Side event at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the PAA

Research workshop on


Demographic Research in the Digital Age


Denver (Colorado), United States, 25 April 2018, 1-5pm.

Sheraton Denver Downtown 



This Research Workshop, organized by the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Big Data and Population Processes, is a side event at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, taking place in Denver, CO, 26-28 April 2018.





Deadline for submissions: 15 February 2018



Organizing committee: Emilio Zagheni, Francesco Billari, Guy Abel.


Keynote speaker: Dennis Feehan: “Estimating Internet Adoption around the World using a Sample of Facebook Users.”


Dennis Feehan will also offer a mini-tutorial on “Getting started with network methods for estimation of demographic quantities.”


The IUSSP Panel on Big Data and Population Processes invites contributions from colleagues interested in Digital Demography. The Panel encourages submissions from researchers who wish to present their work, as well as the attendance of scholars and students interested in broadening their exposure to the topic.


Demography has been a data-driven discipline since its birth. Data collection and the development of formal methods have sustained most of the major advances in our understanding of population processes. The global spread of Internet, social media, cellphones and, more broadly, digital technologies, have generated new opportunities for demographic research. At the same time, the use of social media, Internet and smartphones is affecting people's daily activities as well as life planning, with implications for demographic behavior.


This workshop is intended to favor communication and exchange between researchers who study the implications of digital technologies for demographic behavior as well as the applications of new data from digital sources to understand population processes.


Topics that are relevant for the workshop include, but are not limited to:

  • Population research with social media data
  • Demographic features of online communities or services
  • Sentiment analysis associated to demographic events like immigration
  • Implications of social media and Internet for demographic behavior
  • Nowcasting fertility, mortality or migration with online data
  • Understanding population health with social media data
  • Methods for extracting information from non-representative samples
  • Applications of demographic methods to online populations
  • Applications of data for online advertisers to demographic research 



  1. Keynote speech by Dennis Feehan + mini-tutorial on how to get started with the netwok scale up method.
    (Please bring your laptop with R/Rstudio installed).
  2. Contributed short presentations.
  3. General discussion about the future of the field and the role of the IUSSP Panel on Big Data and Population Processes


Location: PAA Sheraton Denver Downtown.


Date: 25 April 2018 from 1 to 5pm.



Submissions and Registration:

Participants who would like to present must submit an extended abstract (2-4 pages) or a full paper by 15 February  2018. 



The submissions will be evaluated by the Organizing Committee on the basis of quality and fit to the workshop theme. Accepted abstracts and papers will be presented as short talks during the workshop.


ALL participants who would like to attend the workshop session must register online, both those who would like to present and those who wish only to attend without presenting. There are a limited number of places, which will be allocated on a first come first served basis. 



Please note that IUSSP will not be able to provide any travel support. There is no fee to attend the workshop, but participants are expected to cover the costs for travel and accommodations.