related topics
{country, population, people}
{rate, high, increase}
{theory, work, human}
{woman, child, man}
{math, number, function}
{math, energy, light}
{son, year, death}
{system, computer, user}
{household, population, female}
{school, student, university}
{work, book, publish}

Demographic thoughts can be traced back to antiquity, and are present in many civilisations and cultures, like Ancient Greece, Rome, India and China.[5] In ancient Greece, this can be found in the writings of Herodotus, Thucidides, Hippocrates, Epicurus, Protagoras, Polus, Plato and Aristotle.[5] In Rome,writers and philosophers like Cicero, Seneca, Pliny the elder, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, Cato and Collumella also expressed important ideas on this ground.[5]

In the Middle ages, Christian thinkers devoted much time in refuting the Classical ideas on demography. Important contributors to the field were William of Conches,[6] Bartholomew of Lucca,[6] William of Auvergne,[6] William of Pagula,[6] and Ibn Khaldun.[7]

The Natural and Political Observations ... upon the Bills of Mortality (1662) of John Graunt contains a primitive form of life table. Mathematicians, such as Edmond Halley, developed the life table as the basis for life insurance mathematics. Richard Price was credited with the first textbook on life contingencies published in 1771,[8] followed later by Augustus de Morgan, ‘On the Application of Probabilities to Life Contingencies’ (1838).[9]

At the end of the 18th century, Thomas Malthus concluded that, if unchecked, populations would be subject to exponential growth. He feared that population growth would tend to outstrip growth in food production, leading to ever-increasing famine and poverty (see Malthusian catastrophe). He is seen as the intellectual father of ideas of overpopulation and the limits to growth. Later, more sophisticated and realistic models were presented by Benjamin Gompertz and Verhulst.

The period 1860-1910 can be characterized as a period of transition wherein demography emerged from statistics as a separate field of interest. This period included a panoply of international ‘great demographers’ like Adolphe Quételet (1796–1874), William Farr (1807–1883), Louis-Adolphe Bertillon (1821–1883) and his son Jacques (1851–1922), Joseph Körösi (1844–1906), Anders Nicolas Kaier (1838–1919), Richard Böckh (1824–1907), Wilhelm Lexis (1837–1914) and Luigi Bodio (1840–1920) contributed to the development of demography and to the toolkit of methods and techniques of demographic analysis.[10]

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