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 editors: Voutilainen, Miikka; Helske, Jouni; Högmander, Harri

Journal or series: Demography

ISSN: 0070-3370

eISSN: 1533-7790

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 57

Issue number: 3

Pages range: 1171-1192

Publisher: Springer

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13524-020-00889-1

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially 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.

Keywords: demographic history; demographic changes; Early modern age; estimating (statistical methods); time series; Bayesian analysis

Free keywords: population history; population growth; early modern era; Bayesian estimation

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2023-03-10 at 11:43