Geovisualizing, representing, analyzing, modeling, and simulating

Complex Human-Environment Systems (CHES)

for improved envisioning, understanding, and planning



Spatial Demography


Demography is the discipline of population studiesí¬in a broader sense, populations of any species could be targets to demographic studies; though human populations are often the "default" subjects. Demographers study the size, structure, distribution, changes, and many other characteristics of populations (e.g., birth, migration, ageing, and death), along with the economic, social, cultural, and biological contexts or processes that exert influences on population processes.

As time goes on, demography has been developing an increasingly explicit awareness of spatial variation and its importance towards demographic studies. In addition to some universal principles, spatial variation may also play an important role in explaining demographic characteristics and/or transitions. Spatial analysis is not only essential for demographic theory development, but also for empirical studies. This is the essence of spatial demography, which focuses on the spatial analysis of demographic processes. In our CHES research, we focus on envisioning or modeling low level (e.g., individual level), spatially-variant population processes (such as birth, marriage, and death) or features (e.g., health outcomes) and how contextual factors may affect them in a spatially explicit manner. Below we list two books that help generic understanding of spatial demography and several of our papers pertaining to spatial demography.

An, L., W. Yang, and J. Liu (2016). Demographic decisions and cascading consequences. Book chapter in Liu et al.: Pandas and People: Coupling Human and Natural Systems for Sustainability. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

An, L., M. Linderman, Guangming He, Z. Ouyang, and J. Liu (2011). Long-term ecological effects of demographic and socioeconomic factors in Wolong Nature Reserve (China). In R.P. Cincotta & L.J. Gorenflo (Eds.), Human Population: Its Influences on Biological Diversity. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag.

An, L., G. He, Z. Liang, and J. Liu (2006). Impacts of demographic and socioeconomic factors on spatio-temporal dynamics of panda habitats. Biodiversity and Conservation 15:2343-2363.

Crook, S.E.S., L. An, D.A. Stow, and J.R. Weeks (2016). Latent trajectory modeling of spatiotemporal relationships between land cover and land use, socioeconomics, and obesity in Ghana. Spatial Demography 4(3):221-244.

Howell, F.M., J.R. Porter, and S.A. Matthews (2016). Recapturing Space: New Middle-Range Theory in Spatial Demography (Spatial Demography Book Series Volume 1). Springer. ISBN: 978-3-319-22809-9 (Print); 978-3-319-22810-5 (Online).

Weeks, J.R., D. Stow, and L. An (2018). Demographics, health drivers & impacts on land cover and land use change in Ghana. Chapter for Stephen J. Walsh (ed.), Remote Sensing Applications for Societal Benefits (Comprehensive Remote Sensing Vol. 9), Elsevier.

Weeks, J.R. (2015). Population: Introduction to Concepts and Issues (Twelfth Edition). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Zvoleff, A., and L. An (2014). The effect of reciprocal connections between demographic decision making and land use on decadal dynamics of population and land use change. Ecology and Society 19(2):31.

Zvoleff, A., L. An, J. Stoler, and J.R. Weeks (2013). What if neighbors' neighborhoods differ? The influence of neighborhood definition on health outcomes in Accra. In J.R. Weeks & A.G. Hill (Eds.), Spatial Inequalities: Health, Poverty and Place in Accra, Ghana. Springer.