based on your values.
  • International Futures (IFs)
    A computer simulation of global systems for classroom or research use. It was created by Barry Hughes and can be used to teach about or study demographics, economics, food, energy, the environment, and international politics.
  • Life Expectancy Calculator
    Microsoft's online calculator can tell you how long you'll might live. It calculated your life expectancy from a number of factors, from your family history to your personal lifestyle.
  • LIPRO: multistate demographics projections
    Changes in household structure may have profound consequences for a wide range of areas in demography and social policy. NIDI has developed a dynamic household projection model which focusses on the flows underlying household changes. The model is based on the methodology of multistate demography, but includes several extensions to solve the particular problems of household modelling.
  • PC-Edit
    A software program for data entry and editing that can handle almost any type of questionnaire. It generates or processes flat or hierarchical files.
  • PopMap
    An information and decision support system for population activities. It combines graphics, spreadsheet interface and mapping capabilities with an integrated geographical database. PopMap provides maps and graphics database support for planning and administration of population acitivities with important geographical or logistical context, or for facilitating geographical or graphical expression of population indicators and related data.
  • Population Projections Software
    The Demotools software is an easy-to-use tool for making customized population projections. It includes the necessery data for all countries and major regions worldwide. Editor: Gerhard K. Heilig.
  • Population Projection Software: TABRAP and CONVERSE - HPN Technologies
    Population projection software packages in which contraceptive use determines fertilities, in contrast to conventional projection models which require specification of fertility as an input. TARGET is a target setting model where the user specifies target birth rates as input. CONVERSE gives the resulting birth rate of the population as a consequence of contraceptive use. It also includes auxilary programs which can be used to assist in the analysis from the output of the two main programs.
  • PopTrain
    A computer program for population education in secondary schools. It demonstrates how population trends and distribution are influenced by changes in fertility, mortality, and migration. It also shows what the consequences are for various social areas, like education, labour force, and public health care. PopTrain was developed at NIDI (Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute).
  • Population Analysis Spreadsheets (PAS)
    PAS consists of 45 spreadsheets for population analysis. It includes a brief explanation of the calculation performed by each of the spreadsheets.
  • The Futures Group: Software 
    Contains several programs for making population projectings (DemProj), projecting the family planning service requirements and costs to achieve demographic goals (FamPlan), projecting the socio-economic development impacts of high fertility and rapid population growth (RAPID), projecting the number of AIDS cases, AIDS deaths and HIV infections and the socio-economic impacts of AIDS (AIM), and projecting family planning training requirements (ProTrain).
  • Xtable
    A software program for processing frequencies and cross-tabulations of censuses or survey data. It displays the results of analyses and summarizes data in any tabular form: complex stub and banner cross-tabulations or simple contingency tables.

Discussion Forums

  • census-uk
    A forum for discussing problems and solutions, and exchanging ideas about use of census data and related research.
  • Demographic-List - ANU, Australia
    A mailing list on demography and demographic techniques.
  • Development Forum - World Bank
  • H-DEMOG - Michigan State Univ., USA
    An international scholarly online discussion list on demographic history.


References & Directories

  • Demographic Links
    A collection of links for demography, including data, maps, city studies and more. From Kearl's "Sociological Tour Through Cyberspace".
  • Demography - SOSIG, UK.
  • Demography and Population Studies - WWW Virtual Library 
    Many links to demographic resources: WWW and Gopher servers, WAIS databases. Editor: Diana Crow (Clearinghouse Guide).
  • Population and Demography Information - Penn State Population Research Institute
  • Development Gateway" Population and Reproductive Health
    An expansive collection of links to population and reproductive healt resources. The site is updated by UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) in collaboration with 12 partner institutions in the population community.
  • GIS WWW Resource List
    An extensive demographic and geographic resource list from the Department of Geography, University of Edinburgh. Editor: Bruce Gittings and Anup Pradhan, in collaboration with the Association for Geographic Information.
  • Popnet
    A comprehensive directory of population-related websites categorized by organizational sources and by world regions and countries. The site presents information on a broad ranges of population topics such as demographic statistics, economics, education, environment, gender, policy and reproductive health.
  • Population Links
    Selected by Gerhard K. Heilig (Vienna, Austria).
  • Sociology and Demography - Gladys Smiley Bell.
  • World Wide Web of Demography
    Comprehensive overwview of demographic resources, maintained by the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI).

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