Demography and Social Policies


1. Ability to describe the main current demographic trends and to interpret it as social challenges;
2. Ability to analyze demographic phenomena as factors that constrains or facilitate the implementation of social policies;
3. Ability to interpret social policy documents and proposals, and to understand its relevance and timeliness for social change;
4. Basic knowledge to develop sociodemographic profiles.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Available soon


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



To have accomplished a minimum of 48 ECTS credits


CANNING, David (2011). The causes and consequences of demographic transition, Population Studies: A Journal of Demography, 65:3, Routledge Taylor & Francis group, pp: 353-361.
FERNANDES, Ana (2008), Questões Demográficas – demografia e sociologia da população, Lisboa, Colibri/FCSH-UNL.
HAUPT, Arthur, KANE, Thomas (2004). Population Handbook, 5th Edition, Washington: Population Reference Bureau.
HIRSCHMAN, Charles, TOLNAY, Stewart (2005). Social Demography, POSTON, Dudley & MICKLIN, Michael [eds.] (2005). Handbook of Population, New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, Chapter 14, pp. 419-450.
LEONE, Tiziana (2010). How can demography inform health policy?, Health Economics, Policy and Law (2010), 5, Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-11.
NAZARETH, J. Manuel (2009), Crescer e Envelhecer - Constrangimentos e Oportunidades do Envelhecimento Demográfico, Lisboa: Presença.

Teaching method

- 1 lesson weekly (2 h) with a expositive profile, about theoretical material with teaching argumentation and presentation and discussion of texts, and demonstrative exercises.
- 1 lesson weekly (2 h) with a practical profile, including the resolution of practical exercises (5 as minimum).
The annual distribution of time between expositive and practical lessons is equivalent, and students presence is mandatory.
In class teaching.

Evaluation method

Individual Exercise (or develop within a group) to submit at the end of the school time schedule, with mandatory oral discussion (75 %). The scoring criteria are explained at the beginning of the year and are listed in a separate document. As a rule, the profile of this work corresponds to a paper submitted to a scientific meeting.
The presentation of all Practical Work Resolutions is also mandatory (25 %).

Subject matter

1. Demography and Social Policies
1.1. Demography as social science and policy science;
1.2. Public Policy: background and general concepts;
1.3. Demographic added-value for public policy;
1.4. Population policies and measures: international comparative perspective
1.5. The dilemma: growing or aging?
1.6. The challenge of migration

2. Theoretical approaches in population studies
2.1. Population control;
2.2. Demographic transition;
2.3. Optimum population

3. Contemporary demographic trajectories: World, Europe, Portugal
3.1. Recent trends and future challenges;
3.2. Population within the territory: the urban phenomenon and the desertification of the countryside;

4. Impacts of demographic change in the Portuguese society:
4.1. Economic growth and development;
4.2. Public health;
4.3. Housing;
4.4. Education;
4.5. Mobility and accessibility;
4.6. Safety and security.

5. Political parties and demography


Programs where the course is taught: