What Demography Entails

Demographers study the makeup, distribution, and trends of populations. They also make observations about the causes and effects of population changes, such as increases in birth rates or immigration. They collect statistical data, analyze the data to identify any trends, and then predict future trends. These predictions can help governments, social service agencies, and private companies to plan ahead. Demographers are sometimes called population sociologists. Sociology is a broader field than demography and is concerned with the characteristics of social groups. Many demographers work for government agencies. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics hires demographers to research information such as the number Government agencies, corporations, and news organizations hire demographers to collect statistical data, analyze data, and predict future trends. The Immigration and Naturalization Service needs demographic information to plan effective immigration policies. The Environmental Protection Agency commissions demographic reports on population factors in resource depletion and environmental degradation. The Bureau of the Census also employs demographers to plan and interpret census data. Corporations and market research organizations may also employ demographers. An electric company considering a major capital investment must first take into account predicted changes in local population and habits of electricity consumption. Demographers provide these projections. Mapmakers sometimes employ demographers to map population data for certain geographic areas. Demographers use computers for this task. Large news organizations may employ reporters with a background in demography. These reporters may investigate such issues as the future of immigration to the Sun Belt states. Education and Training Requirements Although a master's degree is the minimum requirement for most demographic work, there are a few positions available for those with only a bachelor's degree. Demographers usually have a bachelor's degree in urban planning or sociology with coursework in statistics, psychology, sociological theory, and economics as a foundation before they do their graduate studies. A master's degree requires about two years of graduate study. For an academic or research position in this field, a doctoral degree is required. Getting the Job During their doctoral studies, students may find work as college instructors or interviewers for market research organizations. These jobs provide field experience as well as job contacts. Population associations hold annual conferences where beginning demographers can meet potential employers. These organizations also publish journals with job advertisements. Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook College professors can advance to full professor or to a position with high administrative status. Those demographers who have good connections and reputations can set themselves up as demographic consultants. Employment of sociologists in general will grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2014. However, opportunities exist for demographers, particularly in government. The Census Bureau employs demographers, as do many government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, that conduct surveys. Demographers are also employed by colleges and universities and by non-profit organizations. Some jobs will be available in business and marketing. Businesses have begun to rely on statistical population information to make decisions about expanding or downsizing. Consumer products and professional services companies often employ demographers in their marketing departments. Working Conditions Entry-level demographers may conduct field work, carrying out interviews or testing census questionnaires. Most of the analysis of demographic statistics is carried out in modern, well-lighted offices. Many demographers spend a lot of time working with computers. Do you want more Information about this topic ?check this address and websites Population Association of America 8630 Fenton St., Ste. 722 Silver Spring, MD 20910-3812 (301) 565-6710 http://www.popassoc.org American Sociological Association 1307 New York Ave. NW, Ste. 700 Washington, DC 20005-4712 (202) 383-9005 http://www.asanet.org Earnings and Benefits

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