Demography is a rapidly growing academic field, which uses statistical analyses of population data in order to draw conclusions on the change and well-being of human populations.

Demographic analysis is important for understanding present and past population dynamics by measuring various aspects of individual life histories within specified socio-environmental contexts. As societal groups form, and population sizes grow or decline, demography studies life history events, such as births, deaths and migrations, while interprets them through a holistic perspective. Moreover, demography evaluates the health status of a population and the way it contributes to its structure. Demographic research consists a unique way of connecting human behavior and biology.

Palaeodemography reconstructs past populations from fragmentary data, which are either osteological or archaeological in nature. Apart from the reconstruction of the levels of mortality and fertility, as well as migration rates, palaeodemographic research assesses how these elements interact to produce population density, age- and sex-structures, as well as their variation across time and space and the reasons behind it.

In the Laboratory of Physical Anthropology, DUTh, we perform both modern demographic analyses as well as palaeodemographic studies with several methodological approaches, such as statistics and population projections through computer simulations. Moreover, we evaluate populations’ health status by assigning novel methods, such as stochastic analysis of mortality rates.