International Seminar on  


Registering and Counting the Population:

The production and exploration of census information
from early modern times to the end of 20th century.

Campinas - São Paulo, Brazil, 19-21 May 2016


Seminar organized by the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Historical Demography and the Department of Demography, NEPO-UNICAMP.






Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30 November 2015


Download Call for Papers in PDF  


Concern for registering and counting populations goes back to the ancient world. But it was with the consolidation of national states that demographic-type statistics took on an important role in orienting governmental actions in many different spheres, including taxes, recruiting, legislating and administering. Over the centuries the demands of the State led to diversification and sophistication of procedures for preparing, collecting, systematizing and publishing the data. Likewise, but with different objectives, churches, in the context of the religious reforms in the 16th century, also became concerned with more systematic and efficient control of the lives of their faithful. In some countries, over long periods of time the combined action between State and Church brought about the production of information in series that is being studied today by researchers in historical demography. The sources of such data include vital events and various manners of counting the populations. In this context, the practice arose for governments to carry out general censuses and since then this practice has spread to all continents. The collecting and systematization of census data have become enormously useful for obtaining knowledge about populations, even though many difficulties and challenges still exist today in many countries.


The aim of this seminar is to stimulate the discussion of original research dealing with the process of producing censuses and vital statistics over time and in different places.


Topics of interest for this seminar are:

  1. Sociopolitical and economic contexts which have generated demands for demographic information;
  2. Different processes for producing registers and counting;
  3. Quality and scope of population statistics;
  4. Possibilities and limitations of data;
  5. Methodologies, techniques and possibilities for analysis at the macro/micro levels.


The organizers therefore wish to receive contributions of empirical, theoretical, methodological and technical natures dealing with the theme of the seminar and covering diverse geographical and temporal scales.


Online Submissions:

The IUSSP Panel on Historical Demography invites researchers to submit online by 30 November 2015 a short 200-word abstract AND an extended abstract (2 to 4 pages, including tables) or a full unpublished paper for consideration. To submit an abstract please fill out the online submission form here: ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM.


Short and detailed abstracts may be submitted in English, Spanish or Portuguese. However, the working language of the meeting is English, and presentations and final papers must be in English. 


The seminar will be limited to about 20 contributed papers. Submission should be made by the author who will attend the seminar. If the paper is co-authored, please include the names of your co-authors in your submission form (in the appropriate order).


Applicants will be informed whether paper is accepted by 15 December 2015. 

Participants must submit their complete paper by 30 April 2016. 


In addition to dissemination through posting on the member-restricted portion of the IUSSP website, seminar organizers will explore possibilities for publishing the papers as an edited volume or a special issue of a journal. Papers submitted should be unpublished and, as for a journal or an edited book, authors, by submitting a paper, agree they will not propose it for publication to another editor until the committee makes a decision with regard to their possible publication.


Current funding for the seminar is limited and efforts are under way to raise additional funds but the outcome is at this point uncertain. Participants are therefore encouraged to seek their own funding to cover the cost of their participation in the seminar. If available, funding will be restricted to IUSSP members in good standing and will be contingent upon submission of a complete paper of acceptable quality by the deadline for papers.


For further information please contact Seminar Organizers Ana Silvia Volpi Scott ( and Diego Ramiro (



IUSSP Scientific Panel on Historical Demography
Chair: Diego Ramiro Fariñas (Spanish National Research Council)
Membership: Martin Dribe (Lund University, Center for Economic Demography); Mamadou Fall (Cheikh Anta Diop University); Rokhaya Fall (Universite Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar); Satomi Kurosu (Reitaku University); Lucia Pozzi (Università degli Studi Di Sassari); Alice Reid (University of Cambridge); Ana Silvia Scott (Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)); Hélène Vézina (Université du Québec à Chicoutimi).