Basic Demographic Methods
The purpose of this volume is to introduce the latest developments in demographic analysis that are not covered in any introductory texts of population data analysis, the exception being those methods that are covered in the first two chapters. This chapter includes the most basic conventional methods of demography such as rates and ratios and the measures derived from these concepts, standardization and decomposition procedures, and mathematical modeling. The computational formulas, rules, and procedures that facilitate an understanding of their general nature are discussed in detail in many introductory texts on demographic methods. Hence, we will not discuss these methods in great detail but we will attempt to explain some of the limitations of these methods and also suggest possible further improvements, especially in decomposing the aggregate rates in terms of their component parts. The exercise of decomposition is useful because many vital events in demography depend upon various risk factors. For instance, the annual number of births that occur in a population depend upon biological determinants and factors such as age of the couple, their marital status (especially in societies where births occur predominantly to married women), duration of marriage, past fertility experience, practice of birth control methods, and other intermediate variables. This chapter also includes a brief presentation of the mathematical models of demography, as model-building is becoming increasingly important.
KeywordsInfant Death Crude Death Rate Marital Fertility Household Formation Introductory Text
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