Demography

Demography (from Ancient Greek δῆμος (dêmos) 'people, society', and -γραφία (-graphía) 'writing, drawing, description')[1] is the statistical study of populations, especially human beings.

The Demography of the World Population from 1950 to 2100. Data source: United Nations — World Population Prospects 2017

Demographic analysis examines and measures the dimensions and dynamics of populations; it can cover whole societies or groups defined by criteria such as education, nationality, religion, and ethnicity. Educational institutions[2] usually treat demography as a field of sociology, though there are a number of independent demography departments.[3] These methods have primarily been developed to study human populations, but are extended to a variety of areas where researchers want to know how populations of social actors can change across time through processes of birth, death, and migration. In the context of human biological populations, demographic analysis uses administrative records to develop an independent estimate of the population.[4] Demographic analysis estimates are often considered a reliable standard for judging the accuracy of the census information gathered at any time. In the labor force, demographic analysis is used to estimate sizes and flows of populations of workers; in population ecology the focus is on the birth, death, migration and immigration of individuals in a population of living organisms, alternatively, in social human sciences could involve movement of firms and institutional forms. Demographic analysis is used in a wide variety of contexts. For example, it is often used in business plans, to describe the population connected to the geographic location of the business.[5] Demographic analysis is usually abbreviated as DA.[6] For the 2010 U.S. Census, The U.S. Census Bureau has expanded its DA categories.[6] Also as part of the 2010 U.S. Census, DA now also includes comparative analysis between independent housing estimates, and census address lists at different key time points.[6]

Patient demographics form the core of the data for any medical institution, such as patient and emergency contact information and patient medical record data. They allow for the identification of a patient and his categorization into categories for the purpose of statistical analysis. Patient demographics include: date of birth, gender, date of death, postal code, ethnicity, blood type, emergency contact information, family doctor, insurance provider data, allergies, major diagnoses and major medical history.[7]

Formal demography limits its object of study to the measurement of population processes, while the broader field of social demography or population studies also analyses the relationships between economic, social, institutional, cultural, and biological processes influencing a population.[8]


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