Demography ranks highly in modern societies because it is relevant for policy-making as social policies always target population as a whole or its selected groups. The structural characteristics of the population and its territorial distribution are often central for the apportionment of power and allocation of budgets. Other social disciplines widely use demographic indicators.
A distinctive feature of demography is its reliance on hard data and attention to accuracy of measurement or estimation. Yet, the development of demography is not constrained by the availability of abundant data of perfect quality. On the contrary, scarcity or poor quality of population data in most developing countries prompted the development of indirect techniques for demographic estimation.
The manuals on this site are concerned with formal descriptive, analytical and projection methods with an emphasis on techniques adapted to or specially designed for the countries with insufficient, unreliable or untimely data. The behavioural aspects or their socio-economic determinants are outside the scope of this series. Back