Population terms and measurements


           Joseph McFalls’ article is a great introduction to population studies and demographic measures commonly used to describe and assess the health of groups and communities. In order to interpret findings from epidemiologic studies and design interventions, you must be able to understand the measures used in them. Some are descriptive and fairly self-explanatory; others take further explanation and practice. Please review the following measures from Lesson 1 before moving on:

  • Total population
  • Birth rate
  • Death rate
  • Life expectancy
  • Life span
  • Sex ratio
  • Fertility rate
  • Case fatality rate

           We will now look at some of these measures in greater detail and learn how to calculate them with real data.