Demography is the study of human populations, past, present and future. It is concerned with how births, deaths, and migration determine change, and so determine key trends such as rapid population growth and population ageing. It includes the analysis of characteristics that determine the components of change and/or are affected by population structure, such as age, sex, marital and health status, and the composition of families and households.
Formal demography is concerned with the measurement of the size, composition, and spatial distribution of human populations. Social demography (or population studies) explores the explanation and consequences of population trends and differentials, drawing on insights from a number of relevant disciplinary perspectives, including sociology, economics, anthropology, human geography, epidemiology and human biology.
LSE has a long-standing interest in population studies. An MSc in Demography was instituted at LSE in 1965, and LSE continues to provide demographic training at undergraduate, MSc and PhD level. The Population Investigation Committee, a small independent research group, was founded in 1936 and since World War II has been housed at LSE, and publishes the journal, Population Studies. LSE also houses the British Society for Population Studies.
Current researchers in population studies at LSE bring a range of disciplinary and methodological approaches to bear on population research. Geographical focus is also diverse, encompassing developed, developing and transitional countries. Population researchers include those with training in anthropology, economics, biology, physics, sociology and statistics.