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Demography and Contemporary Societies

Code: 104240 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2503710 Geography, Environmental Management and Spatial Planning OB 2 1
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Juan Antonio Módenes Cabrerizo

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:

Other comments on languages

Catalan will be the language of first choice in teaching, but use of Spanish or English by students is welcomed.


Miguel González Leonardo
Andrea Noblega Carriquiry
Antonio López Gay


No special requirements

Equal treatment for the students coming from the two degrees where this course is teached:

Geography, Environment and Territorial Planning (compulsory)

Social and Cultural Anthropology (optional)

Objectives and Contextualisation

Course objective: The basic objective of the subject is to introduce students to the basic features of the study of human populations, both in terms of the DEMOGRAPHIC METHOD and of the KNOWLEDGE of the most general demographic phenomena; as well as its interrelation with historical, territorial and environmental contextual elements.
a) Introducing the students to the main demographic indicators
• Calculation of indicators: methods and data sources.
• Demographic information available: data banks on the Internet
b) How is the behavior of real populations.
• Understanding the historical process of shaping populations and demographic systems
• Interactions of the demographic system with other spheres of human activity, environment and planning.
c) Reinforcement of the logical and analytical elements in relation to population studies.
• Demographic approaches for the interpretation of social information.


  • Combine distinct techniques and methods of representation and spatial analysis in elaborating materials for transmitting results.
  • Students must have and understand knowledge of an area of study built on the basis of general secondary education, and while it relies on some advanced textbooks it also includes some aspects coming from the forefront of its field of study.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Combine distinct techniques and methods of representation and spatial analysis in elaborating materials for transmitting results.
  2. Students must have and understand knowledge of an area of study built on the basis of general secondary education, and while it relies on some advanced textbooks it also includes some aspects coming from the forefront of its field of study.


  1. Introduction to the course, contents and methodology
  2. Introduction to Demography.
  3. Sources of demographic data: censuses and other populatin stock sources
  4. Sources of demographic data: vital statistics and surveys.
  5. Indicators and interpretation in Demography
  6. History of the World Population. The Theory of the Demographic Transition
  7. Main mortality indicators.
  8. Main indicators of fertility
  9. Drawing a demographic pyramid and structure indicators.
  10. World population growth and geopolitical implications. World population prospects.
  11. World opulation structure challenges: aging and demographic dividend.
  12. Local challenges: Spanish and Catalan populations.
  13. An example of urban applied demography: housing and population


The course will last approximately 12-13 weeks, at a rate of 3 hours per week, which sum up 50 hours of joint work in the classroom.

The weekly work will consist of two types of sessions:

- A first session of 1,5 hours will be TE type (lectures), that is, sessions in which teacher will keep the main role through the presentation and explanation of the different topics, including the use of ICT (internet access, power-point presentations ). Student participation will be encouraged through questions and small debates.

- A second weekly session (1,5 h) will be of the PAUL type, practical work in a lab computer classroom, in which the teacher will coordinate the individual or small groups work. In these practical sessions public online statistical sources will be presented and handled, problems of calculation of urban, demographic and housing indicators will be solved, as well as relevant texts or other material of interest will be discussed.

Every weekly lab work will end with an assignment. All assignments will take part of the course final evaluation, together with 2 partial exams.

University teaching intranet will be used (Campus Virtual). There, students will be able to access all documents needed for the lectures and lab sessions. It will also be the place for students to deliver the assignments before successive deadlines.

In one of the last sessions of the course, students will be able to fulfill the surveys of evaluation of teaching activity and evaluation of the course methods.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Lectures 23.5 0.94 2
Problems in computer lab 23.5 0.94 1
Type: Supervised      
Individual or small groups tutoring 10 0.4 2
Type: Autonomous      
Autonomous work on assignments 20 0.8 1
Compulsory reading 25 1 2
Studying for exams 20 0.8 2
Supplementary recommended reading 15 0.6


Assessment is a continuous  process, based on partial exams and assessment of assignments.

- Assessment of theory and concepts (lecture classes) will be carried out through two partial exams. They will consist of 4-5 short questions, which will combine theoretical and conceptual aspects, with practical questions.

- Assessment of the lab sessions will be done through assignments, at a rate of one per week or every two weeks, approximately. A reasonable deadline period will be set for every assignment (approx. 2-3 weeks). Contribution of students in final discussion during lab sessions will be considered as well.

- There will be an assessment of the questionnaire on the obligatory bibliography.

Qualification: The qualification of the two partial exams weights 35% of the total value (17.5% + 17.5%), the assessment of the required reading another 15% and the assessment of the assignments counts for the remaining 50%. To pass the course it will be necessary to have obtained an average score of 5 or more (up to 10) in the exams, with a grade of 4 or more in both of them.

The final grade of the course is the weighted average of all the marks (exams and joint practical notes), the possible range being from 0 to 10. Assignments delivered after the indicated period will not be accepted and will be considered not performed (grade 0, zero) . Unjustified failure to attend a partial exam will mean a "Not Assessable" course grade. The subject is considered Failed when the final average grade does not reach 5.0. Students will obtain a “Not assessed/Not submitted” course grade unless they have submitted more than 30% of the assessment items, including both partial exams.

g. Bibliografia:

The assessment evidences indicated above can be reassessed or retaken. There will be a reassessment activity of the partial exams that will take place on the date fixed by the teaching coordinator of the degree. The exams and the assignment dossier can not be reevaluated jointly; the student must pass exams or either assignments. Only those exams and assignments carried out and / or delivered within the established deadlines may be re-evaluated.

Assignment reports will be individually delivered by each student, although a cooperative work can be done during its elaboration in or out of the classroom.

In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject. Among these irreguarities are "copy" and "plagiarism". Let's remember that a "copy" is considered a work that reproduces all or most of the work of one or more classmates. "Plagiarism" is the fact of presenting all or part of a text of an author as its own, without mentioning the sources, be on paper or in digital format. See UAB documentation on "plagiarism" at: http://wuster.uab.es/web_argumenta_obert/unit_20/sot_2_01.html.

On carrying out each evaluation activity, lecturers will inform students (on Moodle) of the procedures to be followed for reviewing all grades awarded, and the date on which such a review will take place.

The assessment procedure is the same for students retaking the course.

Health alerts: In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Assessment of compulsory reading 15% 0.5 0.02 2
Final redaction of Assignment reports 50% 10 0.4 1
First partial exam (theory) 17,5% 1.25 0.05 2
Second partial exam (theory) 17,5% 1.25 0.05 2


Compulsory reading:

LIVI-BACCI, Massimo (2012) Historia mínima de la población mundial. Barcelona: Crítica. (English version: BACCI, Massimo Livi. 2017. A concise history of world population. John Wiley & Sons)

Handbooks of Demographic Analysis

ARROYO, Andrés, Elena MANZANERA, Y Antonio PASCUAL -EdS- (2007), Estadísticas demográficas y sociales. Difusión
estadística. Jaén: Universidad de Jaén.

PRESSAT, Roland. (1983). El análisis demográfico. Madrid: FCE.

RILEY, Nancy; Brunson, Jan (Eds.). (2018). International Handbook on Gender and Demographic Processes (Vol. 8). Springer.

TAPINOS, George. (1988). Elementos de demografía. Madrid: Espasa Calpe.

Population dynamics.

CABRÉ, Anna. (1999), El sistema català de reproducció, Barcelona, Proa.

GARCÍA, Isidro Dubert; PÉREZ-CARAMÉS, Antía (2021). Invasión migratoria y envejecimiento demográfico.: Dos mitos contemporáneos. Catarata, 2021.

THUMERELLE, Pierre-Jean. (1997) Las poblaciones del mundo, Madrid: Cátedra

REQUES, Pedro (2001). Población, recursos y medioambiente:¿ el final de los mitos. Santander: Ed. Universidad de Cantabria.

More references during classes


During classes at the computer lab, the following software will be used in order to process statistical data:

- Excel

The final reports of lab activities must be submitted in .pdf format.