General information

Module title Demography of historical and contemporary populations
Language English
Module lecturer prof. UAM dr hab. Grażyna Liczbińska
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Professor
Faculty Faculty of Biology
Semester 2021/2022 (winter)
Duration 60


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: Sources to research on the demographic behaviour of historical and contemporary populations; their reliability and validity.Week 2: Natural population growth: Crude Birth Rate, Crude Death Rate and Demographic Dynamics Rate (problems and solutions). Week 3: Mortality: Infant and child mortality.Week 4: Mortality: Perinatal mortality rate and the problem of stillbirths.Week 5: Mortality: Biometric functions of life tables. Week 6: Mortality: Epidemiological transition.Week 7: Fertility: Level, trends and seasonality of births. Week 8: Fertility: Non-marital births and pregnancies. Week 9: Fertility: From natural fertility to family limitation. Week 10: Mating system: Age at marriage, mixed marriages, seasonality of marriage. Week 11: Endogamous and exogamous marriages. Week 12: Mating system distribution. Week 13: State of and changes in gene pools: Opportunity for the operation of natural selection through differential mortality and fertility. Week 14: State of and changes in gene pools: Biological polygamy and degree of genetic isolation.Week 15: 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.