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 2020

As previously announced, the BSPS 2020 Conference will be a virtual Conference, to take place on Tuesday & Wednesday 15 & 16 September. The priorities are:

  • Dissemination of research findings, most particularly for early-career researchers
  • Feedback on these findings
  • Opportunities to talk & make connections with other researchers

The provisional programme can be downloaded here & abstracts are being posted below:

BSPS 2020 provisional programme

Tthere will be 2 sets of simultaneous sessions each morning, each lasting one hour, with the same in the afternoon. These may be 3-4 paper sessions, with discussion & questions, or flash sessions with 5-minute presentations (results only, no methods) plus discussion & questions. There will be scope for participant interaction, with mentoring & icebreaking sessions, plus the early-career plenary, & a social activity on one evening. These further deatils will be added to the programme shortly. 

BSPS membership will be required to participate via access codes. There will be no other registration charges

To join BSPS or renew your membership, complete one of the forms below: 

Membership application



Developments in Official Population Statistics 2020 abstracts

Fertility abstracts 2020

Migration abstracts 2020

Strands & sessions with organisers

Ageing in Place:

This strand welcomes submissions of papers relating to different aspects of Ageing in Place. We welcome papers considering relevant topics including, but not limited to: population ageing, consequences, and public policies; the ageing community; Age Friendly Cities; living arrangement and living design; ageing and health; long-term care; integrated care; intergenerational support; loneliness and social isolation and Healthy Ageing.  We welcome innovative papers, whether using quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods. 

Strand Organisers: Dr. Yazhen Yang, Dr. Maja Palmer (University of Southampton) –;

Critical perspectives in demography & population studies:

This strand welcomes papers discussing the application or use of critical theories (e.g. but not limited to -intersectionality, feminist theories, post/de-coloniality, and critical race theories) and interdisciplinary perspectives in demography and population studies. Papers may explore methodological and analytical implications, and offer new applications, interpretations or contributions to initiate or generate further critical reflections in the field. 

Strand Organiser: Dr Rishita Nandagiri (LSE) –

Data quality:

This strand welcomes papers relating to the quality of data inputs and/or outputs and which explore how assurance can be provided of their fitness for purpose: from paradata and metadata to measures of uncertainty. 

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

Data science: Innovative data, methods and models:

The combination of new sources of data and the increased availability of cheap computing power have opened up exciting new avenues for research in population science. Methodological advances and new statistical modelling approaches allow these new resources to be exploited to create new scientific knowledge and forecast our demographic futures. This strand welcomes papers that demonstrate the application of innovative methods and models to problems in the population sciences.  

In particular, demographic applications falling under the following headings are encouraged:

  • big data;
  • innovative statistical modelling and forecasting;
  • Bayesian methods and uncertainty quantification;
  • simulation;
  • machine learning;
  • ethical issues in data science research

Themed sessions are also inviting papers, as described below 

Strand Organiser:Dr. Jason Hilton (University of Southampton) -

Digital and computational demography:

Demographic research relying on digital data and using computationally-intensive methods is advancing fast. This session provides a platform for researchers to present new ways of making sense of our social world with the help of these innovative approaches. We welcome substantive and methodological papers addressing the main challenges in the field. 

Organiser: Diego Alburez-Gutierrez (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research) -

Understanding statistical uncertainty and error: applying new methods to blended population and migration estimates:

Papers which showcase the error framework developed at the Office for National Statistics to support transformation of the population statistics system. It will also describe innovative methods developed to understand statistical uncertainty around integrated population estimates, for which papers from outside ONS would also be welcomed. 

Organiser: Dr. Louisa Blackwell (office for National Statistics) –

Demographic impact of climate change:

Climate change already has and threatens to continue to have a major impact on societies and economies. Demography will not be immune and we could see significant changes in mortality, health and migration patterns. This session is therefore looking for papers which cover the impact of existing levels of climate change as well as papers which look at the potential future demographic impact of climate change. 

Organiser: Dr. Dermot Grenham –

Demography, inequality & social policy:

This strand welcomes submissions relating to inequality, poverty, deprivation, how this is changing and the impact that this has on individuals (including health and opportunities), areas and households. Analysis of differences due to the measure of inequality applied and new methods are also welcome. 

A related theme is also inviting submissions as shown below. 

Strand Organiser: Phil Humby (ONS) –

Unintended consequences of social policy:

This session welcomes papers that examine the unintended consequences of social policy on inequalities and demographic outcomes. Unintended consequences include (1) overshooting original goals, (2) impact of conflicting policies that cancel each other out, or (3) any other negative or positive outcomes that may not have been originally anticipated. Examples of topics include national or cross-national research into policy effects on gender, class, ethnic, or other group inequalities. 

Organiser: Dr. Kathrin Morosow (University of Bath) –

Families & households strand:

This year the families and households strand will include a themed session or sessions on Families and Work, and a themed sub-strand on East Asian Families, as outlined below. As in previous years, we also welcome papers for the general sessions which in one way or another investigate the diversity of family or household compositions and outcomes in any region.

Examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to: trends, determinants and/or effects of union formation and dissolution; the timing of demographic events; care and unpaid work in the home; intergenerational and/or kin relationships; and other family processes and outcomes, as well as how these patterns differ by gender, income, race/ethnicity, age/cohorts and/or region.   

Strand Organisers: Dr. Jenny Chanfreau (UCL); Dr. Afshin Zilanawala (UCL) –;

Families and work:

This session invites papers investigating the lives of working families with a focus on child and adult outcomes arising from parents’ work characteristics. Research may investigate the role of gender, family structure, income, and race/ethnicity and their interactions with work patterns, family leave, and/or work/family balance.

Organiser: Dr. Afshin Zilanawala (UCL) –  

East Asian families: 

Sexual activities in marital relationships in East Asia:

Sexual behaviour is relatively under-studied in fertility and family research. We call for papers which address the role of sexual behaviour in marital relationships, and in particular, how sexual activities and attitudes are associated with gender relations, household division of labour, fertility, marital satisfaction and well-being of the family. 

Organisers: Dr.Man-yee Kan and Dr. Muzhi Zhou (University of Oxford) -,

Family and wellbeing in East Asia:

The session focuses on the effects of different aspects of family life, such as domestic division of labour within couples, parental education, wealth, and time availability on the well-being of family members. Well-being will be understood broadly and will include discretionary time and marital satisfaction. Potential papers may explore the effects of gender inequality and intergenerational coresidence on leisure, sleep and marital satisfaction.

Organisers: Dr. Kamila Kolpashnikova and Dr. Ekaterina Hertog (University of Oxford) -;

Fertility & reproductive health:

This strand welcomes papers covering any aspect of fertility and reproductive health in high, middle or low income countries. 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.

A themed session or sessions is also inviting papers, as described below.

Strand Organiser: Dr.Heini Väisänen (University of Southampton) –

Later fertility in low fertility countries:

In Europe, age at family formation is increasing, particularly among highly educated women. In this session, we will gather papers that study the demographic and epidemiological consequences of the shift to later fertility. We are particularly interested in studies of both men and women, or by level of education, in a comparative or country perspective. 

Organiser: Dr. Eva Beaujouan (Wittgenstein Centre for Demography & Global Human Capital) –

Health & mortality:

Submissions are invited that are related to all aspects of health and mortality. This year we would like to encourage the submission of studies which look at intersectionalities and studies that look at morbidities and causes of death. 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 welcome any methodological approach primarily if innovative, but we are also keen to receive papers that use mixed methods approaches.   

See below for a themed session or sessions. 

Strand Organiser: Dr.Tiziana Leone (London School of Economics) –

Life course neighbourhood effects:

There have been calls to improve the evidence base to test the thesis that an accumulation of exposure to neighbourhood deprivation is damaging to health and wellbeing. This session invites papers that use longitudinal data showing how where you live across the life course impacts on later life health. 

Organiser: Dr. Stephen Jivraj (UCL) –

Historical demography:

This strand welcomes submissions addressing any aspect of 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. Contributions may focus on any part of the world, and at any scale, from local studies to international comparisons. 

Strand Organisers: Dr.Hanna Jaadla & Dr. Alice Reid  (University of Cambridge) –;

Internal & international migration:

We invite papers in the following research areas:

1. The analysis of the patterns, processes and impacts of international and intra-national migration. 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, for example, studies analysing spatial patterns of population or investigating contextual effects on demographic processes. 

Three themed sessions are also inviting submissions: see below. 

Strand Organisers: Dr. Júlia Mikolai (University of St Andrews), Dr. Michael J. Thomas (Statistics Norway)  –;

Children of immigrants:

This session welcomes papers on the socio-demographic lives of the children of immigrants (generation 1.5 or the second generation).

Organisers: Dr. Matthew Wallace, Dr. Ben Wilson (University of Stockholm) –;

Immigrant integration across industrialised countries:

We invite papers for this session that cover different aspects of immigrant integration including but not restricted to partnership and family behaviours, employment, education, and housing experiences of immigrants across industrialised countries.

Organisers: Professor Hill Kulu, Dr. Júlia Mikolai (University of St. Andrews) –;

Spatial mobility & immobility: what does moving or not moving mean for social & political attitudes:

Recent evidence from the UK, Iceland, Finland, and the USA suggests that people who have changed address and been residentially mobile are more likely to be trusting and open towards outsiders. Conversely those who have been immobile tend to have greater distrust of out-groups such as immigrants and to have a greater propensity towards right-wing populist voting.  This is significant in light of the long-term decrease in residential mobility noted in many countries.  This session seeks to bring other national evidence to bear on this topic and to assess the importance of other types of spatial mobility, over and above address changes, in transforming social and political attitudes.

This session will initially bring together researchers from Iceland, England, Sweden, Finland and Ireland who are working in this general area but it will also be open to others who want to present their work in this area – indeed, other presentation/paper offers are very much encouraged.

Organiser: Dr. Ian Shuttleworth (Queen’s University Belfast) –

Regional, subnational and local demography: its impact on policy-making for places:

We are interested in presentations that explore the relationship between regional, subnational and local demography and subnational policymaking - be that through local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, combined authorities or the devolved administrations.  Presentations should be principally aimed at a demographically-informed but policy-facing audience.  As well as evidence from the UK, we welcome presentations that reflect upon how population geography impacts local policy in other countries. 

Topics might include: 

  • Demography, poverty and austerity.  UK local government budgets are decreasing and becoming decoupled from measures of service demand derived from population estimates.  Over the same period, families with children have largely borne the brunt of austerity, whilst the risk of poverty has declined amongst older people.  How do local demographic trends and variations influence levels of poverty and deprivation, and the provision of local services including social care, youth services and community safety?
  • Bridging the gap in evidence.  How suitable are official population estimates and projections for policy design and service delivery?  Do household projections sufficiently reflect trends in housing tenure and household formation, and how well do they serve planning policy?  What alternatives are available, and what novel methods have been used to supplement official statistics?
  • Shifting patterns of internal migration.  The UK's large cities have experienced a historical repopulation, attracting large numbers of young professionals, whilst small towns and coastal areas experience relative population and economic decline.  How have local areas sought to cope with these patterns of internal migration, and what information are local policymakers using to plan for the future?
  • Strand organisers: Ben Corr (Greater London Authority), Dr. Mark Fransham (LSE) –;

 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. 

Organiser: Dr.Esther Roughsedge (National Records of Scotland) -

UK Data Service presents data impact stories

In this showcase session, examples are invited of excellent research using key datasets from the UK Data Service. The datasets will be introduced and researchers will present findings from research that has been proven to deliver impact: in policy change, in advancement of knowledge on a specialist topic, or creating greater awareness of a social issue.

Organiser: Neil Dymond-Green (UK Data Service, Jisc)



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

The 2019 BSPS Conference was held at University Hall, Cardiff University, 9-11 September.

Final programme

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

Plenary speakers were Professor Carol Jagger (Newcastle University, Institute of Ageing), who spoke on The health and care needs of future older populations: opportunity or challenge?

 & Dr. Brian Beach (International Longevity Centre, UK) who spoke on Longevity in research and policy: What happens next?

Slides from both plenary presentations are available here.

The health and care needs.of future older populations

Longevity in research & policy


Abstracts are presented by session within strands, in the order in which papers are to be presented.

Ageing across the globe abstracts

Data quality abstracts

Developments in official population statistics abstracts

Families and households abstracts

Feminist approaches abstracts

Fertility abstracts

Health and mortality abstracts

Historical abstracts

Innovative data abstracts

Local demography abstracts

Migration mobilities abstracts

Plenary abstracts

Poster abstracts

Telling the story in statistics

Workshops and training sessions 2019