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Social Statistics and DemographyPart of Economic, Social & Political Science

Research Themes

Social Statistics and Demography has a strong reputation for developing methodological innovations and studying population processes. We work in four main areas:


Researchers in this area work with colleagues across social sciences and the University, using cutting-edge quantitative and qualitative methods to aid interdisciplinary analysis. Many of our academics are part of the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI) and the Centre for Population Change (CPC).

There are four main areas of research: Family Demography; Migration; Historical Demography; and the Voluntary sector social welfare and inequality. 

Global Health

This area of research investigates the interrelationships between health, population and poverty at both the societal and individual level.

Our researchers work on projects related to HIV/AIDS, reproductive and maternal health in the developing world, family planning, and poverty and living standards in poor countries.

Find out more: Centre for Global Health and Policy (GHaP)

Survey Methods and Official Statistics

We are at the forefront of international research on methodology for the design and analysis of sample surveys, and the use of administrative data for official statistics.

Our major research contract with the Methodology group of the Office for National Statistics has resulted in a wide variety of projects, including working on the methods for the population census and an administrative data census, investigation of the feasibility of producing regional price indices, and assessing the accuracy of population estimates.  The Department engages in collaborative projects with partners across Europe, including a large number of national statistical institutes, and is currently involved in MAKSWELL, a project about improving the use of sustainability and well-being indicators.

Much of our research is carried out with the University research centre S3RI, which develops methods for census, survey sampling, and statistical surveys based on data from multiple sources. We also direct the National Centre for Research Methods.

We also have strong international links. We are part of the ROSE (Research on Official Statistics in Europe) network with Statistics Netherlands, ISTAT, Italy, ONS and University of Utrecht. Members of the department have strong links with Statistics Canada, Statistics Norway, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics and IBGE, Brazil.

Statistical and Computational Modelling

Academics in this area have interests in various aspects of modelling, including statistical modelling (generalised linear models, multilevel modelling, survival analysis, contingency tables and graphical models), as well as computational modelling (micro-simulations, Bayesian statistics and agent-based models). We work closely with S3RI to develop statistical methods for the analysis of social science studies, with focus on demographic estimation and forecasting. We also collaborate with colleagues in Electronics and Computer Science and Southampton Management School on developing and testing computational simulation methods for social science applications.


I was aware that the University was very strong in social research – excellent research and teaching ratings and the ESRC-accredited S3RI – and felt that Southampton was the ideal place to continue my research training.

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