General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Demography Of Historical And Contemporary Populations
Language English
Module lecturer prof. UAM dr hab. Grażyna Liczbińska
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position
Faculty Faculty of Biology
Semester 2024/2025 (winter)
Duration 40


Module aim (aims)

  1. Providing students with essential knowledge about historical and contemporary demography: biological, ecological and cultural factors that influenced demographic behaviour in historical and contemporary world.
  2. Students will gain practical skills necessary to use statistical and demographic methods of description of mortality, fertility and mating system.
  3. During the practical classes students will gain basic knowledge about analysis of demographic data and skills necessary to interpret demographic measures and processes.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)


Week 1: Factors influencing population growth.

Week 2: Early childhood mortality.

Week 3: Trends in mortality and their interpretation from evolutionary perspective. Epidemiological transition.

Week 4: Operation of natural selection. The relaxation of natural selection in developed world.

Week 5: Evolution of longevity: role of environmental and cultural factors.

Week 6: Interpretation of fertility processes and changes in fertility around the world over time.

Week 7:The role of education in fertility transition. From natural fertility to family limitation.

Week 8: Marriage patterns: age at marriage, mixed marriages, endogamous and exogamous marriages.

Week 9: Long-term effects of adverse environmental conditions in early stage of life on human biology and demography.

Week 10: Projects presentations and summary of the course.

Reading list

Acsádi G., Nemeskéri J. 1970. History of Human Life Span and Mortality. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.Cavalli-Sforza L.L., Bodmer W.F. 1971. The Genetics of Human Populations. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman.Coale A.J. 1986 . The Decline of Fertility in Europe since the Eighteen Century as a Chapter of Demographic History. In: The Decline of Fertility in Europe. A.J. Coale, S.C. Watkins (Eds.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, pp. 1–28.Jekel J.F., Elmore J.G., Katz D.L. 2007. Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Preventive Medicine. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company.Knodel J. 1974. The Decline of Fertility in Germany, 1871–1939. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.Knodel J.1988. Demographic Behavior in the past: A Study of fourteen German village population in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Koch G. 2009. Basic Allied Health Statistics and Analysis. Delmar: Cengage Learning. Liczbińska G. 2015. Lutherans in the Poznań province. Biological dynamics of the Lutheran population in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Hamburg: Verlag Dr. Kovač.McQuillan K. 1999. Culture, Religion, and Demographic Behaviour: Catholics and Lutherans in Alsace, 1750–1870. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.Sanderson W.C. 1974. Economic theories of fertility: what do they explain? New York: National Bureau of Economic Research.Spree R. 1988. Health and Social Class in Imperial Germany. A Social History of Mortality, Morbidity and Inequality. Oxford: Berg Publishers.Vögele J. 1998. Urban Mortality Change in England and Germany 1870–1913. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.Articles and materials recommended for lectures and practical classes will be handed out for each course.