August 24th

Demography: Study of size, compositions and change of human populations.

Examples of composition:

  • age
  • sex
  • race
  • marital status
  • education level
  • economic status (i.e. unemployment %, income level, etc)

Changes happen due to:

  • fertility
  • mortality
  • nuptiality
  • divorce
  • migration
  • redefining/drawing borders, changes in definitions

Example Question: What's the Infant Mortality Rate?

How to define Infant Mortality: Live birth then dies before their first birthday.

It is important how you define live birth because some countries have different definitions. Countries, like France, may exclude pre-term babies (full-term is 39 weeks).

Here is a CDC report that includes information on different definitions of live birth, and on how those differences affect international comparisons.

Sources of data on infant mortality: death certificates and birth certificates (if there is a vital registration system)

Using vital statistics on the web: US births

In class we then went to: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/VitalStats.htm
and chose 'Births', chose "Characteristic of mothers" on a National level, chose the stats for 2007, and exported them into Excel.

We did not finish the excel calculations till Thursday, August 26th, where I will continue my notes.