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The University of Southampton

DEMO6022 Demographic Methods 2

Module Overview

The module will cover a range of more advanced methods of demographic analysis, including multiple decrement life tables, health expectancies, an introduction to event history analysis, the use of type 1 and type 2 rates in demography and sources of bias in event history data, parity-specific measurement, empirical and relational model life tables, models for age patterns, stable population theory, selected topics in population projections, and elements of linear algebra and matrix models of population dynamics.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To introduce students to more advanced demographic methods and to illustrate their application to official statistical purposes and related demographic questions.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Construct a multiple decrement life table, eliminate or modify a cause of decrement, and calculate healthy life expectancy;
  • Critically evaluate the potential biases involved in analysing event history data, and the main methods to handle these;
  • Interpret and apply parity-specific fertility measures, and appreciate current debates regarding the measurement of fertility;
  • Explain and assess the use of model schedules in demography, especially in the context of missing or incomplete data;
  • Calculate a stable population, compute and analyse the basic features and measures of the associated population dynamics;
  • Carry out basic operations on matrices and vectors, and apply basic matrix algebra to population projection problems;
  • Appreciate specific issues in population projections, such as small area, household and multistate projections;
  • Demonstrate problem solving by using spreadsheets and open access demographic software for a range of demographic tasks.


Dependent and independent multiple decrement life tables and other advanced life table methods. Health expectancies. Introduction to event history analysis and birth histories; Kaplan-Meier estimator. Additional fertility measures: parity progression ratios and birth history measures. Fertility and reproduction estimated from cross-sectional or longitudinal surveys. Model age patterns and stable population theory, with applications to historical data and populations lacking complete vital statistics. Models for demographic estimation when data are incomplete or inaccurate. Selected topics in population projections. Matrix population models and the Leslie matrix. Introduction to multistate demography.

Special Features

This module is run as a week-long short course, a component of the MSc Official Statistics.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The course will be taught by lectures and extended small-group practical classes. Paper copies of the lecture slides and class exercises will be handed out at the beginning of the course. Some indicative reading is given at the end of this outline, and further sources will be mentioned in lectures.

Independent Study80
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Preston, S.H., Heuveline, P. and Guillot, M. (2001). Demography: Measuring and Modelling Population Processes. 

Rowland, D. (2003). Demographic Methods and Concepts. 

Siegel, J.S. (2002). Applied Demography: applications to business, government, law and public policy. 

Siegel, J.S., and Swanson, D.A. (2004). The Methods and materials of demography. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Prerequisites: DEMO6020 OR DEMO6028

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