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Demography

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Demography is the study of how populations are structured and change due to the interplay of births, deaths, and migration. In narrow terms, ‘formal demography’ refers to the scientific study of human populations with a focus on their size, structure, distribution, and development. Defined more broadly as ‘population studies,’ demography also studies the causes and consequences of population compositions and changes, and draws on neighboring disciplines, such as sociology, economics, anthropology, and epidemiology. Scholars working in this tradition can be designated as social, economic, cultural, or health demographers, underscoring the field's multidisciplinary nature. There is increasing overlap between the concepts and methodologies of demography and epidemiology. However, separate histories, missions, professional discourses, and cultures have hindered dialogue between the two fields.

Just as epidemiology can ...

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