Formal demography

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Formal demography  (FORMAL demography)

Special terms have been used for certain aspects of demography (101-1). In descriptive demography 1 the numbers, geographical distribution and general characteristics of human populations are described by means of population statistics 2 or demographic statistics 2 (130-1). The treatment of quantitative relations among demographic phenomena in abstraction, from their association, with other phenomena, on the other hand, is called formal demography 3, pure demography 3 or sometimes theoretical demography 3. In this sense formal demography excludes the treatment of relations between demographic events and social, economic or other phenomena, as well as primary description and general speculation. Some writers would restrict the use of the term demography to this branch of the subject. When we study demographic phenomena in actual populations, the term population studies 4 is often used. Some French writers use the term démographie quantitative 5 to denote the parts of the subject included in this paragraph, in order to distinguish them from the study of population quality.