The University of Southampton
Courses

DEMO6016 Population Projections

Module Overview

This module aims to discuss (a) the main methods demographers use to project, or forecast future demographic developments in a range of contexts, at local, regional and national scales; (b) the justifications of plausible assumptions made regarding the future development of fertility, mortality and migration; and (c) relevant applications including small (local) area and multiregional projections. The emphasis will be on the analysis and practical application of real data from the UK and abroad.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This module aims to discuss (a) the main methods demographers use to project, or forecast future demographic developments in a range of contexts, at local, regional and national scales; (b) the justifications of plausible assumptions made regarding the future development of fertility, mortality and migration; and (c) relevant applications including small (local) area and multiregional projections. The emphasis will be on the analysis and practical application of real data from the UK and abroad.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts used in population projections and forecasting
  • Compute demographic parameters, simple extrapolations, life tables and population accounts using Excel
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a wide range of projection methods applied to real-life situations, including small area, household and multistate projections
  • Calculate a complete cohort-component population projection using Excel, based on real demographic data
  • Critically appraise different methods of population projections and their outcomes
  • Carry out independent research and effectively manage the mini-project and study resources
  • Analyse past demographic trends, formulate reasonable assumptions regarding future development of demographic parameters, and evaluate their possible social, economic and environmental impacts
  • Apply basic matrix algebra to population problems
  • Apply the cohort-component method to compute your own population projection
  • Appreciate the inherent uncertainty and other limitations of population projections, and possible ways of dealing with them

Syllabus

Population accounting; uniregional cohort component projections; fertility, mortality and migration forecasts and their assumptions; dealing with uncertainty in population projections; expert opinion and scenario projections, principles of stochastic forecasts, household and family projections, small area projections, and multiregional (multistate) projections; forecast errors.

Special Features

The material taught in this module is useful for population analysis and planning at the local, national and international levels.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be taught during six double-slot lectures, five double-slot computer workshops, plus individual feedback sessions. Next to participation in lectures and workshops, learning activities will include working on an individual project concerning population projections, for formative feedback, as well as independent study.

TypeHours
Teaching22
Independent Study128
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Reading list. Reading specific to particular topics will be given out in the relevant lectures. Below is a list of books and articles which are relevant to substantial sections of the module.

State and local population projections: Methodology and analysis. 

Booth H (2006). Demographic forecasting: 1980 to 2005 in review. International Journal of Forecasting. ,22 , pp. 547–581.

Keilman N (2007). UK national population projections in perspective: How successful compared to those in other European countries?. Population Trends. ,129 , pp. 20-30.

Demography: Measuring and modelling population processes. 

George MV, Smith SK, Swanson DA and Tayman J (2004). Population projections. In: The methods and materials of demography, Siegel JS and Swanson DA, eds., pp. 561–601. 

Isserman AM (1993). The right people, the right rates: Making population estimates and forecasts with an interregional cohort-component model. Journal of the American Planning Association. ,59 , pp. 45–64.

Keilman N (2001). Data quality and accuracy of United Nations population projections, 1950-1995.. Population Studies. ,55 , pp. 149–164.

Wilson T and Rees P (2005). Recent developments in population projection methodology: A review.. Population, Space and Place. ,11 , pp. 337–360.

Shaw C (2007). Fifty years of United Kingdom national population projections: how accurate have they been?. Population Trends. ,128 , pp. 8–23.

Text books, journal articles, online data and Microsoft Excel.. 

O’Neill BC, Balk D, Brickman M and Ezra M (2001). A guide to global population projections. Demographic Research. ,4 , pp. 203–288.

Keilman N (2008). European demographic forecasts have not become more accurate over the past 25 years. Population and Development Review. ,34 , pp. 137–153.

Bijak J (2010). Forecasting international migration in Europe: a Bayesian view. 

Alho J and Spencer BD (2005). Statistical demography and forecasting. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites

To study this module, you will need to have studied the following module(s):

CodeModule
DEMO6020Demographic Methods I
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