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Demographics & Population Studies

Demographics and Population Studies – Marketing Degree Resources

The studies of human populations, including demographics, are some of the most important elements of marketing and all social sciences.  Populations and human behaviors constitute the intersection between social, economic, political, biological, genetic, geographical factors, as well as the interrelationships between these variables. Population studies are qualitative and quantitative.

Demographics and demographic data describe the characteristics of a human population and are fundamental to better understand an entire range of social, political and scientific factors that drive such varied disciplines as sociology, public policy, epidemiology and marketing. Commonly used demographic factors include gender, race, age, income, disabilities, mobility, educational attainment, home ownership, employment status, and location. This data is then analyzed to determine demographic trends that indicate future needs for policymakers, as well as suppliers, food and water policymakers, teachers and medical providers.

By studying populations, academics political leaders and international policy makers can better allocate resources and make more informed  decisions about national security, the environment, budgeting and government policies, so leaders can best provide for their growing and aging populations.

Population researchers have also made great advances in studying the effects of differing fertility rates in developing and less developed countries, the disruptive potential of mass migration, and the growing proportion of elderly. While the scientific evidence is presented, the public-policy debate over many population-related issues been become more slanted by advocacy and special-interest groups as battle lines have been drawn over the use of resources and political power.

As the world population grows and impinges on the earth’s resources, this area will become increasingly important.

Population Literature Sources

  • Robert Malthus is considered one of the greatest social theorists who made major contributions to population theory.  This site contains links to his major works, including a PowerPoint presentation.
  • World Population Awareness has a goal of preserving the environment and its natural resources for the benefit of people, families, and future generations. But is says, “Unfortunately, with exploding population growth, excessive consumption on the part of the more well-off people in the world, errant technology, and corrupt governments, the environment is in trouble and the sustainability of the people of our planet is threatened.”
  • A Special Moment,” an article in the Atlantic by Robert McKibben, which looks at the fate of our planet, will be determined in the next few decades, through our technological, lifestyle, and population choices.
  • An article, “Beyond Six Billion–Forecasting the World’s Population,” a Panel on Population Projections from the Committee on Population, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education of the National Research Council

Key Ideas about Demographic Transition Theory

  • A graph of Total Fertility Rates of American Women
  • A chart of birth and death rates and deficiency ratios between young and old people
  • A chart showing the age structure of the U.S. population.
  • The 2010 U.S. Census home page, which contains links to all the key information, data and methodology regarding the census.
  • The American Fact Finder which guides users to obtain specific information about their town or city based on 2010 census data.  Also, contains a link for data from the 2000 census.
  • State and county “Quick Facts” page from the 2010 census about people, places and businesses.
  • Ginger Booth of Yale University’s Human Demographics simulations.
  • The Rule of 70–One way to determine a population’s growth rate, one way of which accessing is examining the time it takes for it to double. Applying the “rule of 70,” that is dividing 70 by the annual percent increase in population, one obtains this doubling time. For instance, if Liberia’s 3.23% growth rate continues, its population will double in 21 years and 8 months (70/3.23.)
  • State of the World’s Population, 2009—Includes chapters on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007: Climate Change 2007: Synthesis report.  The Global Humanitarian Forum, 2009: Human Impact Report: Climate Change — The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis.  The United Nations Population Fund, 2007: State of the World Population 2007. Unleashing the Potential of Urban Growth.
  • The Population Reference Bureau informs people around the world about population, health, and the environment, and empowers them to use that information to advance the well-being of current and future generations.
  • A talk by Jared Diamond on “Why Did Human History Unfold Differently On Different Continents For The Last 13,000 Years?
  • An open-access journal that seeks to accelerate communication amongst scientists working in social geography, including Human Geography, Sociology, Anthropology, Architecture, Ecology, Cultural Studies, History, Politics, Philosophy, or Linguistic and Social Geography.
  • Census Scope — An easy-to-use tool for investigating U.S. demographic trends, brought to you by the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN) at the University of Michigan. With eye-catching graphics and exportable trend data, CensusScope is designed for both generalists and specialists.
  • Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN) is a university-based organization that creates demographic media, such as user guides, web sites, and hands-on classroom computer materials that make U.S. census data accessible to policymakers, educators, the media, and informed citizens.
  • A list of tools to multiple data series from multiple federal statistical agencies, for states, counties, federal judicial districts, and Congressional districts
  • U.S. Statistical Abstract–Population: Elderly, Racial and Hispanic Origin Population Profiles.
  • Population Profiles of the U.S. brings together under one cover a wide range of sample survey and census data on demographic, social, and economic trends for the Nation as a whole. These data for the United States cover the 50 states and the District of Columbia; they do not include the population of Puerto Rico or any of the other U.S. Island Areas.
  • The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that provides data every year — giving communities the current information they need to plan investments and services. Information from the survey generates data that help determine how more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year.
  • The Tiger Profiles (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing system), sponsored by the U.S Census Bureau, are spatial extracts from the Census Bureau’s MAF/TIGER database, containing features such as roads, railroads, rivers, as well as legal and statistical geographic areas.
  • The Missouri Census Data Center has been downloading and converting the early 2010 decennial census data (the “Public Law 94″ summary files, also known as the “Redistricting” files) for all states as they become available from the Census Bureau. Missouri’s data were released on Feb. 24 and have been available on the site since then. The data for six of the eight states bordering Missouri (Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Nebraska) are also available.
  • This site from the Missouri Census Data Center, provides census data using zip codes.  Users can find data by state, and then a variety of inputs, including county, census block, census tract and zip code.
  • This working paper presents selected decennial census data on the foreign-born population of the United States from 1850 to 1990. This paper updates and expands data on the foreign-born population published in 1975 in “Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970.”
  • Current Population Survey from the U.S. Census is a monthly survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey has been conducted for more than 50 years.  The CPS is the primary source of information on the labor force characteristics of the U.S. population.

Non-Government Resources

  • The California Department of Finance Demographic Research is designated as the single official source of demographic data for state planning and budgeting and contains a variety of materials, including data and research papers.
  • Profiles of the 50 Largest Cities of the United States
  • ACCRA Cost of Living Index Web Calculator lets users know how much it will cost to live in your community as compared with another.
  • The Forum on Child and Family Statistics is a working group of federal agencies which collects, analyzes and reports data on issues related to families and children.   The Forum has partners from 22 agencies, as well as private sources.
  • A portal providing access to over 100 agencies which have statistical data available to citizens.
  • Public Records Online is an information portal to official state websites, and those Tax Assessors’ and Recorders’ offices that have developed websites for the retrieval of available public records over the internet. Public records information that you may find includes copies of deeds, parcel maps, GIS maps, tax data, ownership information and indexes, and will vary to the extent that the particular office has developed their site.
  • The Records Room is a collection of thousands of vital record links and information available in print, CD-ROM and online. Vital records are the cornerstone of genealogy research, from them clues become fact, public information turns personal and the family tree springs new roots.
  • Ameridex is a database for finding people in the U.S.  It consists of over 380 million names with dates of birth, compiled from multiple public and publicly-available sources.  Queries can be answered within seconds. The database includes dates from 1870 to 1987 and addresses from 1994 to 2005.
  • The Electronic Map Library includes a series of atlases created by Dr. William Bowen. These volumes are evolving in response to the changing instructional needs of the Department of Geography at California State University, Northridge.
  • Statistics covering membership in “over 4,000 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, etc.”
  • National Center of Education Statistics which contains reports on current studies in education, and student attrition and graduations.
  • Ancestory.com’s searchable Social Security Death Index.
  • U.S. Population Council is an international, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that seeks to improve the well-being and reproductive health of current and future generations around the world and to help achieve a humane, equitable, and sustainable balance between people and resources.  The Council conducts research in three areas: HIV and AIDS; poverty, gender, and youth; and reproductive health
  • The National Compensation Survey (NCS), part of the U.S> Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides comprehensive measures of occupational wages; employment cost trends, and benefit incidence and detailed plan provisions. Detailed occupational earnings are available for metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, broad geographic regions, and on a national basis. The index component of the NCS (ECI) measures changes in labor costs. Average hourly employer cost for employee compensation is presented in the ECEC.
  • Find information about newspapers, cities, schools, cemeteries, colleges, airports and museums from this user-friendly site.
  • This site from the California Geographical Survey is a resource hosted by the Department of Geography and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at California State University, Northridge. It contains aerial photos, animated maps of the earth and parts of California, some from space, of areas from around the world.

Demographic Data from Zip Codes

  • Zip Code Skinny, a site that allows you to enter a zip code for any state in the union to find demographic data.
  • A free, comprehensive site that provides a variety of links to other sites so you can obtain a variety of data from zip codes.  This includes information about schools, demographics, political donors, postal routes, e-mail extensions, and even the latitudes and longitudes of specific zip codes.
  • Free Zip Code allows you to find the city and state, plus county names, time zones, MPA/PMSA, area codes and latitude and longitude.

International Data Sources

  • The CIA Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities. Our Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map.
  • Background Notes compiled by the U.S. State Department include facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations of independent states, some dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty.
  • The Country Studies Series from the Library of Congress presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world.
  • EconDataNet has 1,000 links to socioeconomic data sources, arranged by subject and provider, pointers to the Web’s premiere data collections, and our own list of the ten best sites for finding regional economic data.
  • Gateway to all UK national economic, population, labor, population and transportation statistics.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau’s international data base contains list of the largest countries for any year from 1950 to 2050, as well as Global population trends, links to historical population estimates, population clocks, and estimates of population, births, and deaths occurring each year, day, hour, or second.
  • The Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) is a research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) engaged in the scientific study of population (demography).
  • The Center for Demography and Ecology (CDE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a multi-disciplinary faculty research cooperative for social scientific demographic research whose membership includes sociologists, rural sociologists, economists, epidemiologists, and statisticians. CDE is one of the leading centers of social science research in the world, as indicated by the scholarly productivity of its faculty, the level of extramural funding secured by researchers, the production and distribution of high quality demographic data.
  • Governments of the WWW is a comprehensive database of governmental institutions on the World Wide Web: parliaments, ministries, offices, law courts, embassies, city councils, public broadcasting corporations, central banks, multi-governmental institutions, and political parties. It has been online since June 1995 and contains more than 17,000 entries from more than 220 countries and territories as of June 2002.
  • License plates of the world is a complete list of every plate imaginable.
  • Population Index is the primary reference tool to the world’s population literature. It presents an annotated bibliography of recently published books, journal articles, working papers, and other materials on population topics. This website provides a searchable and browsable database containing 46,035 abstracts of demographic literature published in Population Index in the period 1986-2000. The website is organized in three major sections.
  • Population Connection (formerly Zero Population Growth or ZPG) has been America’s voice for population stabilization. This group is the largest grassroots population organization in the United States. Population Connection has 110,000 members, supporters, and participating educators.
  • The UN Development Programme is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life in 166 countries.
  • The Office of Population Research (OPR) at Princeton University is a leading demographic research and training center. OPR has a distinguished history of contributions in formal demography and the study of fertility change.
  • Population Reference Bureau informs people worldwide about population, health and the environment.
  • The Demographic and Health Survey program provides assistance with the Demographic and Health Survey, the Service Provision Assessment (SPA) Survey, the HIV/AIDS Indicator Survey (AIS), Malaria Indicators Survey (MIS) and qualitative research.
  • The Digest of Education Statistics provides a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from pre-kindergarten through graduate school. The Digest includes a selection of data from many sources, both government and private, and draws especially on the results of surveys and activities carried out by the National Center for Education Statistics.
  • A great portal for economic data on the world’s major nations broken down by geographic areas.  Contains data, analysis, tools and pages on each country.
  • Country Reports is for students, educators and anyone interested in cultural, historical, and statistical country information.

Population Migrations

  • The Migration Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development, and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national, and international levels.

Miscellaneous Sites Related to People

  • The origins and literal meanings of names is called onomastic, a field which touches on linguistics, history, anthropology, psychology, sociology, philology and much more. This site contains a variety of information about names and their meanings.
  • Best Places to Live, an annual list compiled by CNNMoney.com.
  • The Best Places to Retire, an annual list compiled by CNNMoney.com.
  • Real estate news from around the U.S. including mortgages rates, house purchase and sale data, prices, and commercial development and residential housing news.
  • Find a Grave says it has data on 58 million grave records, as well as famous graves, photos, names of cemeteries, interesting monuments and online tour of a cemetery.
  • Flags of All Countries shows the flag of every nation in the world.
  • The Gallup Organization has been conducting polls which provide insights into human nature and behavior for more than 75 years. Gallup’ has developed a reputation for delivering relevant, timely, and visionary research.

Academic Population Study Centers

  • Main site for “Population Studies,” a journal of demography.
  • Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan employs researchers who pursue independent research with the support of Center staff. PSC supports a large portfolio of both domestic and international research in several key areas of demographic research: 1) Family Formation, Fertility, and Children; 2) Human Capital, Labor and Wealth; 3) Health, Disability, and Mortality; 4) Population Dynamics; 5) Aging; 6) Methodology; and 7) Regional Studies.
  • University of Colorado at Boulder conducts research on a number of topics including the patterns between environmental conditions and migration, family structure and aging, teenage sexual behaviors and childbearing and social inequality and health.
  • The Union of Pan-African Population Studies is a non-profit with 1,000 members to foster policy in population and development to improve research capacity and develop research-based population policies and programs in Africa.
  • Rand Population Matters runs programs which highlight the importance of population policy issues, and to supply a more scientific basis for public debate over population policy questions.
  • The Urban Institute gathers data, conducts research, evaluates programs, offers technical assistance overseas, and educates Americans on social and economic issues — to foster sound public policy and effective government.