skip to primary navigation skip to content
 

Population

Population

Image: © Johnston Collection / Wick Society

Changes in the size, age structure and sex ratio of populations have profound and long-lasting consequences. Population shifts interact in complex ways with economic growth, the disease environment, and social organisation. Even small alterations in the behaviour of individuals and families can result in cumulative transformations that only become fully apparent decades or even centuries after they have begun.

CAMPOP pioneered research on the population history of England. Our research seeks to understand the demographic pressures and choices people in past societies experienced, from the medieval period to the recent past. We focus primarily on the population history of the world's first industrial nation, Britain, understood within the context of European and global developments.

Key issues include:

  • the health and life expectancy of children and adults
  • the timing of marriage and its duration
  • how many children were born to each family
  • migration, urbanisation and residential patterns
  • the existence or otherwise of social gradients in demographic behaviour

Our investigations proceed from empirical sources (such as the Census or parish registers) that list inhabitants and/or document vital events in local communities. From understanding interactions at local level comes the ability to model and predict change at the regional and national level.

Research projects

Migration, Mortality and Medicalisation: investigating the long-run epidemiological consequences of urbanisation

Migration, Mortality and Medicalisation: investigating the long-run epidemiological consequences of urbanisation

How and when did towns and cities transform from urban graveyards into promoters of health between 1600 and 1945?

An Atlas of Fertility Decline in England and Wales

An Atlas of Fertility Decline in England and Wales

How will a new time series of age-specific fertility measured across geographical and social space inform our understanding of the late nineteenth century demographic transition?

Infant mortality by social status in Georgian London

Infant mortality by social status in Georgian London

Were richer children born between 1752 and 1812 in the populous Westminster parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields more likely to die at young ages than poorer children?

Housing, mobility and the measurement of child health from the 1911 Irish census

Housing, mobility and the measurement of child health from the 1911 Irish census

Did Belfast families who moved house most often suffer an infant and child mortality penalty, during the first decade of the twentieth century?

The Demography of Early Modern London circa 1550 to 1750

The Demography of Early Modern London circa 1550 to 1750

In a rapidly expanding metropolis where population growth was driven by in-migration, how heavy was the mortality burden on Londoners' children, and what choices did they make when entering marriage and starting a family?

Malthus and welfare revisited

Malthus and welfare revisited

Did poor relief in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when payments were increased according to family size, encourage early and improvident marriage and thereby undermine the preventive check and lead to excessive population growth? Were there regional contrasts in population growth rates between areas that paid outdoor relief and those where welfare was provided in workhouses?

Long-run cause of death series for national populations

Long-run cause of death series for national populations

What changes occurred in the level and age structure of cause-specific mortality in the late nineteenth century? An annual cause of death data series for England and Wales 1848-1900 has been compiled to answer this question.

An empirical base for understanding the early phase of the epidemiological transition: Short-term and spatial variations in infectious disease mortality in England 1600-1837

An empirical base for understanding the early phase of the epidemiological transition: Short-term and spatial variations in infectious disease mortality in England 1600-1837

As new industrial towns and transport networks developed, did short-term fluctuations in mortality converge across different locations? How were settlements of different sizes affected by infectious diseases?

Doctors, deaths, diagnoses and data: a comparative study of the medical certification of cause of death in nineteenth century Scotland

Doctors, deaths, diagnoses and data: a comparative study of the medical certification of cause of death in nineteenth century Scotland

Did certain doctors working in Victorian Scotland favour particular diagnoses over others, and how did their diagnoses differ from those of lay persons? What are the implications for existing interpretations of changes in causes of death over time, in urban and rural areas?

Mortality and epidemiological change in Manchester, 1750-1850

Mortality and epidemiological change in Manchester, 1750-1850

In the new northern industrial conurbation of Manchester, did a fifteen-fold population growth over the century before 1850 impact on survival chances steadily across the period, or only after 1820? What were the underlying causes of the stagnation in life expectancy that England is thought to have experienced during early industrialisation?

Determining the demography of Victorian Scotland through record linkage

Determining the demography of Victorian Scotland through record linkage

What can be learned about changes in Scottish demographic behaviour from linking five decades of Census records to births and deaths?

Birth attendants and birth outcomes in the Victorian and Edwardian eras

Birth attendants and birth outcomes in the Victorian and Edwardian eras

Did doctors or midwives achieve the best health outcomes for mothers at the turn of the twentieth century, and can regional differences in the number of trained midwives explain striking variations in the geography of maternal mortality?

PhD projects

Earlier projects