SOCI 358  Population Challenges of the 21
st
Century
Notes
WEEK 1:
2. Some basic notions in Demography
Demography refers to the scientific study of human populations, with respect to their size,
distribution, structure and development (dynamics, processes: mortality, fertility and nuptiality,
migration).
I use the Canadian population to illustrate some of these notions, as per the text in reference
for this week:
Martel Laurent, "Recent changes in demographic trends in Canada", Insights on
Canadian Society, Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 75006X, October 2015, 10
pages.
In this text, Martel describes the components of growth for Canada as well as the provinces and
territories (birth rate, death rate, and net migration rate). He also examines their impact on
various characteristics of the population (its structure): age, birthplace visible minority status,
and regional distribution in Canada.
Population Growth
*According to the population numbers
published yearly by Statistics Canada
(Annual Demographic Estimates) the size
of the Canadian population in 2011 and
2014 was, respectively, 34,482,800 and
35,540,400. Using these numbers in the
formula for the percentage of growth,
you get a percentage of growth of 1.03%.

Take the time to understand how this bar graph is organized: horizontal axis (each province
or territory) and vertical axis (percentage of growth)

Percentage of growth a little above 1% for Canada: ((P2014P2011) / P2011) x 100*

Variations within Canada: largest and lowest values? What could be the reasons for that?
Note that the growth is slightly negative in one province, Nova Scotia (decline instead of a
population increase).