Demography engages with issues of great social importance. Demographic research bears on central issues of social theory and fuels some of the central policy debates of our time. Nevertheless, theoretical development has been slow. Old and sometimes inappropriate models are being applied to new problems. The limitations of standard demographic survey methods and statistical techniques have been increasingly recognised. Today a growing number of demographers are interested in making use of theoretical and methodological approaches from other disciplines, perhaps in particular from anthropology, and most especially when tackling population questions in Africa, Asia and Latin America. For their part, however, anthropologists have generally failed to take account of the advances made in modern demography. Until recently, few anthropologists have participated in the central debates on questions of either theory or policy in population research. But at last a new wave of interdisciplinary research is emerging, which combines the interests and approaches of demographers, anthropologists and other social scientists.