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Now considered a necessity in the advertising industry, demographics helps businesses identify those consumers most likely to buy their products or services. While the micro-demography including the individual and the family as a unit of the large society. What leads to urbanisation and what are its consequences? While the former includes studies of systems, cultures and societies on a large scale, the later study the individual and the family as a unit of society. Demography is self-corrective in nature. (b) How their numbers and proportions change? Definition of Demography As regard definition of this term, the economists, geographers, social scientists and others have defined it in their own way that suits their convenience and view point. 4. It is a body of generalisations, principles, theories or laws which traces out a causal relation between cause and effect. also affect the birth and death rate. In the middle of the nineteenth century in 1855, the word ‘Demography’ was first used by a French writer Achille Guillard. It is concerned with population size, with the three basic components of population change--fertility, mortality, and migration, and with population characteristics related to those components, such as marriage, socioeconomic status, and the configuration of families. Demography lies at the crossroads of several other disciplines, including economics, sociology and epidemiology. There are vast theoretical aspects of population studies which include the various theories of population propounded by sociologists, biologists, demographers and economists, and theories of migration and urbanisation. The scope of social demography has classified into two sections macro-demography and micro-demography. During the time of Confucius, many Chinese and Greek writers, and following them Aristotle, Plato and Kautilya (around the year 300 B.C.) If population is increasing at a faster rate, the pace of development of the economy will be slow. With the majority of developing countries facing population explosion, the study of population and its problems has become very important in every sphere of an economy. Similarly, theories of migration and urbanisation form part of the study of demography. The scope of demography is very wide. Birth, death and migration are the major elements of demography. Demographers seek to understand population dynamics by investigating three main demographic processes: … Demographics affect health care by enhancing dynamisms in health care resource provision, the cost of care and conditions associated with each population group, according to Ensocare. In fact, it has become an applied science and applied technology.”. Sociology is the youngest of all the Social Sciences. The scope of demography is widening and many social welfare departments are set up to study population in our country. The two fields are interrelated and helped each other. 3. In the composition of population factors like the sex ratio, race wise and age- group wise size of population, the ratio of rural and urban population, distribution of population according to religion and language, occupational distribution of population, agricultural and industrial structure and per sq. The study of demography encompasses the following: Generally, the size of population means the total number of persons usually residing in a definite area at a definite time. Scope 4. Also due to ill health of mother, infant mortality rate is high in our country. A broad study of demography studies both qualitative and quantitative aspects of population.”, Thus, according to Donald J. Bougue, “Demography is a statistical and mathematical study of the size, composition, spatial distribution of human population, and of changes overtime in these aspects through the operation of the five processes of fertility, mortality, marriage, migration and social mobility. Some other writers have defined demography in wide sense by taking the quantitative and qualitative aspects of population studies. Shortages of basic services like water, electricity, transport and communications, public health, education, etc. Based on population data, projections are made about the increase in labour force, and the number of people in the age-groups 1-15 years, 15-50 years and above in order to estimate the labour force available for productive employment. Thus the later study has smaller units and it is conducted intensively. Demography studies the factors that lead to internal and external migration of people within a country and between countries, the effects of migration on the migrants and the place where they migrate. In most of the developing countries, married women are facing pregnancies problem due to malnutrition. 2. Among others, Hauser and Duncan include the study of fertility, mortality, distribution, migration, etc. It studies small units like individual, family, groups etc. Formal demography limits its object of study to the measurement of population processes, while the broader field of social demography or population studies also analyses the relationships between economic, social, cultural, and biological processes influencing a population. 6. (i) It must be a systematised body of knowledge; (ii) It must have its own laws or theories; (iii) They can be tested by observation and experimentation; Demography possesses all the above noted elements of a science which can be described as under: 1. Along with the quantitative problems of population, the qualitative problems also form part of population studies. The Avian Demography Unit has extended the scope of its operations with several new projects focused on bird population studies. The scope of social demography has classified into two sections macro-demography and micro-demography. Demographic analysis can relate to whole societies or to smaller groups defined by criteria such as education, religion, or ethnicity. Its temporal scope is broad, as represented by research that explores demographic phenomena spanning the ages from past to present, and reaching toward the future. Sociology, Demography, Meaning of Demography, © 2017 SociologyDiscussion - All rights reserved Terms of Service Privacy Policy Contact Us. A science is a systematised body of knowledge ascertainable by observation and experimentation. Population studies are also useful for administrators who run the government. The addition to the number of voters after each election helps to find out how many have migrated from other places and regions of the country. It has its own theories like the Malthusian Theory, the theory of Demographic Transition, etc. The scope of demography has been classified into two sections: Macro-demography and micro-demography. The true scope of demography relates to whether it is a micro or macro study. Definitions of Demography 3. It is considered an important subject capable of throwing light on the nature of population education. Problems like slum areas, polluted air and water, crime, addiction to liquor, juvenile delinquency, and prostitution, are also important subjects of study in demography. To them, demography includes the interrelationships between population and social, economic and cultural conditions of the country and their effects on population growth. Nature is the basic or inherent feature of something, especially when seen as a characteristics of it. Aspects Related to Birth Rate and Death Rate: Birth rate and death rate are the decisive factors that influence the size and shape of the population and therefore their importance in population studies is crucial. So, demography is concerned with the fertility and mortality and studies the birth and death rates. They are kept in view while fixing targets of agricultural and industrial products, of social and basic services like schools and other educational institutions, hospitals, houses, electricity, transport, etc. Before studying whether demography is a science, it is essential to know what science is and to what extent the characteristics of science are applicable to demography. After reading this article you will learn about:- 1. micro demography: This is the study of a growth distribution and redistribution of the population within community, state, economics area and other local area. It is not only a positive science of ‘what is’ but also a normative science of “what ought to be.” It studies the causes and effects of population problems and also suggests policy measures to solve them. Defining demography • Demography is the study of human populations in relation to the changes brought about by the interplay of births, deaths, and migration. It includes policies for population control, and family planning strategies; reproductive health, maternal nutrition and child health policies; policies for human development of different social groups, etc., and the effects of such policies on the total population of the country. Historical demography is the quantitative study of human population in the past. On these basis, political parties can raise issues and promise solutions in their election manifestos at the time of elections. For example the birth rate and death rate are studied both from macro and micro level. These theories have been tested on the basis of observation. Importance. History and Scope of the Technique Family reconstitution as a demographic technique was developed initially by Swedish demographers (Edin, 1915) and advanced by the French (Henry, 1967), then by English scholars (Wrigley, 1966; Wrigley et al., 1997). To conclude with Irene Taeuber, “With improved data, new techniques and precise measurement of the demographic transition that is occurring, demography has become a science. Within a country, it also includes the study of distribution of population in rural and urban areas, fanning and non-farming communities, working classes, business communities, etc. Demography is the science of populations. Whether it is a science or art? Its long run goal is to develop theories to explain the events that it charts and compares.”. It includes the subject matter of demography, is it a micro or macro study? Center broadens scope of demography. The Oxford Dictionary of Economics defines demography as “The study of the characteristics of human populations.” According to the UN Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, “Demography is the scientific study of human populations, primarily with respect to their size, their structure and their development.”, To Barckley, “The numerical portrayal of human population is known as demography.” Similarly, according to Thomson and Lewis, “The population student is interested in population’s size, composition and distribution; and in changes in these aspects through time and causes of these changes.”. Population studies include the following: (a) How people are distributed among and within continents, world regions and developed and underdeveloped countries? Even though, the term “Population Studies” is more popular, the word ‘Demography’ is under wider use these days. (Eds), Readings in Human Geography (pp.1-14). High fertility is connected to the child development. These are vexed questions about the scope of demography about which there is no unanimity among writers on demography. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Some other writers have taken a more’ comprehensive view in defining the discipline of demography which covers more clearly its nature and score For example, Hauser and Duncan define it in the following manner: вЂ?Demography is the study of size, territorial distribution, and composition of population changes therein, and the components of such changes, which may be identified as natality, mortality, territorial movement (migration), and social mobility … Population change is a biological process. Thus on all counts, demography is a science. The term is also used to refer to the actual phenomena observed, as in phrases such as the demography of tropical Africa (Pressat 1985:54). in cities. Urbanisation is another factor in the distribution of population within the country. 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