Annual Conference

The British Society for Population Studies holds an annual conference in a different venue each September. Programmes, abstracts, and reports of previous conferences can be accessed from the archive link at the bottom of the page. 

BSPS CONFERENCE 2019 - University Hall, Cardiff University 9-11 September 2019

The 2019 BSPS Conference will be held at University Hall, Cardiff University, 9-11 September. All Conference sessions will be on site, where Conference catering & accommodation will also be available. Booking forms are now available, together with the provisional timetable. Please access here:

Booking Form 2019

Provisional Programme 2019

The plenary theme of the Conference will be ‘An ageing population: opportunities and challenges’.   

Plenary speakers are announced as Professor Carol Jagger (Newcastle University, Institute of Ageing) & Dr. Brian Beach (International Longevity Centre, UK)

Information updates on the Conference will be posted here as available. Information for participants plus training session booking forms will be available shortly.  

Strands with organizers (who may be contacted with queries):  

Ageing across the globe (with proposed session on ‘Experimental/quasi-experimental approaches to ageing research’):

This strand welcomes submissions of papers relating to different aspects of population ageing across the globe. Examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to: population ageing, consequences, and public policies; population ageing in low and middle income countries; ageing and health. We welcome innovative papers, whether using quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods. We particularly welcome papers using an experimental or quasi-experimental approach to infer causality, for example papers exploring policy changes (e.g. pension or health reforms) to estimate the effect of a certain phenomenon on older adults’ outcomes; and studies that use experimental data to improve our understanding of later-life processes, attitudes or behaviours 

Strand organizer: Nele van der Wielen (University of Southampton) –

Data quality:

For submissions relating to the quality of data inputs and/or outputs and how assurance can be provided of their fitness for purpose: from paradata and metadata to measures of uncertainty. 

Strand organizer: Phil Humby (Office for National Statistics) –

Families & households:

We welcome papers which investigate the diversity of family or household compositions and outcomes. Examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to: trends, causes and/or consequences of patterns of union formation & dissolution; care and unpaid work in the home; intergenerational and/or kin relationships; the determinants and effects of the timing of demographic events; family processes and outcomes and how they differ by gender, income, race/ethnicity, age and/or cohorts.  

Including session: Families and Work: There would be interest in a session of papers investigating the lives of working families, with a focus on child and adult outcomes arising from parents’ paid work characteristics. Research could include an emphasis on the role of gender, family structure, income, and race/ethnicity as these demographics interact with work patterns, family leave, and/or work/family balance.

Strand organizer: Jenny Chanfreau (London School of Economics) –

Feminist approaches to demography & quantitative social science:

We look for papers addressing gender equality and/or feminist theory using quantitative methods. The papers might discuss, for instance, intersectionality, material aspects of gender inequality, innovative methodological approaches to feminist research, or other feminist topics of interest in population studies (e.g. gender based violence, reproductive rights). 

Strand organizer: Rose Cook (University of Kent) & Heini Väisänen, Jenny Chanfreau, Sara Rose Taylor -

Fertility & reproductive health:

Papers covering any aspect of fertility and reproductive health in high, middle or low income countries are welcomed. Papers can examine any substantive topic and/or methodological aspect related to fertility or reproductive health. We particularly encourage papers which are policy relevant, incorporate cross‐national comparisons, or use innovative methodological and theoretical approaches. Reproductive health may include issues, such as pregnancy loss, sexual and reproductive health and rights, contraceptive use or assisted reproductive technology.

There would be interest in a session or sessions on: British fertility transitions - a long view: a consideration of changes in fertility behaviour from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. Study of demography’s ‘big topics’ is very often divided into different ‘sub disciplines’ based on time period, and at large conferences the schedules make it difficult for scholars to attend ‘strands’ devoted to time periods they are less familiar with. This strand would aim to bring together those studying transitions in British fertility behaviours from the mid nineteenth to the mid twenty-first centuries, to allow speakers and audience to pool their knowledge and understanding of this complex issue.

Strand organizer: Heini Väisänen (University of Southampton) –

British fertility transitions – Eilidh Garrett (University of Essex) –

Health & mortality:

Submissions to this strand are invited that are related to all aspects of health and mortality, with submissions to the specific sessions noted below encouraged. Areas of interest include life course influences on health and mortality, the study of health behaviours, determinants of poor health and trends in mortality over time and within groups. We particularly encourage the submission of studies which look at comparative analysis across countries. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches are welcome. We welcome papers from a variety of settings around the world and within the U.K.

Including session (s) Life course approaches to health and mortality in Lower and Middle Income Countries: The aim of the session (s) is to bring together scholars working on longitudinal data in LMICs. Innovative/revisited methodological applications to overcome data shortcomings are particularly welcome. The objective is both to highlight the impact of life experiences on health later on in life in countries with similar demographic and epidemiological stages and also to share challenges and ways forward. There would also be interest in a session or sessions on Britain’s mortality transition(s) - a long view: a consideration of changes in mortality over 400 years, bringing together historical and contemporary knowledge.

Strand organizer: Tiziana Leone (London School of Economics) –

Britain’s mortality transitions – Eilidh Garrett (University of Essex) –

Historical demography:

This strand welcomes submissions addressing any aspect of global historical demography, or the history of demography as an academic discipline. Papers may focus on any of a broad range of themes, such as fertility, mortality, migration, household formation, social mobility, urbanization, public health, social inequality or other related fields in the context of historical populations.

Strand organizer: Hanna Jaadla (University of Cambridge) –

Innovative data, methods and models:

This strand welcomes high-quality papers on innovative data, models and methods of analysis, and their applications in population studies. Particularly encouraged are original submissions related to mathematical, statistical, and computational demography.

Strand organizer: Jason Hilton (University of Southampton) -

Local demography: Ageing - its impact on local planning & policy making:  

Presentations are invited which look at any aspect of ageing and its impact on local planning and policy. Aimed at all service providers at a local level e.g. Local Authorities, Combined Authorities Public Health, Primary Care and other Health Services. Sessions might include:

  • How have the latest Population and Household Projections affected planning in housing, education, social care, public transport etc. Projections raise questions about future housing need for older people and the implications of large-scale increase in the number of elderly people and whether these are properly captured by the current household projections and the way they are used in planning. Can we assume that the proportion of elderly people in communal establishments will be the same as in the past (as the Household projections imply)? What are the factors that will influence this? Are household formation assumptions based on past cohorts still going to be valid for the baby boomers? What are the effects of the falling gap in life expectancy between men and women? What are the implications of the greater wealth of that generation (and the struggles of their children to secure housing)? Is it right to expect the same levels of under-occupation of owner occupied housing stock to continue?  
  • How is ageing affecting service planning now and in the future? Will concessionary bus fares have to be re-visited?
  • How are local planners getting the information out to the general public? For example: use of social media, telling the story - infographics/blogs/community links - and thinking towards the 2021 Census, planning for the 2021 Census - how to engage with the older generation?
  • Will Brexit have an impact on age structures and if so, how might this affect economic activity, pensions etc.
  • Ageing and ethnicity - are any particular ethnic groups ageing faster than others - and does it matter?

Strand organizer: Piers Elias (Demographic Support) –

Migration & mobilities:

We invite papers in the following research areas:

1. The analysis of the patterns, processes and impacts of migration, both international and intra-national movement. The results of empirical analysis are especially welcome, but topics may also include discussions of conceptual challenges, migration terminologies, data sources and methodological issues.

2. The study of fertility, family, health and mortality of migrants and their descendants (‘migrant demography’).

3. The analysis of spatial aspects of population processes (‘spatial demography’). Studies analysing spatial patterns of population or investigating contextual effects on demographic processes are welcome.

Including session: Internal Migration as a Driver of Regional Population Change in Europe:

Updating Ravenstein. Recent research has revealed a growing divergence of trends in population growth and age structure across cities and regions in Europe. We invite papers, which summarise what we have learnt and what we need to learn about the role of migration as a driver of population change in the late 20th and early 21st centuries and, if appropriate, a view about what might happen in future decades.

Strand organizers: Júlia Mikolai and Hill Kulu (University of St Andrews) –;

Internal Migration as a Driver of Regional Population Change in Europe: Philip Rees (University of Leeds) –

Poster submissions are invited across the spectrum of population studies & methodological approaches to demography. Researchers are encouraged to present results from completed papers and also from research in progress. Papers without final results are particularly well-suited to poster presentation. Presenters are welcome to submit more than one abstract for consideration as a poster, possibly in addition to a paper submission. 

Strand organizers: to be confirmed

Telling the story in statistics:

This strand invites presentations on how you have brought your data to life, made your data discoverable, and/or communicated your results to non-specialists. These could include examples of open data platforms or ways you have found to make your messages more accessible to a wider audience. 

Strand organizer: Esther Roughsedge (National Records of Scotland) -

What is?

Presentations are invited for a workshop on quantitative methods & data.Presenters will introduce in an accessible manner a (quantitative) method, explain what you can do with it and with what kinds of data. They will give example results and point to materials which can help people learn the method. Each presentation will last for approximately 10 minutes, with questions to follow.

Suggested methods could include: Microsimulation; Logistic regression; Multilevel modelling; Survival analysis; IPF; Curve fitting / smoothing; K-means; Principal Components / Factor Analysis; Spatial Interaction 

Strand organizer: Paul Norman (University of Leeds) –

General & administrative queries: BSPS Secretariat –


Confirmation is required on the submissions form that presenters will attend the conference at their own expense. Attendance at the BSPS conference cannot be subsidised by BSPS – this applies to BSPS members and non-members and there are NO exceptions. (Except for existing BSPS student and local government members fulfilling specific conditions. See under bursaries.)

  • Papers may be allocated to a different strand from that to which the submission was made.
  • A maximum of TWO submissions as first author and/or presenter for oral presentations, although additional poster submissions would be welcomed.
  • Whilst submissions for oral presentation should include some results, it is appreciated that these may be preliminary at the time of submission.
  • Submissions from non-members are welcomed
  • Short abstracts may be changed up to the end of July.
  • Registration for the conference by the presenting author will be required before the paper or poster is included in the final programme.
  • Papers are organised into strand sessions. Each presenter will have 20-30 minutes in total, with 15-20 minutes for presentation & 5-10 minutes for questions & discussion. Strand organisers will advise if a different format for the session in question is planned.
  • Poster competition: a prize fund of £100 in book tokens is offered for the poster(s) judged the best on display. At least 50% of this prize will be awarded to the best student poster. All accepted posters are automatically entered for the poster prize. The invited judges will be announced later.

    BSPS student member bursaries & BSPS local government employee member bursaries – there are NO exceptions to the following conditions:  
  • Bursaries are available ONLY to BSPS student members and BSPS local government employee members whose employer will not cover their costs.
  • Bursaries are only available if presenting a paper or poster
  • BSPS 2019 membership dues must have been paid before submission. Memberships activated or reactivated after submission are NOT eligible for a bursary.
  • As the number of bursaries may be limited, application for a bursary does not guarantee that one will be awarded. Applications must be received by the submission deadline, not retrospectively after that date.
  • Bursaries usually cover the costs of on-site accommodation, meals during the conference, plus registration. Travel is not included.
  • Application for a bursary is via the online submissions form ONLY, which MUST have the bursary application box checked
  • Recipients of bursaries may be asked to contribute to Conference preparation or assist on-site.

Submit online at: