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 2017 

Wednesday 6 – Friday 8 September 2017, University of Liverpool 

The call for papers for the 2017 Conference has now closed. A provisional programme and booking information will appear on this site shortly.

The 2017 BSPS Conference will be held at the University of Liverpool, 6-8 September. All Conference sessions will be on site, where Conference catering & high-standard accommodation will also be available. Booking forms will be available from May, together with a provisional timetable. Abstracts will be posted to this website in due course.

There will be a full programme of simultaneous strand sessions of submitted papers and posters.  

Strands & sessions, with organisers

Session: Critical & theoretical perspectives in demography: 

This session plans to explore the (potential) contribution of theoretical paradigms and frameworks in demographic research.  We welcome papers which consider the utility of new theoretical perspectives as well as papers which offer a critical assessment of how particular theoretical perspectives have shaped the status of the discipline and its contributions to knowledge. 

Session organisers: Wendy Sigle (London School of Economics), Rebecca Sear (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine)

Email contact:    

Ethnicity & religion: 

Papers addressing topics related to ethnicity, religion or a combination of both can be submitted. Sessions might explore ethnic and religious identities, their interplay and change over time; ethnicity, religion and socio-economic inequalities; attitudes towards ethnicity and religion (e.g. out-group attitudes and prejudice); secularization and religious change in Europe and the World; place- neighbourhood and segregation; ethnicity, health and mortality; ethnic inequalities in education, health etc. 

Strand organisers: Stefanie Doebler (University of Liverpool) & Gemma Catney (University of Liverpool).

Email contact:;;

Including session:

Ethnicity & the life course

Papers are invited exploring ethnic differences from a life course perspective. In particular, papers considering the role of ethnicity in shaping transitions across the life course or disrupting the traditionally conceived linearity of life course events are welcomed.. 

Life course perspectives emphasise the socially-constructed nature of ageing, often explored through an interest in ‘transitions’ across the life course or the validity of the traditionally perceived linearity of life course events.  However, cultural differences between ethnic groups, differences in age-structure, and the implications of time of arrival in the UK and contrasting settlement patterns may differently shape ethnic experiences of transitions across the life course, or disrupt the traditionally perceived linearity of life course events. For example, recent research suggests that the suppression of migration rates over the life course may vary between UK- and foreign-born populations. We invite papers that consider the interaction of ethnicity with life course perspectives and the contribution to understanding on a range of topics including:

  • Migration
  • Fertility
  • Health and Mortality
  • Families and Household formation

Session organisers: Fran Darlington-Pollock (Queen Mary, University of London), Nik Lomax (University of Leeds);;  

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: trends causes and/or consequences of patterns of union formation & dissolution; the organisation of kin relationships; intra-household divisions of labour; intergenerational relationships; support at older ages; demographic processes and outcomes and how they are gendered, with a focus on childhood and adolescent experiences. 

Strand organiser: Alice Goisis (London School of Economics)

Email contact:

Including session:

Multigenerational living arrangements.

This session focuses on the importance of multigenerational living arrangements, particularly the characteristics and consequences for family members in different contexts, such as young adults moving back to the parental home or adult children living with elderly parents. 

Session organiser: Natalia Permyakova (University of Southampton) 

Fertility & reproductive health: 

This strand welcomes papers covering any aspect of fertility and reproductive health in any geographical setting.  Papers can examine any substantive topic and/or methodological aspect related to fertility or reproductive health.  We particularly encourage papers that are innovative in their approach, are policy relevant, incorporate cross-national comparisons, and which can make causal connections.  Reproductive health can include issues related to sexual and reproductive health, contraception and assisted reproductive technology. 

Including session:

Fertility ideals & intentions:

papers looking at the relationship between fertility ideals and achieved fertility, as well as those looking at measurement or methodological issues.  Comparative or longitudinal studies are particularly encouraged. Please note that this session will include a discussant, which is a great opportunity to get feedback on your work. You will need to provide a written draft of your paper for the discussant to read at least two weeks before the conference. 

Strand organisers: Melanie Channon (University of Oxford); Stuart Gietel-Basten (University of Oxford & HKUST)

Session organiser: Melanie Channon

Email contact:; 

Health & mortality: 

Submissions to this strand can address any aspect of health and mortality across the life course. Both quantitative and qualitative methods approaches are welcome. This strand 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 multi-country comparative studies. 

Including sessions:

Adolescent health:

Adolescence is a crucial period of psychological, social and biological change. Primary social influences move from parents to peers alongside increases in autonomy and individuation. This session calls for papers examining the etiology and consequences of adolescent health and wellbeing. 

Life course approaches to neighbourhood effects on health:

This session calls for papers using new methodologies for analysing longitudinal neighbourhood effects on health. Papers that test for critical periods, accumulation effects or selective migration are particularly encouraged. 

Strand & session organisers: Afshin Zilanawala (University College London); Stephen Jivraj (University College London)

Email contact:; 

Historical demography: 

Submissions may address any aspect of global 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. Papers dealing with migration in a historical context are particularly encouraged this year. 

Strand organiser: Romola Davenport (University of Cambridge)

Email contact:

Including session:

Best practices in historical record linkage:

This session will concern the development of strategies for, and the evaluation of, statistical models and deterministic algorithms for systematic record linkage used in historical population reconstruction. Issues relating to data quality and questions concerning bias and representativeness of linked samples are of particular interest.  

Best practices in historical record linkage extended call

Session organiser: Jeanne Cilliers (Lund University) 

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. 

Including sessions:

Interdisciplinary methodological advances in mathematical demography:

In this session we will welcome submissions from various aspects of mathematical demography, and its applications for human demography, inspired from diverse academic fields such as population ecology, applied mathematics or mathematical biology. While many submissions will be seen through the lens of linear algebra, we also encourage other innovative approaches developing the interface of mathematical and statistical methods. 

Administrative Data Research Network:

This session will focus on new uses of administrative data, linking methodology and its applications based on the wide range of research being led by the four UK Administrative Data Research Centres. 

Strand & session organisers: General session: Jason Hilton,  

Mathematical demography: Claire Dooley,  

Administrative data: Emma White,  or Peter W F Smith, 

Latin America & the Caribbean: 

Any aspect of population studies in the continent. Papers with analytic results comparing more than one country will be favoured. 

Strand organisers: Ludi Simpson (University of Manchester); Tiziana Leone (London School of Economics)

Email contact: 

Local & small area demography 

Presentations looking at trends in moves within the UK and the implications for the future on employment and housing; implications of the Brexit vote and how to plan for an uncertain future. Sessions might include:

  • Moves within the UK; overall; graduates; links to economic performance
  • Migration to and from the EU - scale, nature and impacts across localities, regions and countries of the UK.
  • Uses of migration data to define Housing Market Areas
  • Demographic data for neighbourhood planning
  • Planning for the uncertainty of Brexit - use of Variant projections 

Strand organisers: Piers Elias, Greg Ball

Email contact:;

Including sessions:

Small area population change:

This session focuses on approaches to the analysis of population change at a neighbourhood scale. Its remit will include methodological solutions to matching incomparable data, novel data sources, and studies on substantive themes such as the persistence of area deprivation. 

Session organiser: Chris Lloyd (University of Liverpool)  

Migration & mobilities: 

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 organisers: Hill Kulu, Alan Marshall (University of St. Andrews)

Email contact:;


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 organisers: Alina Pelikh (University of Liverpool), Ewa Batyra (LSE)

Email contact:;  

General & administrative queries: BSPS Secretariat – 

Provisional timetable for 2017 Conference:

Call for session suggestions closes                                                            10 January 2017
Call for papers & posters issued                                                               10 February 2017
Call for papers closes                                                                                      24 April 2017 
Provisional programme issued, booking opens                                                    May 2017
Early-bird registration closes                                                                      end of July 2017
Booking closes                                                                                      end of August 2017