Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. A Model-Based View of Demography

  3. Some Demographic Models Re-visited

  4. Teaching Demography

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 153-153
    2. Thomas K. Burch
      Pages 155-166 Open Access
    3. Thomas K. Burch
      Pages 179-185 Open Access
  5. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 187-187
    2. Thomas K. Burch
      Pages 189-193 Open Access
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 195-200

About this book


 Late in a career of more than sixty years, Thomas Burch, an internationally known social demographer, undertook a wide-ranging methodological critique of demography. This open access volume contains  a selection of resulting papers, some previously unpublished, some published but not readily accessible [from past meetings of The International Union for the Scientific Study of Population and its research committees, or from other small conferences and seminars]. Rejecting the idea that demography is simply a branch of applied statistics, his work views it as an autonomous and complete scientific discipline. When viewed from the perspective of modern philosophy of science, specifically the semantic or model-based school, demography is a balanced discipline, with a rich body of techniques and data, but also with more and better theories than generally recognized. As demonstrated in this book, some demographic techniques can also be seen as theoretical

models, and some substantive/behavioral models, commonly rejected as theory because of inconsistent observations, are now seen as valuable theoretical models, for example demographic transition theory.  This book shows how demography can build a strong theoretical edifice on its broad and deep empirical foundation by adoption of the model-based approach to science. But the full-fruits of this approach will require demographers to make greater use of computer modeling [both macro- and micro-simulation], in the statement and manipulation of theoretical ideas, as well as for numerical computation.

This book is open access under a CC BY license.


Demography Computer Modeling Methodology Theory Quantitative analysis Model Based view of Science Open Access

Authors and affiliations

  • Thomas K. Burch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Population Research GroupUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • License CC BY
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-65432-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-65433-1
  • Series Print ISSN 1613-5520
  • Series Online ISSN 2197-9286
  • Buy this book on publisher's site