University of California, Berkeley


The Department of Demography offers an interdisciplinary training program leading to the MA and PhD in demography. Demography is the systematic study of human populations, a topic central to many pressing policy issues such as the economic development of Third World countries, population aging, the environment, health and mortality, family and household change, immigration, and ethnicity. Demography also has strong intellectual and institutional ties to other fields such as sociology, economics, social history, anthropology, biology, public health, and statistics.

Faculty in the Demography Department also participate in the Graduate Group in Sociology and Demography, which administers a PhD in Sociology and Demography.

There is no undergraduate major in Demography, but the department offers an undergraduate minor in Demography. Seniors may take graduate courses with the consent of the instructor.

Facilities and Library

Training and research explore anthropological, economic, historical, mathematical, statistical, and social aspects of demography. Computer applications — including exploratory statistical analysis and microsimulation techniques — are strongly emphasized. The department has advanced computing facilities consisting of state-of-the-art UNIX workstations and servers, networked PCs, and access to IBM mainframe services. Additionally, the department has its own noncirculating library, the Allan Sharlin Memorial Library, which hosts a wide collection of books and periodicals in the field of demography.

Events and Colloquia

The Demography Brown Bag series is an opportunity for the campus demography community to present either works in progress or completed works in an informal setting. The lectures are hosted during the school year every Wednesday at noon in the Demography Conference Room.

The Demography Mini-Conferences are occasional half-day conferences sponsored jointly by the Department of Demography and the Berkeley Population Center at UC Berkeley, and/or the Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging (CEDA). Noted demographers and scholars from related fields make up the list of invited speakers to this series, which brings together specialists interested in demography from the entire Bay Area, including Stanford University and UC Davis, and beyond. We hold several such events each academic year, in one of the campus' fine meeting spaces. These are half-day gatherings, often starting with an informal buffet lunch (or ending with a networking social), with presentations, moderated discussions, and Q&A from attendees.

Undergraduate Program

Demography: Minor

Graduate Programs

Demography: MA, PhD

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DEMOG 5 Fundamentals of Population Science 3 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2018 Second 6 Week Session, Fall 2011
This course provides an accessible introduction to the social science of demography. The course is organized around cases in which population issues raise policy or ethical dilemmas (example: China's one child policy). Through these cases, students will learn how demographers use models and data to acquire knowledge about population. Throughout the course, students will also learn to read, interpret, evaluate, and produce tabular and
graphical representations of population data.
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DEMOG 88 Immigration: What do the data tell us? 2 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017
This course will cover the small but important part of the rich history human migration that deals with the population of the United
States--focusing on the 20th and 21st Centuries. We will use the tools of DS8 to answer specific questions that relate to the themes
of this course:

(1) Why do people migrate?

(2) Is immigration good or bad for receiving (and sending) countries?

(3) How do immigrants adapt and how do
societies change in response?

In addition to scientific questions, this course will also address the demographic and political history of immigration in the US --
an understanding  of which is crucial for understanding  both the broad contours of US history and the particular situation in which
we find ourselves today.

Immigration: What do the data tell us?: Read More [+]

DEMOG 98 Directed Group Study 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Undergraduate research by small groups.

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DEMOG 110 Introduction to Population Analysis 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2018, Summer 2018 Second 6 Week Session, Fall 2017
Measures and methods of Demography. Life tables, fertility and nuptiality measures, age pyramids, population projection, measures of fertility control.

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DEMOG C126 Sex, Death, and Data 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016
Introduction to population issues and the field of demography, with emphasis on historical patterns of population growth and change during the industrial era. Topics covered include the demographic transition, resource issues, economic development, the environment, population control, family planning, birth control, family and gender, aging, intergenerational transfers, and international migration.

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DEMOG 145AC The American Immigrant Experience 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2015, Spring 2014, Spring 2013
The history of the United States is the history of migration. The course covers the evolution of the American population from about 20,000 BC with the goal of understanding the interdependent roles of history and demography. As an American cultures class, special attention is given to the experiences of 18th- and 19th-century African and European immigrants and 20th- and 21st-century Asian and Latin American immigrants. Two substantial laboratory
assignments; facility with a spreadsheet program is assumed.
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DEMOG 160 Special Topics in Demography 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2009
Special topics in demography. Topics may include the demography of specific world regions, race and ethnicity, population and policy, and population and environment and similiar specialized or new topics in the field of demography will be covered.

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DEMOG 161 Population Apocalypse in Film and Science 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Spring 2015
Despite our astonishing demographic success as a species, humans are haunted by the idea of apocalyptic demise. This course explores scientific and cultural narratives of population catastrophe particularly as presented in film. Noah's flood; nuclear annihilation; overpopulation; and climate change all raise the question: Does human nature carry within it the seeds of our inevitable destruction? In this course, we will grapple with both the science and
the art in which this question is embedded.
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DEMOG C164 Impact of Government Policies on Poor Children and Families 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2007
Examination of the impact of policies of state intervention and public benefit programs on poor children and families. Introduction to child and family policy, and study of specific issue areas, such as income transfer programs, housing, health care, and child abuse.

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DEMOG C165 Family and Household in Comparative Perspective 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2012, Fall 2008, Spring 2005
How are families and households organized around the world? Which aspects of household and family vary, and which are constant? What are the relationships between household and family on the one hand and the political, economic, or broad social patterns on the other? This course examines all of these questions, taking historical and contemporary examples from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

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DEMOG C175 Economic Demography 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2018, Spring 2017, Spring 2016
A general introduction to economic demography, addressing the following kinds of questions: What are the economic consequences of immigration to the U.S.? Will industrial nations be able to afford the health and pension costs of the aging populations? How has the size of the baby boom affected its economic well being? Why has fertility been high in Third World countries? In industrial countries, why is marriage postponed, divorce high, fertility
so low, and extramarital fertility rising? What are the economic and environmental consequences of rapid population growth?
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DEMOG 180 Social Networks 3 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2018 Second 6 Week Session, Spring 2018, Spring 2000
The science of social networks focuses on measuring, modeling, and understanding the different ways that people are connected to one another. We will use a broad toolkit of theories and methods drawn from the social, natural, and mathematical sciences to learn what a social network is, to understand how to work with social network data, and to illustrate some of the ways that social networks can be useful in theory and
in practice. We will see that network ideas are powerful enough to be used everywhere from UNAIDS, where network models help epidemiologists prevent the spread of HIV, to Silicon Valley, where data scientists use network ideas to build products that enable people all across the globe to connect with one another.

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DEMOG 198 Directed Group Study 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017
Undergraduate research by small groups. Enrollment is restricted by regulations governing 198 courses.

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DEMOG 199 Supervised Independent Study 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017
Supervised independent study and research.

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DEMOG 200 Fundamentals of Population Thought 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2015, Fall 1997
This course offers an intensive introduction to the history of population thought in Europe and the United States through the close reading and contextualization of selected classic texts, including Graunt, Malthus, and Quetelet.

Required of graduate students in the M.A. or Ph.D. program in Demography.

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DEMOG 210 Demographic Methods: Rates and Structures 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016
Population models, multiple decrement life tables, hazard functions, stable population theory, projection matrices, projection programs, population waves, dual system estimation, computer-based exercises and simulations. Required course for Demography M.A. and Ph.D. students.

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DEMOG 211 Advanced Demographic Analysis 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2014, Spring 2013, Spring 2012
This course is designed to provide an overview of quantitative techniques commonly used in demography, sociology, economics, and other social sciences. Methods are described in both words and formulas, and students are encouraged to learn to move freely between verbal and mathematical representations of data.

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DEMOG 213 Practical Computer Applications for Demographic Analysis 2 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
An introductory course for first year Demography graduate students in the use of the Demography laboratory. Covers Unix based tools for manipulating computer programs and data files, and the R, SPlus, and SAS statistical packages. The course introduces the proportional hazard model and methods of estimating it. The final project for this course is use of the 1995 Current Population Survey (fertility supplement) to compute Total Fertility Rates
for the U.S.
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DEMOG 215 Current Research Topics in Demography 2 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2010, Spring 2009, Spring 2008
The goals of this course are 1) to familiarize graduate students with active research projects in Demography and 2) to improve skills in R and Stata. Topics covered include demographic micro-simulation with SOCSIM, the Human Mortality Database, stochastic simulation/forecasting, GIS for Demographers, and mortality forecasting. Two-thirds of class time will be spent in the computer laboratory. Students will present results.

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DEMOG 220 Human Fertility 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2018, Spring 2013, Fall 2011
This course offers a critical, graduate-level introduction to the social science of reproduction, drawing especially on models and theories from demography, sociology, and anthropology. Among the topics are parity specific control and the calculus of conscious choice, below-replacement fertility, and the political economy of stratified reproduction.

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DEMOG 230 Human Mortality 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2015, Spring 2011, Spring 2009
Measurement of mortality by age and cause. Traditional, transitional, and modern mortality patterns in European and non-European areas. Current trends and differentials by age, sex, race, occupation and marital status. Consequences of mortality declines for fertility change and development.

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DEMOG 240 Human Migration 2 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2013, Spring 2011, Spring 2000
Human populations analyzed from the stand point of their spatial distribution and movement. Special attention to rural-urban migration, metropolitan structure, inter-regional movement, and demographic aspects of land-use, the collection and analysis of emigration and immigration data and statistics, migration policies.

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DEMOG 260 Special Topics in Demography Seminar 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2018, Spring 2017, Spring 2016
Special topics in demography, such as anthropological and evolutionary approaches, kinship and family structure, race and ethnicity, and similar specialized or new topics in the field of demography will be covered. Seminar will be offered according to student demand.

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DEMOG C275A Economic Demography 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2015, Spring 2014, Spring 2013
Economic consequences of demographic change in developing and developed countries including capital formation, labor markets, and intergenerational transfers. Economic determinants of fertility, mortality and migration.

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DEMOG 296 Advanced Research Techniques 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016
Problems in data acquisition, analysis, and presentation of technical demographic research. Required of graduate students in the Ph.D. program in Demography.

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DEMOG 298 Directed Reading 1 - 12 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017
Intended to provide directed reading in subject matter not covered in available course offerings.

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DEMOG 299 Directed Research 1 - 12 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2018, Summer 2018 8 Week Session, Spring 2018
Intended to provide supervision in the preparation of an original research paper or dissertation.

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DEMOG 301 GSI Training 1 - 6 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016
Course credit for experience gained in academic teaching through employment as a graduate student instructor.

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DEMOG 601 Individual Study 1 - 8 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016
Individual study, in consultation with the graduate adviser, intended for qualified students to do necessary work to prepare themselves for language examinations, and the comprehensive examination.

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DEMOG 602 Individual Study for Doctoral Students 1 - 8 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017
Individual study in consultation with the major field adviser, intended to provide an opportunity for qualified students to prepare themselves for the various examinations required of candidates for the Ph.D.

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Faculty and Instructors


Dennis Feehan, Assistant Professor. Demography, social networks, sociology, statistics, sampling, mortality, computational social science, migration, Facebook.

Joshua R. Goldstein, Professor. Fertility, marriage, social demography, historical demography, population aging, formal demography.
Research Profile

Jennifer Johnson-Hanks, Associate Professor. Culture, population, social action, intentions, Africa, gender, fertility, marriage.
Research Profile


Leora Lawton, Lecturer.

Visiting Faculty

Magali Barbieri, Visiting Associate Professor.

Robert Chung, Visiting Associate Professor.

Emeritus Faculty

Eugene A. Hammel, Professor Emeritus. Kinship, social anthropology, stratification, statistical and formal analysis, computer applications, peasant society and culture, demography, Balkans.
Research Profile

Ronald D. Lee, Professor Emeritus. Economics, evolutionary theory, mathematical demography, population aging, intergenerational transfers, economic demography, life history theory, population forecasting, national transfer accounts.
Research Profile

Kenneth Wachter, Professor Emeritus. Mathematical demography stochastic models, simulation, biodemography, federal statistical system.
Research Profile

John R. Wilmoth, Professor Emeritus. Demography, sociology, methodological research, longevity, life expectancy, mortality differentials, familial resemblance, mortality and life expectancy forcasting, historical population trends, world population growth, international migration forecasting.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Department of Demography

2232 Piedmont Avenue

Phone: 510-642-9800

Fax: 510-643-8558

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Jennifer Johnson-Hanks

Graduate and Undergraduate Student Services Advisor

Monique Verrier

Phone: 510-642-9800

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