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SOME BASIC CONCEPTS OF
DEMOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS
We shall now first discuss in this chapter the basic concepts of demography.
1.

Observation

Demographic facts and figures are assembled on the basis of the observation of individuals and groups.
Observations are conducted with a naked eye on the course of events which are open to conflicting influences
acting concurrently. Observation can be of different types.

2.

OR
E

Human beings are the objects of observation on whom controlled experiment is not possible as in physical
sciences. The sense in which experiment is possible in demographic study is that different populations can be
studied at the same time and the same population can be studied at different times. Observation requires
sufficient skill, knowledge, expertise and judgement. Slight neglect or biased view can result in misleading
conclusions. Demographic facts cannot have mathematical precision because of the intervention of exogenous
factors. Changes taking place with time and group cannot be properly observed and quantified.
Relative Number

SC

Students of population will be interested in collecting facts and establishing relations between sets of data and
find out ratios and rates. Both ratios and rates are relative figures and express a relation between two or more
numbers. It is commonly felt that relative numbers are more useful or better than absolute numbers. But this
opinion is not correct for all times and in all cases.

3.

Rates

GS

In certain cases, absolute numbers can be more useful than relative numbers. Absolute numbers are raw data
of population. Where comparison is indispensable or useful, relative numbers are needed, or else absolute
numbers can serve the purpose.

Rates are used to observe demographic figures in a meaningful way. Birth rates, death rates, marriage rates, etc.,
are used in demographic studies. Some of the important demographic rates are as follows:
Crude birth rate: The number of live births in the year, per 1,000 population at mid-year.

2.

Crude death rate: The number of deaths in the year, per 1,000 population at mid-year.

3.

Crude marriage rate: The number of marriage (not persons marrying) in the year, per 1,000 population
at mid-year.

4.

Crude divorce rate: The number of divorces (not persons divorcing) in the year, per 1,000 population at
mid-year.

5.

Crude rate of natural increase: Difference between the crude birth and death rates.

6.

Abortion rate: The estimated number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years in a given year.

7.

Age-specific rate: Rate obtained for specific age groups, for example, age-specific fertility rate, death rate,
marriage rate, illiteracy rate, school enrolment rate, etc.

Notes

1.

1

000 live births in a given year. and in this sense.000 married women aged 15-44 years in a given year.00. health status. 9. SC 16. Net migration rate: The net effect of immigration and emigration on an area's population. A rate counts the number of events in a restricted time period for example. Marriage rate (or crude marriage rate): The number of marriages per 1. Postneonatal mortality rate: The-annual number of infant deaths in 28 days to one year of age per 1.g.in 8. it is a prevalence concept rather than the incidence concept underlying a rate. etc.000 population of the area in a given year. expressed as a percentage of the base population.000 live births. but takes into account that some women will die before completing their child-bearing years. 15.iasscore.000 live births in that year. 18. Notes 1. 12.000 live births in a given year. Abortion ratio: It is the estimated number of abortions per 1. Infant mortality rate: The number of deaths of infants under one year of age in a given year per 1. sex.000 women aged 15-44 years in a given year. 10. one year. Prenatal mortality rate: The number of foetal deaths after 28 weeks of pregnancy (late foetal death) plus the number of deaths of infants under 7 days of age per 1. This rate is similar to the gross reproduction rate. A ratio prevails at a particular point of time. arbitrarily defined as the ratio of the elderly (those 65 years and above) plus the young ones (those under 15 years of age) to the population in the 'working ages' (15-64 years). 11. 19. GS 17. 14. Ratio Ratios differ from rates.) alive at the beginning of an interval (e. 4. 2. Net reproduction rate (NRR): The average number of daughters that would be born to a woman (or group of women) if she (they) passed through her (their) lifetime from birth conforming to the age-specific fertility and mortality rates of a given year. An NRR of 1.000 population in a given year. General fertility rate: The number of live births per 1.. OR E 13. Dependency ratio: It is the ratio of the economically dependent part of the population to the productive part.www. expressed as increase or decrease per 1. Marital fertility rate: The number of legitimate live births per 1. a 5-year period) who survive till the end of the interval. Gross reproduction rate (GRR): The average number of daughters that would be born alive to a woman (or group of women) during her (their) lifetime if she (they) passed through her (their) child-bearing years conforming to the age-specific fertility rates of a given year. Total fertility rate (TFR): The average number of children that would be born alive to a woman (or group of women) during her/their lifetime if she/they were to pass through her/their child-bearing years conforming to the age-specific fertility rates of a given year. Survival rate: The proportion of persons in a specified group (age. Growth rate: The rate at which a population is increasing (or decreasing) in a given year due to natural increase and net migration.00 means each generation of mothers is having exactly enough daughters to replace itself in the population. 20. and would be only half that value for a half year. 2 . Maternal mortality rate: The number of deaths of women due to pregnancy and child birth complications per 1.000 live births in a given year.

Family planning usually connotes the use of birth control . Information on age-sex composition is an essential prerequisite for the description and analysis of many other types of demographic data. In other countries. arbitrarily assumed for statistical purposes to be 15-44 years in the U. Notes 13.iasscore. 10. P = population of a particular place. schools. class cohorts. This is generally expressed. Sex ratio: It is the number of males per 1. Cohort: A group of people sharing demographic experience who are observed through time. and the compilation of demographic. Family planning: The conscious effort of couples to regulate the number and spacing of births. the birth cohort of 1980 would be the people born in that year. a couple. Symbolically: P = total population. it is calculated as the number of females per thousand males.000 females in a population. and K = constant Literacy ratio: It is of literate population of a particular place to the total population of that particular place. where L = literate population. in percentage and calculated by the formula: 5. a savings account increasing at compound interest.0 per cent annually. Census: It is canvas of a given area.S.000 4. There are also marriage cohorts. for example. resulting in an enumeration of the entire population.measures to avoid pregnancy. but also includes efforts of couples to induce pregnancy. and W = Working Population 3. and migration. 7. OR E Density ratio = P /A × K. mortality. social. 11. and K = constant which is generally taken as 1. The age-sex structure of a population is the cumulative result of past trends in fertility. where D = Dependent Population.. 12. a group. Fertility: The actual reproductive performance of an individual. Age-sex structure: It is the composition of population as determined by the number of proportion of males and females in each age category. Child-bearing years: The reproductive age span of women.in Symbolically Dependency ratio= D/P × K. etc. For example. A = area of that particular place in square Ion. a population growing at 3. the range is often set at 15-49 years. Fecundity: The physiological capacity of a woman. In India. 8. 3 . where M = male population. It is calculated mathematically by the formula: Sex ratio = M / F × K or F/M × K. man or couple to produce a live child. 9. a snowball gathering mass. and K = 100 SC Literacy ratio = L/P × K. Density ratio: It is a kind of simple ratio obtained by the division of population of a particular area by the total population of the country. GS 6. and economic information pertaining to that population at a specific time. Exponential growth: A constant rate of growth applied to a continuously growing base over a period of time. or a population. F = female population.www.

15. 28. complete picture of a population's mortality. Mean age: The average age of all the members of a population. for example. 18. OR E 19. given certain assumptions about future trends in the rates of fertility. Nuptiality: The frequency. medium and high projections of the same population. 27. Population density: Population per unit of land area. Divided into international migration (migration between countries) and internal migration (migration within a country). Most commonly cited as life expectancy at birth. Population pyramid: A special type of bar chart that shows the distribution of a population by age and sex. Notes  4 . marriages.000 live births in that year. SC 22.g. Population distribution: The pattern of settlement and dispersal of a population. persons per square mile. Demographers often issue low.iasscore. Vital statistics: Demographic data on births. 23. characteristics. Population projection: Computation of figure changes in population numbers. 20. 26. Median age: The age which divides a population into two numerically equal groups. and divorces. 21. expressed as a percentage of the base population. GS 25. In-migration: The process of entering one administrative subdivision of a country (e. based on different assumptions of how these rates will change in the future. Urbanization: Growth in the proportion of a population living in urban areas. 17.in 14. Migration: The movement of people across a specified boundary for the purpose of establishing a new permanent residence. mortality and migration. country or state) from another subdivision to take up residence. 16. or persons per square kilometre of arable land..www. that is. Neonatal mortality rate: The number of deaths of infants under 28 days of age in a given year per 1. deaths. Life expectancy: The average number of additional years a person would live if current mortality trends were to continue. The life table gives an organized. Growth rate: The rate at which a population is increasing (or decreasing) in a given year due to natural increase and net migration. 24. half the people are younger than this age and half are older. Life table: A tabular display of life expectancy and the probability of dying at each age for a given population according to the age-specific death rates prevailing at that time. and dissolution of marriages in a population.