Scholars That Contributed to the Development of Demography Essay

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Other than John Graunt, Thomas Malthus and other commonly mentioned pioneers of demography in the course, there are other scholars and organizations who contributed to the introduction and development of demography. This essay is aimed at identifying some of these scholars and organizations and to discuss their most salient contributions to demography as a discipline. Demography can be defined as the scientific study of human populations in their aggregate with regard to their size, composition or structure, spatial distribution and developments or changes of these over time (Van da walle, 1982). Demography can also be defined as the study of the size, territorial distribution, and the composition of the population; changes therein, and the components of such changes, which may be identified as fertility, migration and social motility (Hauser and Duncan, 1952:2). Demography is also overlapped with a number of other disciplines such as economics, sociology, social psychology, law, political science and reproductive physiology (Bogue, 1969).This can be noted from people such as Gregory King (who was an economic statistician and a confidential advisor to the government), William Farr (who was a medical doctor), Benjamin Gompertz (was a mathematician), Wilhelm Lexis (was a statistician, economist and social scientist). King (1648-1712) was born at Litchfield, England. “The first great economic statistician” (Stone, 1997). King came a generation after John Graunt and William Petty and continued their work. Their work was mainly published but King’s was not. He was a confidential advisor to the government. Material from his manuscript appeared in the writing of his friend Charles Davenant and a century later in Adam Smith’s wealth of the nations (Book 1, chapter viii) and in an estimate of the comparative strength of Britain by George Chalmers. King’s manuscript

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