A1 Journal article (refereed)
A Bayesian Reconstruction of a Historical Population in Finland, 1647–1850 (2020)

Voutilainen, M., Helske, J., & Högmander, H. (2020). A Bayesian Reconstruction of a Historical Population in Finland, 1647–1850. Demography, 57(3), 1171-1192. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13524-020-00889-1

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsVoutilainen, Miikka; Helske, Jouni; Högmander, Harri

Journal or seriesDemography



Publication year2020


Issue number3

Pages range1171-1192


Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/70034


This article provides a novel method for estimating historical population development. We review the previous literature on historical population time-series estimates and propose a general outline to address the well-known methodological problems. We use a Bayesian hierarchical time-series model that allows us to integrate the parish-level data set and prior population information in a coherent manner. The procedure provides us with model-based posterior intervals for the final population estimates. We demonstrate its applicability by estimating the long-term development of Finland’s population from 1647 onward and simultaneously place the country among the very few to have an annual population series of such length available.

Keywordsdemographic historydemographic changesEarly modern ageestimating (statistical methods)time seriesBayesian analysis

Free keywordspopulation history; population growth; early modern era; Bayesian estimation

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2020

JUFO rating3

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 13:03