In this course, we will study fundamental concepts, measures and models that demographers use to understand population dynamics. Demography as a discipline relies on a core methodological component that addresses problems related to i) measuring and estimating population rates; ii) developing models to expand our analytical thinking; iii) formalizing theories; iv) linking individual-level processes with macro-demographic trends; iv) producing forecasts that combine all the available information. The use of demographic methods is constantly changing, as new problems and priorities arise. Some examples of the work that demographers have developed include approaches to understand the determinants of population growth; to evaluate the consequences of changing age structure; to produce estimates of mortality and fertility rates using indirect techniques; to assess the impact of heterogeneity across individuals on population health and mortality; to produce population projections.
The main goal of the course is to familiarize students with tools and concepts that are widely used by demographers and that are essential in order to be able to understand the literature that uses demographic methods. There will be a mix of lectures and hands-on activities with various tools.
Link to full syllabus: SOC533_Syllabus_Winter2017.pdf