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Know the population story

By Ranjan K Baruah

Demography is the statistical study of populations, especially human beings. As a very general science, it can analyse any kind of dynamic living population. Demography encompasses the study of the size, structure and distribution of these populations, and spatial or temporal changes in them in response to birth, migration, ageing and death.
Demographic analysis can cover whole societies or groups defined by criteria such as education, nationality, religion, and ethnicity. Educational institutions usually treat demography as a field of sociology though there are a number of independent demography departments.
Current estimates indicate that roughly 83 million people are being added to the world’s population every year. Even assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline, the global population is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, according to the medium-variant projection.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 International Conference on Human Rights where family planning was, for the first time, globally affirmed to be a human right. The conference’s outcome document, known as the Teheran Proclamation, stated unequivocally: “Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.”
This year’s theme of world population day which is observed on July 11 is “Family Planning is a Human Right”.
In biology, a population is all the organisms of the same group or species, which live in a particular geographical area, and have the capability of interbreeding. In sociology, population refers to a collection of humans.
Demography is a social science which entails the statistical study of human populations. Population in simpler terms is the number of people in a city or town, region, country or world; population is usually determined by a process called census (a process of collecting, analysing, compiling and publishing data).
There are courses available for the study of population. Courses are popularly known as population sciences or studies.
Population Science is a research discipline that looks for having a transitional brunt on public health and clinical practice through reduction in disease risk, incidence and death as well as improved excellence of life for all individuals.
Population Science looks across the entire spectrum of factors that can impact health outcomes.
These health factors include the realms of healthcare, individual health behaviours, environmental factors, social and economic factors, policies and genetic determinants of health. Researchers in the field of Population Science come from various disciplines, such as public health, medicine, pharmacy, economics, demography and urban planning. These researchers work together to solve the major health concerns facing population groups.
Students after completing their graduation may do specialisation on population studies which are available as MSc or MA courses in different universities. Apart from full time courses there are some short term courses like diplomas or certificates programme apart from short term training programme. One of the best institutes to study these courses is Indian Institute of Population Sciences. There are scopes in India as we have many activities carried out for the population of India. From surveys to activities these subjects bring scopes for young people to work related to population.
Aspirants may get jobs in government departments, research institutes or developmental organisation after finishing their courses related to population studies.

(Ranjan K Baruah is a career mentor and can be reached at [email protected] or 8473943734 for any career related queries)

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