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 relevant link on the left.  

BSPS Annual Conference 2015

Monday 7 - Wednesday 9 September 2015, University of Leeds

The 2015 BSPS Conference will be held at the University of Leeds (main campus), 7-9 September. All Conference sessions will be held on site, where excellent on-site accommodation will also be available at very reasonable cost.

Plenary speakers are announced as Professor John Stillwell (University of Leeds) and Professor Helga de Valk (NIDI & Vrije Universiteit, Brussels).

Call for papers now closed.

The call for papers has now closed - thank you to all who submitted. You should expect a decision by early May, but please email| if you have any queries. Booking for the Conference will also open in early May and presenters will automatically be contacted. Booking will also be available via this site.

Abstracts will be posted to the site in due course, as will a draft programme.

There will be a full programme of simultaneous strand sessions of submitted papers. Proposals or abstracts for papers and posters are invited across the entire demographic and population studies spectrum. Presenters are requested to submit on-going work with incomplete analyses and findings as posters rather than papers. Oral presentations should include results. For organisational purposes, strand organisers have been allocated to specific themes: email queries may be addressed to the strand or session organiser shown. Submissions of both quantitative and qualitative papers are welcome.

Some sessions within strands have been suggested and these will be organised by the person named as session organiser, within an overall strand and in conjunction with the overall strand organiser. Sessions within strands are shown beneath the overall strand title.

Training sessions: Proposals for two training sessions have been submitted and accepted, on Using GIS for population research and An introduction to the UK Longitudinal Studies using the national Synthetic LS data spine. At least one workshop session and one panel session are also planned. Further offers of same are welcomed.

There will be two plenary sessions from Professor Helga de Valk (NIDI & Vrije Universiteit, Brussels) and Professor John Stillwell (University of Leeds).

Information updates on the Conference will be posted to the BSPS website as available.

Presenters of posters will be expected to attend the scheduled poster session on the first evening of the Conference, but posters will remain on display for the duration of the Conference.

Submissions for oral presentations and posters should be made online by midnight on Sunday 12 April. Presenters are required to submit a short abstract of up to 250 words, which includes the research question, methods, data and any preliminary results & potential applications. Extended abstracts are optional but will be used to help selection of papers: up to a maximum of 4 double-spaced A4 sheets & in PDF format only emailed directly to|  with ‘BSPS extended abstract’ in the subject line. Strand organisers may request further details of a potential presentation or an extended abstract before decisions are made on acceptance. Short abstracts of all papers will appear in the printed Conference programme.

Choose an appropriate strand and submit online at:|  

If you are unable to submit online, please contact| for alternative arrangements.

All online submissions are collated by the BSPS Secretariat, who will acknowledge receipt. They are then passed on to individual strand or session organisers for assessment. Papers and poster presentations are given equal weight. Final decisions on papers and posters accepted for presentation will be made by the beginning of May 2015, with the person who submitted advised of the decision at that time.


Strand & session organisers are as follows:


Submissions are sought on population and ageing issues around the world. The strand welcomes papers on the dynamics in old age including partnering and re-partnering in later life; migration and mobility; active ageing; transitions into retirement; and post-retirement participation in the third age or volunteering. Theoretical and empirical papers that explore the socio-cultural, political, and economic context of ageing are encouraged. Papers on determinants of health and wellbeing of ageing populations, and morbidity and mortality at older ages are also invited.

Strand organiser: Dr. Gloria Langat, University of Southampton:|  

Including session(s):

Estimating the population at older ages.
To include methodologies used for estimating the population at older ages as well as describing the issues. Papers on the methodology and issues in estimating migration behaviour of older people would also be welcome.

Session liaison: Kirsty MacLachlan, NRS -|  

Census transformation & Census analysis:

Papers relating to censuses. We expect most submissions to be focussed around two themes:
(a) detailed analysis of 2011 Census data
(b) future approaches to censuses and population estimation.
Papers on other census topics will also be considered. Note that Census analysis papers in this strand would focus more on national analysis or methodological issues, while some papers on local policy-relevant analysis may sit better in the 'Local government planning and demographic issues' strand.

Strand organisers: Dr. Julie Jefferies, ONS:|  
Kirsty MacLachlan, NRS:|  

Including session:

Panel discussion on enumeration and output bases to tie in with the 2021 Census topic consultation.
This will consist of a short presentation from ONS followed by short responses from three users and panel discussion. We are seeking three volunteers from the academic, central and local government communities to respond and to be on the panel.

Session organiser: Ann Blake, ONS –|  

Challenges in contemporary Chinese demography – prospective fringe meeting to run on the morning of Wednesday 9 September & continue into the afternoon:

As one of the world’s population billionaires, demographic issues in China can assume a global significance. This strand will represent an opportunity for UK/European scholars of Chinese demography to present their research findings and network with each other. Papers on mortality, fertility and migration are welcome from researchers at all stages of their career.

Strand organisers: Dr. Stuart Basten, University of Oxford, Professor Ma Xiaohong, Beijing Population Research Institute, Professor Yan Ping, Beijing Population Research Institute -|  

Demographic projections and forecasts:

Contributions welcomed on methodological developments, applications, software, or the role of demographic projections in planning. Contributions may refer to world, national or local projections of population, households, the labour force or other population characteristics. Depending on the proposed papers which we receive, there will be separate sessions in this strand on several of these topics. The ‘Local government planning’ strand organisers are also interested in local projections: submit your paper to either strand, and we will co-ordinate.

Strand organiser: Professor Ludi Simpson, University of Manchester:|  

Ethnicity & religion:

This Strand encompasses paper-sessions on ethnicity and religion. Papers would be are welcome on exploring ethnic and religious identities, their interplay and change over time, ethnicity and inequalities, attitudes towards ethnicity and religion.Papers addressing topics on either ethnicity, religion or a combination of both can be submitted.
Sessions would hope to address:
• Ethnic and Religious identities, their interplay and change over time
• Ethnicity and socio-economic inequalities
• Attitudes towards ethnicity and religion (e.g. out-group attitudes and prejudice)
• Secularization and religious change in the World
• Place- Neighbourhood and Ethnic Segregation

Strand organisers: Dr. Stefanie Doebler, Dr. Ian Shuttleworth -||  

Families & households:

This strand welcomes papers which measure and/or explore the effects of the diversity of family or household structures. Examples of relevant topics include (but are not limited to) the trends, causes and/or consequences of patterns of union formation and dissolution, the organization of kin relationships, and intra-household divisions of labour.

Strand organiser: Professor Wendy Sigle, London School of Economics|  

Including sessions:

Consequences of family change.
The increase in cohabitation, divorce, separation, and remarriage, as well as the postponement of marriage and childbearing may have consequences on individuals’ and children’s lives. This session aims to cover research on the link between family formation and a variety of outcomes.

Session organiser: Dr. Brienna Perelli-Harris, University of Southampton –|

Families and housing -
We welcome papers which address the interrelationship between partnership and family formation, housing and residential relocations. Papers studying the UK and/or other countries are welcomed.

Session organisers: Dr. Julia Mikolai, University of Liverpool and Dr. Michael J. Thomas, University of Groningen -| and|  

Fertility & reproductive health:

We invite papers covering any aspect of fertility & reproductive health in any geographical setting. Papers on innovative approaches to the measurement of fertility and/or reproductive health behaviours, differences between population groups, the determinants of fertility change, attitudes toward fertility and reproductive health behaviours as well as cross-national comparisons are especially encouraged. Reproductive health issues of particular interest include (but not limited to) HIV/AIDS adolescent sexual and reproductive health, & family planning.

Strand organisers: Dr. Stuart Basten, University of Oxford & Dr. Mel Channon, University of Oxford -;

Including session(s):

The consequences of fertility timing -
This session welcomes papers that aim to investigate the consequences of fertility timing on a range of outcomes such as parents’ and their children’s well-being, socio-demographic outcomes etc.

Session organiser: Dr. Alice Goisis –|  

Health & mortality:

Submissions to this strand can address any aspect of health and mortality, especially with respect to the life course influences on these outcomes. Papers can be on innovative approaches to the study of health behaviours, inequalities between population groups as well as determinants of poor health. However we particularly encourage the submission of studies which look at the interaction between health/mortality and demographic and social factors. Both quantitative and qualitative methods approaches are welcome. This session hopes to provide a global approach to understanding health and mortality by welcoming papers based on data from a variety of settings as well as papers contrasting findings across countries..

Strand organisers: Dr. Paula Griffiths, Loughborough University & Professor Monica Magadi, University of Hull.||

Historical demography:

Submissions to this strand may address any aspect of historical demography, or the history of demography as an academic discipline. Papers on the history of medicine & public health are also welcome, as well as the history & philosophy of science where presented in the context of historical populations

Strand organiser: Dr. Romola Davenport, University of Cambridge:|  

Innovative data, methods and models in population studies:

Papers that address issues pertaining to the use of innovative data sources, linkage and combination of multiple data sources, and develop and/or apply methods that make use of data differently (e.g computational, agent-based or network models, among others) are invited. Papers that approach substantive population concerns through the big data paradigm, or engage with the theoretical, conceptual or philosophical issues surrounding the use and relevance of big data, new types of data or newer methodological tools in demography are also encouraged.

Strand organisers: Professor Francesco Billari & Ridhi Kashyap, University of Oxford:||  

Including session:

Uses and linking of administrative data. -
This session will include examples of research involving linked administrative data to help inform policy and/or increase our understanding of the society we live in.

Session organiser: Dr. Briony Moses, University of Southampton:|  

Local government planning & demographic issues:

We are looking for contributions to this strand on a variety of topics that are exercising Local Government at the moment. Papers might also cover the analysis of trends and how results are used in policy making.

Local Authorities put a lot of effort into justifying a future Census on the back of small area data – examples of uses and input to policy decisions particularly welcomed.
• Origin Destination Data – Travel to Work / Migration
• Using the Census to assess deprivation for small areas
Any results and findings from census trends that are changing the direction of policy or improving our understanding of population change.

There is a separate Census strand that is focussing on the national picture and methodological aspects so please submit your paper there if you think it fits better. If in doubt, submit to either and we will coordinate.

Projections and Policy making. Local Authorities have to plan for growth and change in the population, housing and the economy and labour force. Authorities have to work at a range of geographical levels, both within and beyond their boundaries. What challenges do they face in analysis, projection and forecasting? What challenges do they face in using this technical work to frame policies? A number of sessions are possible. Areas of interest include:
• Small Area Projections for a range of use including Ward Boundary Reviews, School Place Planning, health and social services, neighbourhood plans
• Household projections and their use and interpretation in policy making
• The labour market and economic participation rates
• Integrated models

The focus of these sessions is on practice: methods that are operational or under development for use in policy making by public authorities. ‘Demographic projections and forecasts’ strand are also particularly interested in the use, development and methodological aspects of projections in the fields mentioned above: submit your paper to either strand, and we will co-ordinate.

Strand organisers: Greg Ball & Piers Elias:||  

Longitudinal studies & the life course:

Substantial contributions to demographic research continue to be made from longitudinal studies and life course approaches. New longitudinal data for the UK is also enabling new and innovative research on major demographic issues where a life course approach is increasingly required. The organisers welcome papers that use longitudinal data to address substantive and methodological research questions in demography and related disciplines. We welcome studies that include comparisons of outcomes over time, between generations, cohorts, studies, datasets and countries. You may want to consider submitting your paper to the suggested session in this strand (see below).

Strand organisers: Dr. Myles Gould, University of Leeds & Dr. James Robards, University of Southampton: &

Including session(s):

Analytical approaches to longitudinal data analysis - This session seeks to both specifically demonstrate, and share best practice/experience, in the analysis of longitudinal population data using a variety of quantitative methods.

Increasing amounts of longitudinal data are readily available with three national Longitudinal Study Census Units, other cohort/panel studies in demography and social sciences (e.g. Understanding Society, Millennium Cohort Study, and English Longitudinal Study of Ageing) and also the explosion of administrative and other ‘big data’. Researchers are generally well rehearsed in the complexity of data structures but sometimes limited to the analytical approaches they know and feel comfortable with. Some participants in the LS session at last year’s Annual Conference in Winchester expressed some interest in both learning about and sharing knowledge about different approaches and more sophisticated quantitative longitudinal data analysis techniques– particularly those for multiple measurement occasions. To this end we invite papers that demonstrate any of the following analytical techniques applied to any demographic or health outcome(s) measured over time with covariates: age-period cohort analysis; missing/censored data; multi-state models; generalised linear modelling including survival analysis/curves; and multilevel models. This list should be considered indicative and not exhaustive - we welcome contributions using other innovative approaches and novel quantitative techniques for the analysis of longitudinal / panel and cohort data.

Session organisers: Dr. Myles Gould, University of Leeds & Dr. James Robards, University of Southampton:| &|  

Migrations & mobilities:

We invite papers in the following interlinked 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.
3.The analysis of spatial aspects of population processes (‘spatial demography’). Studies could apply any of the techniques of spatial analysis to describe spatial patterns of population or to analyse contextual effects on demographic processes (e.g. geostatistical models, spatial econometrics, multilevel models, regional / fixed-effects analysis, spatio-temporal analysis, spatial microsimulation, geodemographics etc).

Strand organiser: Professor Hill Kulu, University of Liverpool:|  

Population and the environment:
Strand organiser: Dr. Alan Marshall, University of Manchester:|  

Proposed sessions:

Analytical papers on the relationship between population change, the environment, & resource use.
Population change has important implications for resources & the environment, and responds to them. Papers are invited that measure these impacts or discuss the theoretical, conceptual, & analytic challenges of researching them.

Session organiser: Dr. Alan Marshall -|  

Population dynamics and human well-being in environmentally vulnerable delta regions -
This session invites original contributions on population dynamics and human well-being in environmentally vulnerable delta regions. The questions of interest include: What are the inter-linkages between population and environment in delta regions? What are the effects of climate change on human well-being in tropical deltas? Which resilience mechanisms and adaptation strategies can be employed to mitigate the risks related to pressure on resources and climate change? While the primary focus of this session is on tropical deltas, we invite contributions from colleagues working on all continents.

Session organisers: Dr. Sylvia Szabo, University of Southampton &. Professor Hamidul Huq, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh.|  


Poster submissions are invited across the spectrum of population studies & methodological approaches to demography. We encourage researchers to present results from completed papers and also from research in progress. Papers without final results are particularly well-suited to this session. Presenters are welcome to submit more than one abstract for consideration as a poster, possibly in addition to a paper submission. Recent Conferences have benefited from very full and lively sessions & we are hoping to continue this success this year.

Strand organiser: Fran Darlington, University of Leeds:|  

WORKSHOP: Engaging with users of demographic statistics and research – examples of good practice and areas for improvement

This workshop will includes introductory presentations from users and producers of statistics and research on how users inform production of statistics or research and how the results are taken up to make an impact. Offers of contributions from producers and users would be very welcome.

Workshop organisers: Cecilia Macintyre, NRS – ; Emma Emery, User Engagement Manager, Royal Statistical Society-| 

General & administrative enquiries: BSPS Secretariat -| -- 020 7955 7666 (phone). Website:|


Submissions should be made online at:|

Presenters must confirm on the submissions form that they will attend the Conference at their own expense to present the paper or poster, if accepted. Please note that attendance at the BSPS Conference to present a paper or poster cannot be subsidised by BSPS - this applies to BSPS members and non-members. (Except for student bursaries granted to BSPS student members presenting papers and posters – see bursary details & conditions below.) BSPS regrets no exceptions.  

Strand organisers may allocate papers to a different strand from that to which the paper was submitted, if appropriate, but potential presenters will be advised.
A maximum of two submissions as first author, please, although additional poster submissions would be welcomed.

Presenters are requested to submit on-going work with incomplete analyses and findings as posters, rather than papers. Oral presentations should include results. Poster submissions are considered as having equal weight to oral presentations.
Submissions from non-members are very welcome.

Authors of accepted presentations may change their abstract up to the end of July, when the final version will be used in the printed programme.  

Presenters of papers will be required to register for the Conference before the paper 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 and 5-10 minutes for discussion/questions, unless the strand organiser advises a different format for the session concerned. 

Poster Competition at the BSPS Conference  

A prize fund of £100 in book tokens is offered for the poster(s) judged to be the best on display.
At least 50% of the value of the Prize will be awarded to the best student poster.
All posters accepted for the Conference will be entered automatically for the Poster Prize.
The invited judges will be announced later. 

Student bursaries for BSPS Conference 2015  

Bursaries are available only to BSPS student members presenting a paper or poster.

Subscription dues for student members applying must be up-to-date at the time of submission ie 2015 subscriptions paid. Memberships activated or reactivated after submission are NOT eligible for bursaries.

Bursaries are expected to cover the cost of accommodation & meals, where required, and registration.

As the number of bursaries available may be limited, applications must be received by the submission deadline. An application for a bursary does not guarantee that a bursary will be awarded.

Application for a student bursary is via the online submissions form, which MUST have the relevant bursary application button checked.

Recipients of student bursaries will be expected to contribute to Conference preparation or assist at the Conference itself.

Enquiries: BSPS Secretariat, POR.2.01, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE. Email:| Telephone 020 7955 7666. 


















Provisional timetable:

Closing date for proposals for Conference sessions & strands - Friday 9 January 2015

Call for papers & posters issued - anuary 2015

Closing date for submission of papers & posters - Sunday 12 April  2015

Deadline for contributors' registration & early-bird registration rates - Friday 24 July 2015

Conference booking closes - Monday 24 August 2015

Conference - Monday 7 September - Wednesday 9 September 2015