At the end of the course the student must demonstrate:

• to apply and deal with proficiency, using appropriate English technical language, the basic methodological tools necessary to measure and analyze the main demographic characteristics of populations, mechanisms that explain demographic dynamics, and trends of international migrations;

• to understand the past, present and future causes and consequences of the main demographic issues and of international migrations.

Knowledge and understanding

The course aims at providing to the students the basic knowledge and methodological tools necessary to analyze the main demographic characteristics of populations, mechanisms that explain demographic phenomena and patterns of international migrations. These tools, accompanied by hypotheses and interpretative schemes, will allow students to understand the main causes and consequences of the main past, present and future demographic and migratory issues.

Applying knowledge and understanding

The study of the main demographic sources - at international, national and local level - and methods is aimed at preparing students to identify autonomously and to make critical analysis of the data necessary to analyze properly demographic and migratory issues. Through working-groups, the course allow the direct application of the studied methodological tools on specific demographic themes and selected macro-areas of the World.

Further expected learning outcomes:

  • Making judgements: The provided techniques will allow students to define properly the measures of demographic phenomena and to acquire independent judgment on demographic and migratory causes, dynamics and their possible consequences.

  • Communication skills: The student is stimulated to treat accurately the assumptions and formal developments of the studied methods and to acquire the appropriate English technical language of the discipline.

  • Learning skills: The direct interaction between teacher and student as well as the activities within working-groups stimulate and favor the learning abilities related to the tools and the contents of the discipline.


The course will in-depth introduce to analyze the main demographic issues, as well as to analyze the basic methods for measuring different demographic behaviors. The main topics of the course concern: The Field of Demography; Basic Concepts and Measures; World Demographic Patterns; Sources of Demographic Data; Age-specific Rates and Probabilities; The Life Table and Single Decrement Processes; Mortality Patterns in the Modern Era; Fertility and Reproduction; Fertility Patterns in Modern Era; Population Projection; Migration; Concepts, Sources and Measures of International Migration; Foreign immigration in Italy: a forty-year-old history. 


Recommended textbooks:

  • Preston S.H., Heuveline P., Guillot M., Demography. Measuring and Modelling Population Processes, Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, Malden, Massachusetts (USA), 2001.

  • Anderson B. A., World Population Dynamics. An Introduction to Demography, Pearson Education Inc., NY, 2015.

  • Bonifazi C., Strozza S., «Conceptual Framework and Data Collection in International Migration», in Caselli G., Vallin J.,

  • Wunsch G. (eds.), Demography: Analysis and Synthesis. A Treatise in Population, Volume IV, Elsevier Inc., USA, 2006, pp. 537-554. (Available within the Teacher Web-Site: International Migration Folder of the Learning Material)

  • Strozza S., «Foreign immigration in Italy: a forty-year-old history», Proceedings of the 48th Scientific Meeting of the Italian Statistical Society, Plenary Session, Università di Salerno, 8-10th June 2016. (Available within the Teacher Web-Site: International Migration Folder of the Learning Material)

Further teaching material will be made available by the teacher.


Learning results to be verified

An oral exam, with a vote expressed in 30ths, ascertains the knowledge, skills and abilities acquired by the students. The student has during the exam to answer three questions: the first is related to the methodological tools, the second to the evolution of the demographic phenomena, and the third to international migrations. To pass the exam, student must demonstrate to have acquired at least sufficient knowledge of the technical and methodological sources and tools for analyzing population dynamics, application skills, language properties and adequate understanding of the mechanisms of international migration. Students, that attend the teaching lessons, can take part of one working-group about the evolution of specific demographic phenomena in selected macro-areas of the World. The positive outcome of the final oral presentation and of the short report exonerates the student from the second question of the exam. In this case, the outcome of the exoneration will also contribute to the final vote in 30ths.

Assessment method:

Written and oral examination

Open questions

Oral examination