Techniques of Population Analysis

Techniques of Population Analysis

Techniques of Population Analysis

Techniques of Population Analysis

Excerpt

Rarely does an extended undertaking turn out exactly as originally planned. This book is no exception. It was first proposed to the author for a rather special purpose. For years population studies have been confined chiefly to countries of Western Europe and North America, and many people have felt the need for an introductory book, applicable to a wider range of census and registration data. This volume began as a text that would be suited to the growing body of data outside the common statistical tradition of this region.

It soon became evident, however, that the deficiency did not lie in the special problems of any particular country or region. The real need was for a general introduction to research procedures and their purposes. Eventually the following chapters were designed to meet this need.

Most works on this subject emphasize the facts of some particular example. Although the basis of inquiry into these facts is virtually the same in any instance, the facts themselves may vary, sometimes to a considerable extent. For this reason, illustrations here have been gathered from diverse sources. They are selected so as to convey a sense of perspective, to represent a manner of viewing population aggregates under a variety of different conditions. Such perspective is the quality most important in examining data outside the habitual path of population studies. It is also a quality needed to gain proper understanding of the nature of these studies in the more familiar locale of Western countries.

This book is intended as a guide for persons without previous experience in analyzing census or vital registration statistics. It is designed to be as far as possible self-sufficient and appropriate for self-study. Some non-essential niceties are omitted. No definite training in mathematics is presupposed, since the procedures do not have an advanced mathematical basis. The historical development of population studies, though interesting for its own sake, is not discussed. Care has been taken to limit the vocabulary of special terms: where they refer to something that is really quite ordinary, an ordinary term is used.

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