BSPS Day Meetings

The British Society for Population Studies holds several events throughout the year. These are organised by members on topics that they feel merit discussion. Suggestions for future events are always welcomed by the Secretariat, and may be jointly promoted with other organizations. BSPS provides a limited amount of funding and administrative support for these seminars. If you would like to organise a seminar or other event, please download & use the proposal form below, which includes additional information. 


Past meetings & meetings with BSPS support

Environment X Women’s Health Workshop

These workshops were held online in September 2020. Recordings of the workshops can be accessed at:  

The BSPS-financially-supported London meeting and the meeting in Lima were combined and held as a series of three online workshops. This had the bonus of allowing for a wider reach and higher attendance

The three events were held on consecutive Thursday evenings in September - the 3rd, 10th, and 17th, from 5-6.30pm on Zoom. 

As one of the aims of the workshops was to connect with researchers and other professionals working on women's environmental health issues, and particularly in Latin America (and especially in Peru),  the events were bilingual (in English and Spanish), with live translations.

Flyer: (original version)

Women in the Global South are disproportionately negatively impacted by environmental threats & climate change. Women who are already in marginalised positions are particularly vulnerable, especially those who are impoverished, indigenous, or who live in rural areas. For many women in these contexts, environmental adversity is an embodied experience. 

This one-day multidisciplinary, multi-sector workshop will draw on expertise within demography, psychology, sociology, epidemiology, population health & beyond to explore environmental effects on maternal, reproductive & mental health, showcasing new research, facilitating knowledge exchange & discussing potential community based solutions. 

More information via the link:

Stalling Life Expectancy - 5 July 2019

Since 2014, life expectancy in the UK has fallen by just over a year for both men and women. While early warnings of this trend were denounced by the Department for Health as “a triumph of personal bias over research”, it is increasingly hard to refute. As the evidence mounts it is imperative to discuss why and how this stalling came about, particularly where we are also witnessing a widening gap in life expectancy between the rich and the poor. This event brought together a range of speakers to debate the possible causes of stalling life expectancy and to help encourage those seeking to stop and reverse the trend.  In addition to a key note from Professor Danny Dorling, University of Oxford, and a panel session chaired by Dame Karen Dunnell, Chair of the Longevity Science Panel, we also heard from a selection of researchers currently researching life expectancy in the UK and Europe. Topics included evidence from Scotland, discussion of changing healthy life expectancies, and avoidable mortality.

A video of the event can be accessed on Facebook here:

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Stalling life expectancy meeting report

Slides from the meeting, where available, are accessible via the hyperlinks in the titles of the presentations below:

Debating stalling life expectancy- Danny Dorling

Living longer but not necessarily healthier: The joint progress of health and mortality in the working age population of England -Stephen Jivraj1, Alissa Goodman2. Benedetta Pongiglione3, George B. Ploubidis2 1Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL, 2Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Department of Social Science, UCL Institute of Education, 3Centre for Research on Health and Social Care Management (CERGAS), Bocconi University

 Inequality in Avoidable Mortality   - Chris White, ONS

Stalling life expectancy in England - Veena S Raleigh, The Kings Fund

Trends in mid-life mortality in the UK: Is the US an Anomaly? - Jennifer B. Dowd, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, King's College London

How have changes in death by cause and age group contributed to the recent stalling of life expectancy gains in Scotland  - Julie Ramsay, Maria Kaye-Bardgett, National Records of Scotland, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London

Panel Session, Chaired by Dame Karen Dunnell, Chair of the Longevity Science Panel - Dr Ben Barr, University of Liverpool, Dr Wanda Wyporska, The Equality Trust, Professor Mike Murphy, LSE, Professor Dominic Harrison, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Dr Ingrid Wolfe, Children & Young People’s Health Partnership, King’s College London, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust



Workshop with BSPS support:

Grandmothers and public health: unlocking the potential of older women in improving child, adolescent and maternal health

Held onTuesday 14th May 2019, at John Snow, LSHTM, Keppel Street

An interdisciplinary workshop, supported by the British Society for Population Studies and LSHTM’s MARCH.

Research in demography and anthropology has demonstrated the importance of grandmothers in influencing child and maternal outcomes, such as improving child health and survival rates. Yet few public health initiatives have recognised the potential impact of recruiting grandmothers into their interventions to improve health. The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers in demography, anthropology, public health and related disciplines to discuss the potential for incorporating grandmothers into public health initiatives to improve child, adolescent and maternal health. The workshop is free and open to all, but registration is required:

Link to the post workshop write-up, including links to slides): 

Recent meeting - 
Is internal migration slowing down? 

A meeting to celebrate the publication of ‘Internal Migration in the Developed World: Are we becoming less mobile?’, convened jointly by the British Society for Population Studies (BSPS) and the RGS-IBG Population Geography Research Group (PGRG)

Thursday, 11 January 2018 

Presentations from the meeting can now be accessed by clicking on the hyperlink in the title below: 


10.30   Registration 

11.00   Session 1: Key findings from the book (Chair: Piers Elias)

11.00   Piers Elias (BSPS President) – Introduction: a more mobile world or not?

11.10   Anne Green (Birmingham) – Understanding the drivers of internal migration

11.25   Tony Champion (Newcastle) – Overview of the book’s findings

11.40   Tony Fielding (Sussex) – The Japanese experience

11.55   Ian Shuttleworth (Belfast) – The Swedish experience

12.10   Nik Lomax (Leeds) – The UK experience

12.25   Q&A

12.50   Formal book launch 

13.00   Lunch break (attendees get their own) 

14.00   Session 2: Submitted contributions (Chair: John Stillwell)

14.00   Brad Campbell (Belfast) – Declining internal migration in Northern Ireland, 1981-                2011

14.30   Darren Smith (Loughborough) – Blocking the pipeline for rural gentrification: where are the migrants? 

15.00   Break (coffee/tea provided) 

15.20   Session 3: Discussion and summing up (Chair: Tony Champion)

15.20   Discussants: Ben Corr (GLA), Ian Gordon (LSE) and Christine Whitehead (LSE)

15.50   Open discussion

16.20   Summing up

16.30   Book launch reception

17.00   Close 


Previous events


With funding from the Biosocial Society

Organised by LSE and LSHTM

Wednesday 24 May 2017 

SUMMARY A key factor determining a woman’s experience of menopause is the culture in which she finds herself before, during, and after menopause. In our youth-idolizing Western culture, menopause can seem like an ending. However, in many cultures, menopause is a time of new respect and freedom for women. Even though hormonal changes after menopause produce similar symptoms in many women, cultural differences can still shape how people experience this stage of life. These may arise from variation in a wide range of factors, including stigma (or lack of it) within cultures, access to health services and gender inequalities.

Considerable research shows significant variation across populations in the menopausal experience. Biological, psychological, social and cultural factors are associated with either positive or negative attitudes, perceptions or experiences of menopause in various cultures. Comparative international literature shows that neither biological nor social factors alone are sufficient to explain the variation in experiences of the menopausal transition.

The aim of this workshop is to gather current research on the menopause and its cultural and socio-economic aspects. The objectives are to get a multidisciplinary approach to the topic, including both qualitative and quantitative work. Ultimately we want to highlight a variety of issues surrounding this neglected topic which can have repercussions on health in later life.

The meeting is free and open to everyone however registration is required. Email Alexis Palfreyman (  to reserve your place.

We welcome poster submissions, especially from early career researchers and students. Please email the title and a short abstract of the poster to Alexis Palfreyman ( : -deadline 10 May

For more information please email the organisers Tiziana Leone and Rebecca Sear



Introduction: Tiziana Leone, LSE


Lynnette Sievert, UMass Amherst

"Measurement of hot flashes: cross-cultural research highlights thechallenges"

Gillian Bentley, Durham University

"Developmental effects on the menopause among migrant Bangladeshi women in the UK"

11:00-11.30 tea break


Isabel de Salis, Bristol University

"Experiencing menopause as transformative: re-thinking rites of passage"

Mwenza Blell, Cambridge University

"What changes when you go through the change? An exploration of British Pakistani women's views and experiences"

Emily Freeman, LSE

"Understandings of the menopause among older adults in Malawi"

13:00-14:00 Lunch


Doaa Hammoudeh, Oxford University and Ernestina Coast, LSE

"Age of hope, power or despair? Palestinian women’s menopause narratives"

Taniya Sharmeen, Reading University

""Allah’r hukum"-It’s God’s will, it’s not an ending-it’s the beginning"-Exploring meaning of menopause and menopausal symptom experiences among Bangladeshi women."


Round table discussion with the presenters: Where next. Chair Rebecca Sear, LSHTM

16:00 Poster reception

BSPS menopause meeting flyer

International Seminar on Urban Health Transformations

11-12 July 2017

Homerton College, Cambridge, UK

Seminar organized by the Historical Demography Panel of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP), British Society for Population Studies  & University of Cambridge

Generously supported by the IUSSP, Galton Institute, Wellcome Trust, and British Society for Population Studies

Health in urban areas has played a major role in determining trajectories of demographic growth, economic success and individual and community well-being across time. However the relationship between health and urban space has not been constant over either time or place. Before the early twentieth century, towns and cities suffered a probably universal urban mortality penalty, and in some periods acted as ‘demographic sinks’, characterized by high death rates largely due to air and water-borne infections. The improvement of urban environments, together with the development of better preventive and curative medical services which tend to be based in cities, means that urban areas today have lower mortality than their surrounding areas. Although the decline of mortality in urban areas has been studied, there is little consensus about how urban spaces were transformed from unhealthy to healthy places. Such changes are unlikely to have happened at the same time or stage of industrial, economic or infrastructural development in every place, but it has not been established whether there are any key developments which are necessary or sufficient for such transformations to occur. Attempts have been made to link declines in mortality to the introduction of sanitation and water supply, but with mixed success. The roles of housing, street paving, air pollution, and animal keeping in fostering a hostile disease environment have been addressed less often. Municipal governance and institutions have been linked variously to poorer and to better health. How migration contributes to observed mortality rates is also poorly understood: migrants seeking work or a better life are often selected for better health, but may lack immunities to specific urban diseases. Chronic conditions such as tuberculosis may be linked to return or health-seeking migration, and such factors make it hard to disentangle the ways that migration, as other possible influences, might be linked to health outcomes.


A full programme is available online.


To book, please complete the booking form available online and return it by email to Sophy Arulanantham at no later than Thursday 6 April 2017.

Recent BSPS day meeting

UK Variant Sub-national population projections & Population Projections by Ethnic Group 

27 March 2017, 10.30am – 4.00pm.

A report of the meeting will follow in due course


The 2012-based Household Projections for England: methodological issues

Monday 18th May, 2015, 2:00pm - 5:30pm

London School of Economics (LSE), Ground Floor Lecture Room STC.S75, St Clement’s Building, Clare Market, London WC2A 2AE 

The official projections of household numbers in England are of vital importance for debate and decision-making about the amount of land for housing development. Future needs for housing have been a hot topic in the General Election Campaign. Initial results from the 2012-based projections of households in England were published by the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) in February 2015. Further work is promised, as the full set of Census data needed for a complete review of long-term trends was not available in time. This event aims to examine the methodology and data used for the 2012-based projections and to provide an update on CLG’s intentions for further analysis. It will include contributions from CLG, academics and local authority practitioners and will allow attendees the chance to ask questions and make their views known


13.30-14.00 Registration (No refreshments)
14.00-14.05 Welcome from Tony Champion, BSPS President
14.05-14.10 Chair’s Introductory Remarks, John Hollis, past President of BSPS

14.10-14.40 2012-based Household Projections for England: lessons learnt & next steps - Bob Garland (Department for Communities & Local Government)

2012-based Household Projections for England - Bob Garland

14.40-15.00 Questions and discussion
15.00-15.20 Tea Break (Refreshments provided)

15.20-15.40 Explaining changes in household size - Ludi Simpson (University of Manchester)

Explaining changes in family size - Ludi Simpson

15.40-16.00 The uncertain drivers of change in the new projections at the local authority level - Neil McDonald (University of Cambridge)

Uncertain drivers -  Neil McDonald

16.00-16.20 Questions and discussion
16.20-16.40 The London Perspective - Ben Corr (Demography Manager, Greater London Authority)

 2012-based household predictions - Ben Corr

16.40-17.00 Trends, data & Definitions - Greg Ball (former principal demographer, Birmingham City Council)

Trends data and definitions - Greg Ball

17.00-17.30 Questions and discussion
Members and non-members welcome. There is no charge but please register in advance by emailing or by phoning the BSPS secretariat on 020 7955 7666.

Myths of migration: the changing British population, a joint BSPS/BA event held at the British Academy on 17 November 2014

Myths of migration meeting report - also reproduced below

As part of its celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the publication of The Changing Population of Britain (edited by Heather Joshi, Blackwell, 1989), the BSPS teamed up with the British Academy for an evening meeting on UK migration. Three speakers were invited to address the following questions: Given that the movement of people shapes our neighbourhoods and communities, what are the realities of these changes, and where do the myths of migration end and the realities of population change begin? What are the new patterns of internal and trans-national migration? Who are the new immigrants, where are they from, and where do they go? Do immigrants isolate or integrate? Are we flocking to the cities, or escaping to the countryside? The meeting was chaired by Francesco Billari, the President of EAPS and a BSPS Council member, who welcomed the full house of attendees and introduced the speakers.

Tony Champion, the current BSPS President, focused on within-UK migration. He set up three ‘straw men’ (the term that he preferred to ‘myths’) and managed to demolish two of them. ‘Migration’ is not synonymous with ‘immigration’, despite the high salience of the latter in the media and indeed ONS’s usage in 2011 Census outputs. Ten times as many residents moved home within the UK in the 12 months leading up to the Census as had been living outside the UK a year earlier and have the potential for considerably altering the size and composition of local populations. Secondly, the latest research shows that, while we may be living in an increasingly mobile world, residential mobility in the UK is lower now than 20-30 years ago, with an especially steep fall in shorter-distance moving. The jury is out, however, on his final question as to whether the recent signs of urban resurgence spell the end of net migration from city to countryside. Most important in UK policy terms is whether a sustained recovery from the 2008/09 recession will lead to the acceleration of the exodus from London that has been experienced in previous cycles. The major changes since the early 1990s recession, including the drop in home moving rates just mentioned, the altered housing behaviour of younger adults in recent years and the rising ethnic minority share of city populations, may be combining to produce to a new internal migration regime.

Ludi Simpson, the immediate past President of BSPS, described the two eras of globalisation, both connecting demographic and economic change. The first, in the 18 thand 19 th centuries, was associated with emigration from Europe, and the second, which we have experienced since the middle of the 20th century, is associated with widening inequalities which make Europe and North America particularly attractive. Within this context, immigration to the UK is not extreme, and may not be amenable to legal attempts to change it. The impact on sub-national Britain has been to create a diversity of diversities that continues to change. Movement from city central zones to suburbs and beyond began before significant immigration rather than being caused by it, and continues for all ethnic groups. Analysis of segregation is technically unable to answer questions about the barriers to equal movement, but suggests steady and slow geographical integration of ethnic groups as we currently measure them. A crude projection of ethnic diversity suggests that diversity will increase, but the most diverse local authority of Britain, the London Borough of Newham, is about as diverse as any authority will become in the next twenty years. There will be few areas in which a single group other than White British is the largest group. Often, the next largest group will be what we now call ‘Other’, a mix of different origins relatively new to Britain. The measurement of ethnicity will have to change in response to the increasingly diverse nature of local diversity.

Norma Cohen, who has just retired as Demography correspondent after 27 years at the Financial Times, challenged perceptions of the relative attractiveness of Britain as the destination of first choice for those seeking to uproot themselves. In fact, migrants tend to choose countries that already are host to a significant community of their own citizens and which bear some similarity in language and culture to their own. While that makes Britain very attractive to migrants from other English-speaking nations, it makes it less so to many others. A quick look at UN migration data suggests that far more migrants – including residents of countries likely to attract the most alarmed headlines – choose destinations other than Britain. For example, migrants from India ranked Britain sixth on the list of most likely destinations, with 760,000 from there making a home here. But that compares with 2.9m Indians in the UAE, 2.0m in the USA and 1.8m in Saudi Arabia. Pakistanis rank Britain fourth, with 1.3m and 1.1m in Saudi Arabia and India respectively compared with 460,000 in the UK. And despite fears that Britain would be swamped by an influx from Albania, Romania and Bulgaria, the UK appears far down on the list of choices for residents from these nations. For Albanians, nearby Greece is the first choice with 570,000, Italy second with 450,000 and Britain 7th choice with only 20,000 Albanian-born residents. There are more than 10 times as many Bulgarians in Turkey as in the UK, and as many choose Italy or Greece as choose Britain. There are 10 times as many Romanians living in Italy and 8 times as many in Spain as are living in the UK. In fact, there are more Romanians in Israel than in Britain. Thus, the fear that failure to close the gates to migrants will leave Britain ‘swamped’ with foreigners is greatly overblown.

Predictably most of the ensuing discussion from the floor focused on immigration to Britain. Could Ludi’s projections to 2031 provide ammunition to the UK Independence Party? How can the government resolve the tension between following the public desire to limit immigration and allowing employers to plug labour and skill shortages in finance, elderly care, etc.? How is it that the majority population can happily co-exist with ethnic minority neighbours in the same street, but want to see the UK close its doors to new arrivals? It was suggested that people should try hard to suppress their Ids and develop their Superegos, also that public acceptance of immigration would increase if newcomers quickly learnt to speak good English. Some links to internal migration were also made. Why is there a general perception that ‘white flight’ exists when the urban exodus rates are similar across all ethnic groups? Is there a parallel between trying to stop immigration to the country and trying to stop people moving into the countryside? What, if any, is the link between net immigration to the UK and the patterns of within-UK migration, especially in relation to London? To what extent is it population ageing that is slowing down within-UK migration? Ultimately, the discussion turned on two main points: the need for more research focusing on the processes behind migration and, above all, the need to do better at getting the key messages from research into the public domain. It was felt that meetings such as this were a useful way of doing this, but more could and should be done. To help towards this, an audio recording of this meeting is available on the British Academy website at

Archive of meetings


Overview of book findings ChampionOverview of book findings ChampionOverview of book findings Champion



RT @amrcampop: Great first #bsps2022 session on barriers to childbearing - a variety of approaches and data to similar themes @ginevra_flor

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RT @amrcampop: All ready for #BSPS2022! Looking forward to the plenary conversation about non-traditional data sources with @rsfrankl and @…

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