What is on a Demographerâ€™s Mind?
How does demography as a science function? Is this discipline characterized by consensus in approach and outlook, as so many commentators claim, or is there widespread dissent? On the basis of an internet survey, carried out from April to September 2009 among IUSSP members, this paper sheds light on such questions. Demographers are divided on what the population size - globally and locally - should be, and when government should intervene in matters of fertility, if at all. There is however a high level of consensus on method and the significance of individual scholarsâ€™ contributions. Demographers are highly empirical and multidisciplinary in their approach, and they share a respect for broad-minded demographers who cover various terrains of the study of population.
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