Sociology 213: Social Demography


University of North Carolina

course website:


Professor Ted Mouw

263 Hamilton Hall (962-5602)



Office Hours: T,TH by appointment


Class time and Location:

Lecture: Tuesdays 12:30-1:45, 151 Hamilton

Lab: Thursdays 12:30-1:45, Hanes 02




This course is designed to teach the skills necessary to be an effective social demographer.  Half of the class time will be in the computer lab devoted to hands on manipulation of demographic data from a variety of sources.  The course will be “problem based”—we will study several cases in depth and develop the skills needed to conduct our own analysis.  The topics that we will cover are the social demography of race, the “great migration” of blacks from the South to the North from 1900-1970, racial residential segregation, urban poverty, and gender occupational segregation and the male/female wage gap.  Students will learn how to use several publicly available data sets (aggregate U.S. census data, the Public Use Micro Samples from the Census, the Current Population Survey, the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality, and the National Longitudinal Study of Youth) and the software necessary to conduct social demographic and geographic analysis (Stata and ArcView).  Principles of efficient data management will be taught.  Although we will cover only a few topics in the course, the tools and skills developed will be broadly applicable.   Because the labs will be used for step-by-step instruction, no more than basic computer skills (and a willingness to learn) will be necessary.  Previous demographic training is also not necessary.



1) Case Study Papers

At the end of each of the 3 case studies, a 1 page summary of your findings is due.  I want you to find something demographically “interesting” using the data from the case study.  Turn in your 1 page summary plus the relevant tables and statistical program output.


2) Final Paper

A short research paper using the data from one of the case studies is due on the last day of class (15-20 pages + tables).  The paper represents your independent analysis of the data used in the case study, and should be written in the form of a journal article.  Talk to me if you want do write your paper on a topic using data that we did not use in class. 


3) Computer lab work

Each lab period will consist of the instructor demonstrating aspects of demographic data management and analysis, followed by students working independently on step-by-step exercises and their own independent case-study papers.  Lab exercises will be due the Friday after the next lab session, so that any difficulties in completing the exercises can be cleared up in the next lab.


4) Use of Stata

If you did not take Soc212, please go to the course web page, click “stata” and do the Soc212/213 Stata tutorial.  The tutorial covers many of the basic Stata commands we will use in our computer labs.  If you are unfamiliar with Stata, wait until after the first computer lab to do the tutorial.  The first computer lab will cover basics such as how to start Stata etc.  Turn in the tutorial when you finish.


Philosophy of using Stata:  This course is a hands-on application of social demography.  Therefore, we need to use a statistical software package.  Stata is both easy, flexible, and sophisticated.  With data transfer programs, it is easy to transfer data between different software packages.  The conceptual aspect of the skills we will learn in labs extends beyond any single software package.


Class schedule and reading list: see the class web page.