RHI-21206 Demography and Global Population Issues

Code last year: (SCH-21306)


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. MP Poelman
prof. dr. EWML de Vet
Lecturer(s)dr. NM Teeuwen
dr. MP Poelman
dr. D Gallardo Albarran

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Basic Mathematics


Many of the most pressing contemporary social and economic issues (like poverty, unemployment, slums, environmental degradation) are narrowly linked with demographic processes (population growth or decline, migration, epidemics) and the functioning of the family. These demographic processes diverge widely across the globe. For example, while many European countries face a future of population decline and an ageing population, many African countries experience rapid population growth and have a very young population structure. Such demographic trends and situations have huge effects on both the opportunities and problems they are faced with, in for example health care, education, employment and welfare systems.
This course addresses these issues and connections in a global and dynamic perspective. It does not aim at producing demographers. But it does introduce you to the basics of demographic analysis and data collection, necessary for students to be able to understand demographic trends and their implications, and to be able to participate in the debate on global population issues. Several specific issues and examples, taken from all parts of the world and from different periods in time, are discussed, as well as their implications for policy, institutions (including healthcare) and business.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand basic demographic concepts, theory and measurements;
- interpret demographic figures;
- understand the basics of demographic data collection;
- understand important demographic trends and issues in different parts of the world;
- assess the role of demographic trends and realities within contemporary economic, social, and cultural processes.


- lectures;
- assignments;
- literature study;
- writing a scientific paper
- tutorials;
Attendance during lectures and tutorials is compulsory.


- written exam (50%);
- group paper, assignments, and final presentation (40%);
- participation (10%).
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


- weeks, John R. (2016), Population. An Introduction to Concepts and Issues (12th edition). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. ISBN-10:1305094506 | ISBN-13:9781305094505
- additional reading material t.b.a.

Compulsory for: BGMHealth and SocietyBSc5MO