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    317068
    Peer Reviewed

    Beyond and below the nation state: Challenges for population data collection and analysis.

    Hull TH

    Asia-Pacific Population Journal. 2007 Apr; 22(1):3-7.

    While the science of demography addresses the whole of the human population, substantive demographic research is most often focused on populations with common characteristics. For the last six decades the nation state has been the social unit that has dominated demographic research. The reasons for this focus make perfect sense. Nations define their populations in terms of citizenship and define the ways in which people will be identified in any effort to count the numbers. They have the authority, the interest and the resources to carry out collections of information about members of these defined populations. As members of the United Nations they collaborate with other nations to develop the methodological and technical tools used to analyse national population numbers in ways that are relevant to state policies and actions. In short, the nation is the foundation unit for understanding human population composition and growth. Global population numbers are estimated by compiling the information collected by nations. Interest in populations of units smaller than the nation also relies on national statistical collections and national definitions of component populations, but for most users of data the focus is on the nation, and not the units beyond or below that political entity. (excerpt)
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