Mapping the denominator: spatial demography in the measurement of progress

Int Health. 2014 Sep;6(3):153-5. doi: 10.1093/inthealth/ihu057. Epub 2014 Aug 14.


Measuring progress towards international health goals requires a reliable baseline from which to measure change and recent methodological advancements have advanced our abilities to measure, model and map the prevalence of health issues using sophisticated tools. The provision of burden estimates generally requires linking these estimates with spatial demographic data, but for many resource-poor countries data on total population sizes, distributions, compositions and temporal trends are lacking, prompting a reliance on uncertain estimates. Modern technologies and data archives are offering solutions, but the huge range of uncertainties that exist today in spatial denominator datasets will still be around for many years to come.

Keywords: Burden estimation; Census; Demography; Health metrics; Mapping; Population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Demography*
  • Epidemiologic Measurements*
  • Humans
  • Population Density
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Spatial Analysis*