Lecture%2015%20-%20Chapter%2016

Lecture%2015%20-%20Chapter%2016 - Chapter 16 Demography and...

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Chapter 16
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Demography and the U.S. Census Let’s start with several important definitions. Demography is the scientific study of the current state and changes over time in the size, composition, and distribution of populations. This field of sociology draws on huge bodies of data generated by a variety of sources. One main source of population information is the U.S. Census. A census is a head count of the entire population, often with other identifying information included such as age, sex, and race. A census often has problems with undercounting, because some populations are very hard to get an accurate count. For example, remember when we talked about the homeless and how hard it is to estimate how many homeless there are? The homeless are often undercounted in the census. People of low social class are often undercounted, especially if they live in ghetto neighborhoods. Immigrants are another group often undercounted, especially if they are illegally here. Another body of data used in demography are vital statistics. Vital statistics refer to information about the number of births, marriages, deaths, and migrations in and out of the country. Using the census data and vital statistics data, we can create a picture of the U.S. population and how we are changing.
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Three Demographic Processes How many people are there in a society? What affects how many people there are? Only three variables are needed to determine the total number of people in a given society. These are births, deaths, and migrations. How many people are born? Births increase the population. How many people die? Death decrease the population. How many people leave the country? How many people enter the country? These also affect the population size.
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World Population Growth in Millions
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Birthrate Let’s look at a few concepts related to population. The crude birthrate refers to the number of babies born for every 1,000 people. World crude birthrate is about 27.1 births per 1,000 people. The crude birthrate reflects fertility. Fertility refers to live births per woman. In general, minority groups tend to have somewhat higher birthrates than White, nonminority groups, and lower SES groups tend to have higher birthrates than those higher on the SES scale. Religious and cultural differences can also be seen in the fertility rate. Catholics have higher birthrates than non-Catholics in the same SES, and Latinos have a high likelihood of being Catholic, which also contributes to their higher fertility rate.
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Death Rate The crude death rate is the number of deaths each year per 1,000 people. The crude death rate can be an important measure of overall standard of living for a population. In general, the higher the standard of living, the lower the death rate, and vice versa.
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