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CODE 104902
SEMESTER 1° Semester


The teaching of Demography and Sustainable Development has a twofold objective: i) to provide an introduction to the main analytical tools available for the study of populations; ii) to clarify what are the demographic challenges that the planet will face in the coming decades.



The course aims to direct students towards the understanding and knowledge of socio-demographic contexts through the study of elements of demography and social statistics.


The teaching is divided into two parts
The first part is dedicated to the introduction to demography with particular attention to the structure and evolutionary dynamics of the European population. The main tools for demographic analysis will be used. Special attention will be devoted to Italian internal and international migrations. 
The second part of the course focuses on the role of demographic change in sustainable development scenarios, with particular attention to the study of different demographics: the Eurocentric point of view, the analysis from the point of view of other continents.

Knowledge and Understanding 
The student will acquire knowledge of the complex and problematic interactions between population dynamics and economic and social dynamics. At the end of the course the student will be able to: 
- understand the main demographic behaviors of the world's regions; 
- place demographic behaviors in the broad context of social and economic development;
- discuss in a comparative perspective the issues related to the dynamics of mortality, fertility, migration and demographic development. 


Ability to apply knowledge and understanding

The teaching has a twofold objective:
1. to provide students with the necessary knowledge to access and use quantitative information derived from national and international statistical sources;
2. to provide students with the methodological and statistical skills needed to critically analyze and interpret data regarding socio-economic and demographic phenomena that can be inferred from these sources.
The course therefore aims to lead to the conscious use of quantitative information, highlighting the complexity of the processes of data production by national and international statistical sources, increasingly organized in databases available online.

Autonomy of Judgment 
Students will be encouraged to develop specific competences by being asked to identify and use, in full autonomy of judgment and with a critical eye, statistical sources and data that allow a quantitative analysis of demographic phenomena. The autonomy of judgment will be developed during the course through participation, in addition to lectures and exercises, in seminar and/or group activities.

Communication Skills 
Students will be required to discuss the comparability of demographic sources, quantitative information found from these sources. Efforts will be made to enhance students' oral or written expression skills and to stimulate their ability to communicate using modes appropriate to the demographic disciplines. Students will critically interpret quantitative information, organized in on-line databases.

Learning Capabilities 
The course pursues the intent of stimulating students' abilities in undertaking, with full autonomy and responsibility, learning pathways. Learning skills are developed in the course of study as a whole, in particular through the planned individual study, the preparation of individual projects, the experience of group work and the observation and analysis of case studies.

- Ability to read and understand tables and graphs, with reference to absolute and relative frequency distributions, composite indicators, tables;
- knowledge of international sources of demographic and socio-economic data;
- ability to monitor the dynamics of a population: structures and evolutionary processes;
- knowledge of population movements;
- learning the role of demographic change in a sustainable development perspective;
- knowledge of different non-Eurocentric demographies; 
- demographic trends and socio-economic change in Mediterranean countries;
- demographic problems in developing countries. Case studies: Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, China, India, countries on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean;
- ability to understand and analyze the 2000-2015 and 2015-2030 development goals;
- conduct analysis on population aging; 
- analysis of the impact of new pandemics.

- Interpret sociodemographic phenomena;
- ability to find data and statistical reports useful to build the economic and financial framework of reference;
- Find data useful for understanding social change and interpret them (also) for the purpose of organizational improvement;
- Understand the role of demographic change in sustainable development scenarios;
- Interpreting the evolutionary structure of population and migratory aspects;
- Analysis of different demographics;
- The approach followed, also based on the study of specific cases, will serve to develop students' autonomous judgment on the topics dealt with: for example, on the effects of current trends, or on the effects of national and international political choices.


There are no pre-requisites for teaching attendance.


Classes are face-to-face and, "in accordance with the University Premises Access Rules adopted to counter the pandemic spread from COVID, classes may possibly be conducted on TEAMS. The TEAMS code will eventually be communicated via aulaweb;

The materials used during the lessons will be uploaded in AulaWeb together with other materials (reports, links to databases, etc.) aimed at defining the quantitative aspects of the phenomena studied.
Occasionally, scholars or experts of the discipline (Italian and foreign) will be invited to hold seminars and to deepen specific aspects of the problems treated.
The attending students will have also the possibility to realize case studies through the realization of group works. The group work is divided into two phases: writing a written paper and an oral presentation accompanied by slides. Punctual information will be provided in class and through the AulaWeb support of the teaching.
For non-attended students, no program changes will apply. However, these students are invited to contact their reference teacher.


The teaching addresses the institutional issues of demographic analysis focusing in a second part on a spatial approach to the analysis of demographic change.
Part 1 - Introduction to demography and European population analysis

1.1 Demography
1.1.1 Demography: the quantitative study of human populations
1.1.2 Reading statistics: frequencies, averages, analysis of variability, correlation, probability
1.1.3 Population, dynamics, processes
1.1.4 The main tools for demographic analysis: age pyramid, indices, mortality analysis
1.1.5 The crisis of the traditional family
1.1.6 Italians, migrants in history
1.1.7 Migration to Italy

1.2 The European population over the long term 
1.2.1 Social history and biology of the pandemics 
1.2.2 The Ancien Régime: trends, fluctuations and feedbacks 
1.2.3 The demographic transition 

1.2.4 The (de)birthrate we will have: demographics of the next two decades


Part 2 - The role of demographic change in sustainable development scenarios 

2.1 World population and sustainable development 

2.1.1 Globalization, population growth and economic development Europe between demographic aging and the need for social policies
2.1.2 The case of Italy and world demography
2.1.3 Non-Eurocentric demographics: the states born out of the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the countries of the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean, China and India, giants in comparison, Latin America and Africa

2.2 Unresolved problems


- Materials on AulaWeb
- Alessandro Rosina, Alessandra De Rose (2022) Introduzione alla Demografia. EGEA
- Aurora Angeli, Silvana Salvini (2018) Popolazione mondiale e sviluppo sostenibile. Crescita, stagnazione e declino, Il Mulino, Bologna.



20 September 2023.
Lessons will be held in the first semester and will begin the first week scheduled in the semester's academic calendar

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



The exam is based on the presentation of a work that develops in depth the demographic situation of a geographical area or of a topic to be carried out individually or in groups of students. The work must include both a power point presentation and a text (max 10 pages). Details of both will be agreed upon with the instructor in the course. During the discussion, the student must be able to answer questions, including methodological ones, posed by the teacher.
For non-attended students there are no changes in the program or in the assessment methods. However, these students are invited to contact their reference teacher.


The oral interview will assess:
- the mastery and depth of knowledge,
- the ability to use the skills developed.

Evaluation criteria are
- the quality of the exposition,
- the correct use of appropriate vocabulary
- the capacity for critical analysis, including possible cases discussed.

Group work will be evaluated on the quality of the paper as regards both content and form.


Students with special educational needs, disabilities and DSA are invited to get in touch with the referent of the Department (Prof. Aristide Canepa) and with the teacher in order to agree on didactic and examination forms that take into account individual learning modalities and provide suitable compensatory tools.

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
No poverty
No poverty
Zero hunger
Zero hunger
Good health and well being
Good health and well being
Quality education
Quality education
Gender equality
Gender equality
Decent work and economic growth
Decent work and economic growth
Reduce inequality
Reduce inequality
Sustainable cities and communities
Sustainable cities and communities
Climate action
Climate action