This paper considers the scope of demography and the various research approaches that legitimately could claim the label. As a small field lacking security in academic structures, demography has been unusually sensitive to demand factors, including those associated with perceived population problems. International health is cited as an area of increased demographic presence; reasons for this development are explored. The technology for performing research in demography is improving more rapidly than in many other areas of the social sciences, and thus is helping to improve the relative standing of the field. Taking a demand-oriented approach, the paper identifies several promising research areas in which demographers will be called on to address issues of national and international concern.

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