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p. 143. The fathers of demographic thoughtlocked

  • Sarah Harper

Abstract

Demographic ideas can be traced back to antiquity, but it is generally accepted that demography originated in the middle of the 17th century with the English statistician, John Graunt (1620–74), and his primitive life tables, which were the first attempt to examine statistical regularities inherent within the numbers of births and deaths. ‘The fathers of demographic thought’ describes the diverse theorists who founded and developed the study of demography. It begins with Graunt and then outlines the input of Sir William Petty (1623–87), Edmund Halley (1656–1742), Richard Price (1723–91), and Thomas Malthus (1766–1834). Their foundations were central to developing the relationship between analytical reasoning, numerical problems, and arithmetical records.

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