Monte Carlo simulation has been used to estimate age-specific fertility and mortality rates for a small population,the French-derived isolate of Northside on St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands. Estimates were based on data collected in a household census and genealogical survey and on birth, death, and marriage records for the years 1916to 1966. During this 50-year period (in which the population size increased from 202 to 657), the numbers of births and deaths were too, small to estimate age-specific rates directly, and in addition, death registration was incomplete. Mortality rates were estimated using a simulation program in which mortality was the only stochastic variable. A model mortality schedule was chosen which most accurately reproduced the growth pattern of the population over the 50-year period. To estimate fertility rates, a more complex simulation model was used in which fertility, nuptiality, and mortality were random variables with probability distributions. Preliminary estimates of fertility were made from the birth records and used as input to this simulation program. Birth probabilities were adjusted empirically from one set of simulation runs to the next, until population growth rates, as well as other demographic characteristics, were similar in the real and simulated populations. The birth rates which produced the best fit to the real population data were taken as the estimated age-specific fertility schedule. To reproduce the real population age structure more closely, secular changes in birth probabilities were applied.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.