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Spatial Demography

(2014 - 2017)
Marcia Caldas De Castro (Harvard University)
Joseph Larmarange (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD))
Stephen Matthews (Penn State)
Landy Sanchez (El Colegio de México)
Tom Wilson (The University of Queensland)
Council Liaison 
Øystein Kravdal (Department of Economics)
IUSSP Secretariat 
Paul Monet (International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP))
Terms of Reference: 

The IUSSP Scientific Panel on Spatial Demography’s aim is to have a significant and sustained impact on the field of population research and policy. To achieve this aim, we will collaborate with other IUSSP panels to ensure a focus on emergent substantive population issues (e.g., the demographic and epidemiological transition, migration, urbanization, and environmental change, to name a few). Specifically the Panel’s goals are to (a) seed and populate the next generation of spatial demographic instructors and researchers; (b) develop multiple approaches to promote awareness of spatial theories, concepts, data, methods, and their application; and, by extension, (c) seek to enhance the quality of demographic scholarship based on geospatial data and spatial analytical methods.


The IUSSP Scientific Panel on Spatial Demography will utilize approaches that can reach diverse and widely distributed audiences with a focus on ‘seeding and populating’ the next generation of ‘teachers’ in spatial demography. Many important demographic questions deserve to be studied and framed using spatial approaches and this will become even more evident as changes in the volume, source, and form of available demographic data – much of it geocoded – further changes the data landscape and the range of analytical methods utilized by demographers. Changes in the data demographers collect, how they collect data, how they link data, and how they analyze data suggest a critical need to train the next-generation of population scientists in spatial thinking, concepts, and methods of analysis. In addition, there is an increasing demand for fine-scale subnational data analysis to provide evidence for targeted policy making. Thus, our goal is to provide resources for demographers at all stages of their careers both within and outside of academia, but we will prioritize early-career scholars as much as possible.


The Scientific Panel in Spatial Demography is committed to working with open source data and software to maximize the outreach of the training mission and our goal is to develop, offer, and coordinate instruction in spatial demography via a range of delivery methods that capture the advantages of both synchronous and asynchronous learning. These will include the design and coordination of residential workshops (both stand-alone events and those coupled with major regional or international population conferences, and where possible coupled with the activities of partner IUSSP Panels), webinars, the development and maintenance of new on-line resource guides and materials, and the creation of instructional modules for both ‘teachers’ and ‘learners’ in the area of spatial demography, including model curricula and textbooks.  We also envision coordinating conferences and/or specialist meetings, facilitating special sessions at population conferences (drawing on the work of workshop attendees), and exploring opportunities for special issues within demographic journals. The multiple approaches will evolve and be rolled out over the 4-year cycle for this Scientific Panel.