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A Global History of Historical Demography

Half a Century of Interdisciplinarity

Edited By Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux, Ioan Bolovan and Sølvi Sogner

At the XXIst World Congress of the International Committee of Historical Sciences (ICHS/CISH) in 2010 in Amsterdam, the International Commission for Historical Demography (ICHD) decided to write an overview of its own history. Fifty years had gone by since the CISH XIst World Congress in Stockholm 1960, when historians took the first tentative initiatives to create a wholly new interdisciplinary commission for historical demography, a meeting place for a budding discipline where researchers in letters and science could meet, exchange ideas, cultivate and develop a new field. This book is the outcome of that decision.

Demography, past, present and future is a common concern for all inhabitants of this planet. The variation is great, however, with regard to sources, social and political conditions, state of the art, technological development, national and local initiatives. In the course of half a century many changes take place. Keeping abreast of the gigantic streams of information and innovation in the field is demanding, even more so for a discipline with global dimensions and ambitions. The book makes fascinating reading, and preparing it has been a rewarding and thought provoking experience. The thirty-seven articles in the book represent as many different stories.

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13. Historical Demography in Finland 1960−2010


Historical Demography in Finland 1960–2010

Beatrice MORING1


From 1749 the clergy in Finland and Sweden were required to produce information about the population in their parishes and from 1751 information about the number of births, deaths and marriages to the Royal Chancery via local governors. For the purpose of processing the collected information the Central Statistical Office was created. After the separation from Sweden in 1809 the Finnish officials continued the collection of data, even using the old forms, and eventually a central office, the Bureau of Statistics, the present day Statistics Finland, was founded in 1865. In the 19th century the statistical series expanded into the collection of economic statistics while the old population series continued.

Today the series and analyses by Statistics Finland is widely used by academics, social policy makers, doctors, politicians, journalists and the general public. While many of the users in past centuries viewed demographic data as we do today, as information about contemporary society, already in the 19th century there was also interest in analysing development over time and finding information about the past (Rabbe 1871, 1874). While the exploration of the data sets in the 19th century primarily came from doctors and statisticians, by the 20th century the academic world was well aware of their existence and usability. The time after the end of the Second World War not only brought an interest in the rebuilding of societies, but also created new collaborative...

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