Training Workshop provided by the IUSSP Early Career Taskforce

Introduction to Multistate Analysis of Population Dynamics


Friday 3 December 2021
5:00 - 6:30 UTC 
00:00 New York |
 6:00 Paris | 10:30 New Delhi | 13:00 Shanghai | 16:00 Canberra


Multistate analysis is valuable for understanding and modelling life trajectories related to multiple social phenomena. It offers a way of formalizing complex demographic transitions (marriage, fertility, health/mortality, migration, occupation, etc.) into a single framework representing the life-courses of individuals and populations. This online workshop provides a gentle introduction to multistate models and their applications in demographic research. It introduces the use of dynamic microsimulation to create life histories for individuals within synthetic cohorts. 

Contents: Introduce key concepts in multistate models (15 mins); discuss demographic applications of multistate and microsimulation models (20 mins); estimate MSLTs in practice (20 mins); introduce software for multistate analysis (15 mins); Q & A (20 mins) 

Format: Zoom meeting with a Q&A session.

Target audience: Students/researchers seeking to deepen their knowledge on multistate and microsimulations models and their applications in demographic research. No prior knowledge about the topic is required. 

Prerequisites: None, as the workshop will be a general introduction to multistate methods. However, familiarity with life tables and/or survival analysis would be good.

Software:  The seminar will demonstrate materials in Excel and R but no software needs to be downloaded beforehand.

Suggested readings:

O’Donnell (2019). Does social housing reduce homelessness? A multistate analysis of housing and homelessness pathways. Housing Studies,

Putter, Fiocco, & Geskus (2006). Tutorial in biostatistics: competing risks and multi-state models. Statistics in Medicine, 26(11), 2,389-2,430.

Raymer et al. (2018). Multistate projections of Australia's Indigenous population. Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 16, 135-162. 

Schoen (1988). Practical uses of multistate population models. Annual Review of Sociology, 14, 341-361.

Steele et al. (2004). A general multilevel multistate competing risks model for event history data with an application to a study of contraceptive use dynamics. Statistical Modelling, 4(2), 145-159.

The training workshop is offered free of charge.

Opening and welcome by Nico van Nimwegen, IUSSP Secretary General.


Kim Xu
Australian National University.



James O'Donnel
Lecturer at the School of Demography, Australian National University.