From Big Medical Encyclopedia

DEMOGRAPHY (grech, demos the people + grapho to write, represent) — science about patterns of reproduction of the population in its socio-historical conditionality; studies the changes of the population happening on the basis of socio-economic factors.

Distinguish three look movements of the population (see): social mobility, i.e. transition of people from one social groups in others, migration (mechanical motion of the population) — the movement of people through borders of these or those territories connected with change of the residence and the so-called natural movement of the population — digenesis of people owing to the births and death. The first of these processes change in distribution of people on social groups, professions, education level etc. is result, of the second — change in resettlement of people across the territory, the third — change of number and age and sex structure of the population. In the broadest sense reproduction is characterized by all three types of changes of population.

In narrower sense reproduction of the population consider process of digenesis owing to birth rate (see), mortality (see). Here carry also a brachnost. These processes are called demographic processes. Respectively, also the subject of demographic science is widely or narrowly treated. At this D. deals not with separate individuals, and with sets of people.

Certain patterns of a natural order are inherent to reproduction of the population (e.g., dependence of birth rate and mortality on age, a ratio of chislennost of floors among born etc.). However the population differs from any biol, population in the fact that it possesses a social form of the organization. Demographic processes happen in families as primary cells about-va. Therefore traditional designation of birth rate and mortality (and furthermore — brachnost) as «natural movement» of the population, strictly speaking, is illegal. The social and natural parties in reproduction of the population represent a peculiar unity.

The Marxist science considers natural-historical development about-va as the process determined by development of social production, a cut defines also all other relations in about-ve. Therefore also demographic processes as they are social, are under the influence of the economic relations, and their intensity directly and indirectly is defined by social and economic conditions. «Conditions of reproduction of the person directly depend on the device of various social organisms» (V. I. Lenin. Full of SOBR. soch., t. 1, p. 476). Character and degree of conditionality of demographic processes by social and economic processes make the important party of reproduction of the population. Knowledge of the economic law of the population opening a ratio between development of economically active population in specific social conditions and the movement of an able-bodied part of the population as its main element is important for understanding of social conditionality of demographic patterns.

Bourgeois D., without denying influence on reproduction of the population of socio-economic factors, it is inclined to hypertrophy biol, the party of reproduction of people and to underestimate dependence of reproduction of the population on social conditions. Are characteristic exaggeration of value of growth of the population in development of society (a so-called demographic determinism) of some directions of bourgeois D. and attempt to explain poverty and backwardness as the sociohistorical phenomena in development of the specific countries too with proliferation. Are the cornerstone of these views the reactionary theory of Malthus known under the name of a maltuzianstvo which arose in 18 century (see. Maltuzianstvo ), and its modern options which found expression in concepts of «neomaltuzianstvo».

The present stage of development of demographic researches passes under the sign of acute an ideal. bourgeois and Marxist D.'s fight, especially in connection with rapid growth of population in developing countries. Marxist D. rejects neomalthusian concepts, proving that the main reason of economic difficulties of these countries not in growth of their population, and in backward economy as heavy heritage of colonialism. Therefore the social and economic problems connected with rapid growth of the population in these countries can be solved not carrying out policy of control of birth rate as bourgeois demographers consider, and only by social and economic transformations at which corrective actions on demographic processes will be only auxiliary.

Value D. is defined by that place, a cut in development about-va the population as a basis and the subject of all public process of manufacture borrows. Owing to this D. takes the important place in system of social sciences. Its role in socialist about-ve is especially big where all public interests are concentrated on the maximum satisfaction of needs of the population. For evidence-based planning of development of the national economy, and in particular health care, knowledge of patterns of reproduction of the population and factors defining it, anticipation of the course of demographic processes and assessment of its effects are necessary. As social and economic actions of the state directly or indirectly influence the nature of demographic processes, studying of the last gives the grounds for development of the measures of state policy aiming to influence these processes in desirable for about-va the direction. The sphere of a research of the Soviet D. is also studying of demographic processes in developed capitalist and developing countries, criticism reactionary (including neomalthusian) theories of the population.

Results of the censuring and structure of the population are a source of actual data for D. at censuses and the accounting of changes in the population on the basis of the current registration of births and death, and also various selective inspections, both actually demographic, and sociological, social and hygienic, ethnographic, etc. Population censuses (see) represent the information about age and sex and family structure of the population, about its distribution on social and economic features, and the current account — about number of demographic events (the births, death, marriages and stains). The combination of these these sources allows to receive characteristics of frequency of these or those demographic events in different groups of the population (see. Demographic statistics ). At selective inspections separate aspects of reproduction of the population usually are exposed to studying (e.g., influence of living conditions on demographic processes, the relation of women to a child-bearing, formation of families).

The description of statistical data makes so-called descriptive D. Vydelyayut also so-called formal, or «pure», D. studying the quantitative relations in demographic processes, in particular interrelation of reproduction of the population and its age and sex structure. Especially important place is taken by the demographic analysis, i.e. a research of interrelation of demographic processes with social and economic events.

In view of importance of these bonds economic D. and social D. Izuchaya of interrelation of demographic processes and structure of the population, their dependence on the social and economic phenomena, and also social and economic effects of changes in reproduction of the population develop as the independent directions, D. opens and develops theoretical bases of pattern of reproduction of the population. All this gives the chance to consider demographic patterns for the benefit of social development, in particular for justification of effective population policy.

A methodological basis of the Soviet D. are dialectic and historical materialism. They assume consideration of laws of reproduction of the population as integral part of the general patterns of development of the nature and about-va in their interrelation, the movement and development.

In D. there are also methods and specific mathematico-statistical techniques inherent in it. Though demographic processes consist of events in life of certain people, in D. they are considered as the mass phenomena covering sets of cases of the birth, death, marriage or a divorce. Therefore in D. statistical data and statistical methods of a research have paramount value. It, however, does not give the grounds to identify D. with demographic statistics. The statistics plays V.D. a role of one of its methods. As demographic processes are expressed in certain quantitative changes, in D. methods actually of mathematics, such as differential and integral calculus, the matrix analysis etc. are of great importance. At the same time specifics of reproduction of the population led to development of special demographic methods of a research, first of all methods of hypothetical generation and real generation for studying of demographic processes depending on age and time, methods of the analysis of the functions of reproduction of the population presented in the form of demographic tables (tables of fertility, mortality, a brachnost), potential D.'s method, mathematical models of the population (stationary, stable, etc.), and also the models imitating demographic processes.

By it is closely connected with some other sciences: political economy, sociology, ethnography, social hygiene, etc. However she investigates not the relations which are an object of research of these sciences, and establishes their influence on reproduction of the population or its separate groups and the return influence of demographic processes on these relations.

Especially closely D. is connected with social hygiene (see. Social hygiene and organization of health care ), what is explained by an important role of demographic knowledge in studying of the state of health of the population and incidence. Rates of mortality, average life expectancy which proves and are analyzed by D. serve along with data on incidence and physical. development by the important characteristic of the state of health of the population and efficiency of measures for its protection. Comparative analysis of demographic processes in the groups of the population differentiated on social and economic signs, climatic or cultural and community living conditions allows to reveal influence on the frequency of spread of diseases of these or those factors.

The understanding of features and factors of process of education, change and division of families serves one of important premises of studying of influence, a cut living conditions, in particular all many-sided sphere of the family relations, render on the state of health of people. Such demographic parameters as number of children in a family, terms of their emergence, intervals between the births, are of great importance for studying of generative function of the woman.

For social and hygienic and medical - a dignity. researches have value not only results, but also methods of the demographic analysis. The technique of studying of reproduction of the population is applicable for the analysis and the forecast of the state of health and incidence as it gives the chance to present their dependence on age, length of service or other characteristics of people and to construct by analogy with demographic tables of the table of incidence, disability etc. Social hygiene uses methods of creation of demographic tables of mortality and results of their analysis at assessment of the state of health of the population and a condition of health care, in particular in the analysis of efficiency of these or those methods of treatment or to lay down. actions, estimating their impact on reduction of mortality from these or those reasons. In social and hygienic researches such demographic receptions as a method of standardization — have paramount value at the comparative characteristic of health of the groups of the population differing with the structure.

In the socialist countries demographic researches play an important role in planning of health care. The analysis of the existing tendencies of birth rate and mortality, anticipation of their perspectives, and also changes in age and sex structure of the population are necessary for planning of network of medical institutions, preparation of medical shots, assessment of efficiency of these or those sanitary and preventive actions, the correct planning of routine medical examinations. Estimates of numbers of births in the future and possible changes of age and sex and family structure of the population are important in planning of network and activity of obstetrical institutions, preschool institutions. More and more broad use in planning of all system of actions for public health care acquires the demographic forecast — during the definition of both the probable contingents of patients, and the need for medical shots taking into account the forthcoming changes in total number and age and sex structure of the population. Demographic methods, in particular a so-called recursor of the population on age, i.e. determination of its future number taking into account leaving at each age, can be applied also during the studying of special questions of the organization of health care.

Bibliography: Marx K. and Engels F. Compositions, 2nd prod., t. 1, page 507, M., 1955, t. 23, page 626, M., 1960; Lenin V. I. Complete works, 5th prod., t. 3, page 183, 457, M., 1958, t. 23, page 255, M., 1961; The Course of demography, under the editorship of A. Ya. Boyarsky, M., 1974; The Marxist-Leninist theory of the population, under the editorship of D. I. Valentey, M., 1974; The M e republics about in A. M. Demographic statistics, M., 1965; Payevsky V. V. Questions of demographic and medical statistics, M., 1970, bibliogr.; At r lanisb.ts. Problems of dynamics of the population of the USSR, M., 1974.

A. G. Volkov.