Social Research Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-20, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 19 December, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2020.


A fast-paced novel of conjecture and surprises



core definition

Demography is the study of vital statistics usually with a view to revealing the nature of life in different communities.

explanatory context

Demography is concerned with life expectancy, infant mortality, health, age distributions, and so on.

analytical review

Demography Study Using Cemetery Data (undated) states:

Demography is defined as "the study of the characteristics of human populations, such as size, growth, density, distribution and vital statistics".


Elwell's Glossary of Sociology (undated) defines demography as:

The scientific study of human population--including size, growth, movement, density, and composition.


Richard Schaefer (2017):

Demography: The scientific study of population.

Demographic transition: A term used to describe the change from high birthrates and death rates to relatively low birthrates and death rates.

associated issues


related areas



Demography Study Using Cemetery Data, undated, Demography - Human Population Ecology, available at, accessed 21 January 2013, still available 3 June 2019.

Elwell's Glossary of Sociology, undated, available at, page not available 20 December 2016.

Schaefer, R. T., 2017, 'Glossary' in Sociology: A brief introduction, Fourth Edition, originally c. 2000, McGraw-Hill. Available at, site dated 2017, accessed 11 June 2017, not found 1 June 2019.

copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2020


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