This is the syllabus used in conjunction with educational content offered by JHSPH. As a result, some of the information and/or materials listed here may not be relevant to or available for an OCW user's self-directed study.


Course Description

This course introduces the basic techniques of demographic analysis. Students will become familiar with the sources of data available for demographic research. Population composition and change measures will be presented. Measures of mortality, fertility, marriage and migration levels and patterns will be defined. Life table, standardization and population projection techniques will also be explored.

Course Objectives

After completion of this course, the student will be able to identify appropriate sources of data, perform basic demographic analyses using various techniques and ensure their comparability across populations. The student will also be able to produce population projections and interpret the information gathered by the different demographic methods.

To attain the course objectives, the instructor will:


It is essential that the student be familiar with algebra. Although not required, an understanding of elementary probability is recommended (see discussion in chapter 3 of “Fundamentals of Biostatistics – Fourth Edition� by Bernard Rosner. Duxbury Press). Calculus will also be useful to the student.


Shyrock S, Siegel JS, Stockwell EG. The Methods and Materials of Demography. Academic Press. 1976.

Course Requirements

At the end of each module, a set of review questions is made available. The questions are an additional learning tool testing your understanding of the concepts and measuring your progress.