Name: Demography
Code: SOC2385L
Duration: 15 weeks/156 hours
Scientific Area: Sociology

Teaching languages: Portuguese
Languages of tutoring support: Portuguese
Regime de Frequência: Presencial

Sustainable Development Goals

Learning Goals

This CU is an introductory course in demographic methods, teaching how to measure population growth and
age structure, mortality, fertility and migration. It aims to develop skills for thinking systematically about
population problems in Portugal, in Europe and the World.
This course provides also an introduction to the causes and consequences of population change from a social
and historical perspective.
At the end of the course students will be able to:
- Demonstrate understanding of demographic patterns, processes and trends;
- Demonstrate a basic knowledge of data sources and methods used in demographic analysis;
- Demonstrate ability to apply method and data appropriately to answer nowadays demographic questions and
- Interpret the output of demographic analysis appropriately;
- Understand the way demographic changes are crucial to our understanding of many important social and
policy issues.


Module 1- Population Growth and Age Structure Analysis
Data and sources of demographic knowledge; The balancing equation for populations; Exponential growth;
The Growth rate “r”; Doubling times; Age and sex composition; Age Pyramids; Dependency Ratios; Population
Module 2 – Periods and Cohorts
Lexis Diagrams; The Synthetic Cohort; Period-Persons Years Lived; The Crude Rate Model; The Infant
Mortality Rate
Module 3 – Cohort and Period Mortality
Cohort survival; Probabilities of dying; Cohort Life Table and Period Life Table
Module 4 – Cohort and Period Fertility
Cohort fertility and Parity; Period Measures; Period Age-Specific Fertility; Period NRR, TFR and GRR; Agestandardized
Module 5 - Location and Migration
Population Distribution by Geographic Areas; Internal Migration and Short-Distance Mobility; International
Migration; Net Migration Estimation Methods.
Module 6 – Causes and consequences of population change.

Teaching Methods

Teaching methodology:
A mixture of theoretical and practical lectures and with support of e-learning tools.
Introductory concepts are given using real examples of different areas of applications to show the relevance of
programmatic contents.
There are weekly exercises. Exercises focus on problem solving strategies to motivate students and to show
the utility of demographic techniques.
Students use the EXCEL and SPSS software packages for solving exercises.
Attendance, classroom participation and continued students’ assessments are encouraged.
Incentive given to investigation, though individual, or group, research and synthesis.
Lectures: 3 hours per week throughout parts of the semester.
PC-exercises: 3 hours per week through parts of the semester.
A midterm exam: (2 hour written exam) (30%)
Coursework: portfolio of short assignments based on workshop exercises (10%)
Final Exam: (2 hour written exam) (60%)