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Historical Demography: Achievements and Prospects

Osamu Saito
Population Studies
Vol. 50, No. 3 (Nov., 1996), pp. 537-553
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2174646
Page Count: 17
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Historical Demography: Achievements and Prospects
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Abstract

Historical demography as a separate discipline came into existence when family reconstruction was first developed for the analysis of a pre-transition population. This paper assesses the significant achievements made in this field of population studies since then. Attention is also paid to equally significant findings obtained from aggregative analysis based on back projection, and to a large body of research results for the period of the demographic transition. In the last part of the paper, new research directions are discussed. Data issues as well as methodological ones are raised. Special attention is given to newly emerging Asian historical demography where different source materials require different methods and techniques, which in turn are expected to broaden the scope of the so far disproportionality fertility-oriented field. Finally, discussions are extended to economic, cultural and institutional aspects of the subject, with a plea not to isolate demographic analysis from other branches of historical research.

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