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Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English volume

Theoretical demography

Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English vol.
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Theoretical demography  (THEORETICAL demography)

Certain sub-disciplines within demography have received special names reflecting their objectives or their methodology. Historical demography 1 deals with populations of the past for which written records are available. In the absence of such sources, the study of ancient populations takes the name of paleo-demography 2 . In descriptive demography 3 the numbers, geographical distribution, structure and change of human populations are described by means of population statistics 4 or demographic statistics 4 . The treatment of quantitative relations among demographic phenomena in abstraction from their association with other phenomena, is called theoretical demography 5 or pure demography 5 ; because of its resort to various mathematical methods, in practice it is identified with mathematical demography 6. A piece of research that applies the tools of demographic analysis (103-1) to an actual population is often called a demographic study 7. This study can focus on the current demographic situation 8★ or current demographic conditions 8★, i.e. the population change and its indicators during a short and recent period. All the preceding disciplines place a great emphasis on the numerical aspects of the phenomena, and are sometimes referred to as formal demography 9, when they apply only to the size and structure of the population. In contrast the broader term population studies 10 also includes the treatment of relations between demographic events and social, economic or other phenomena. More...