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Demography is the study of human populations – their size, composition and distribution across space – and the process through which populations change. Births, deaths and migration are the ‘big three’ of demography, jointly producing population stability or change.

A population’s composition may be described in terms of basic demographic features – age, sex, family and household status – and by features of the population’s social and economic context – language, education, occupation, ethnicity, religion, income and wealth. The distribution of populations can be defined at multiple levels (local, regional, national, global) and with different types of boundaries (political, economic, geographic). Demography is a central component of societal contexts and social change.

What demographers do goes well beyond this broad definition and draws extensively from related disciplines – Sociology, Economics, statistics, History, Political Science, Anthropology, Psychology, Public Health and Environmental Sciences. 

Research at the Stockholm University Demography Unit is based on unique Swedish population data, allowing us to draw conclusions from our studies with high accuracy. Sweden, along with other Nordic countries, is also known to be a forerunner in emerging family forms and behaviours like divorce, childbearing and family reconstitution. Studies on Swedish population data is therefore relevant for policy makers in many countries.

Demography (included in the subject sociology) at Stockholm University is continuously ranked as top 50 in the world according to both the QS World University Rankings by subject, read more here, and the Shanghai ranking (Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, ARWU), read more here.

Career opportunities

Skills in quantitative methods and data science are sought after in many fields. Within this programme, you have the opportunity to apply for an internship at a workplace.

Demographers can have various jobs, including as a researcher for governments, ministries, municipalities, charities and international organizations or as a community planner, forecaster or analyst at organizations like Statistics Sweden, SIDA, and the UN.

Demographers can also hold positions at insurance companies, investment organizations, and a range of other businesses. Some of our former students also continue to study a PhD programme after the Master's programme.

Read interviews with our alumni here!


Courses and programmes


To obtain a Master's Degree in Demography, you need to study 120 credits at the advanced level which includes a master's thesis of 30 credits. A master's degree in Demogaphy is achieved by completing one of the master's programmes in Demography listed under Education.

Under certain conditions, it may be possible to obtain a master's degree consisting of independent courses. The degree requirements that apply to the master's degree in demography are as follows:

  • Population Development and Social Change, 7,5 credits
  • Basic Demographic Methods 7,5 credits
  • Population Processes 7,5 credits
  • Event-History Analysis: Regression for Longitudinal Event Data 7,5 credits
  • Research Methods - 7,5 credits
  • Master's Thesis in Demography - 30 credits


As an acknowledgement of SUDA’s success, demography has officially become a leading research area at Stockholm University.

Our research group provides a unique expertise in family, migration, ageing, gender, and policy research and competence in analyzing large-scale register data. Recent research projects have addressed questions such as