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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Poverty & Population: How Demographics Shape Policy by Columbia University

132 ratings

About the Course

This course has four modules, or foci. The first is to understand the categories of social welfare—populations, income, earnings, and assets— and some related concepts that play a very large role in shaping policy decisions: unemployment, inflation, and the minimum wage. The second deals with the central institution of social welfare—the labor market, which largely determines how many resources a person has. The labor market also establishes hierarchy, both through meritocracy and through categories of privilege. The third is poverty: the differing ways we define who is poor, and how effective U.S. anti-poverty efforts have been. The final module looks directly at federal decision making, the political organization of ideas, the structure of U.S. government, and the legislative process that shapes much of our social policy. This course addresses issues of power, oppression, and white supremacy. The course is part of a sequence in social policy that has an HONORS TRACK. This track will prepare the learner for masters-level work in policy, which involves reading the literature, writing concise summaries and probing critiques. Over the sequence the learner will develop a policy analysis that will create a foundation for professional policy analyst assignments....

Top reviews


Aug 4, 2021

It was a great learning and easy to understand. The reading materials were so helpful. I will choose more courses related to development and planning.


Nov 6, 2019

Well-packaged instructional set that combines video lectures, readings, and testing in a manageable approach on the part of the student.

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1 - 25 of 34 Reviews for Poverty & Population: How Demographics Shape Policy

By Zandro G R

Nov 6, 2019

Well-packaged instructional set that combines video lectures, readings, and testing in a manageable approach on the part of the student.

By Joel A C

Jan 11, 2020

☼ i was quite surprised by how my mind was changed and by how even the things i thought i was well versed in, like the number of places things can be killed in comte: oh, it is well worse! The need for childcare is important enough to be grouped in w/healthcare - i see that now. & we need to eat the billionaires (and above). i thought that was leftist rhetoric, but you need 3 generations just to get back on ones feet BECAUSE of a system that allows wealth accumulation at that scale. & you dont have to be racist or sexist for it to happen - it is so clear. & it will not end on its own. So it can not be allowed.* A great course.

(*after the first 150Mil.& obvi no inheritance death tax. i mean we arent savages.)

By Hemant

May 5, 2020

This is a brilliantly developed course by Prof Robertson which gives in depth information and insights into how public policy is formulated within the United States. It also helps to understand how the benefits of government policies accrue unequally across people in which race, age, gender and ethnicity play an importat role.

By Eltik J

Jun 11, 2021

This course makes me understand what poverty really is, what is needed, how to approach it and what can be done as a policy-maker.

By Evaluation R

Dec 14, 2019

The first half of the course was a little redundant, but the second half on government was EXCELLENT!!! Thanks again!

By Ayobami O

Apr 9, 2020

Highly informative and skill enhancing course on demographic considerations in policy development

By Robert B S M

Jan 11, 2020

Great course. .. thanks...


Mar 30, 2019

really helpful ,too good

By Ety K

Feb 19, 2019

It's Very great for me

By Gadim G

May 11, 2020

Very very Perfect

By Paulo

Jun 16, 2019

Excellent course!


Dec 13, 2019

excellent course

By Nabi R

May 11, 2020


By Quanchai “ K

Apr 22, 2021

It is an excellent course that helps me better understand general social welfare in the United States, which is very unique compared to that in other Western countries. The instructor can very well explain and discuss complex issues that allows me as a non-American citizen to follow the contents easily. Thank you very much for offering the wonderful course.

By Michael R S

Nov 30, 2022

I had a great time listening to all of the Professors talk about this topic. I think stuff like poverty, inequality, and the conversations of how race and gender affect things like that to be very important and something that I intend to learn about throughout my studies in order to involve it in my broader career/s in life.


Jan 3, 2023

¡Excelente aprendizaje! mil gracias por el tiempo dedicado a la elaboración de cada uno de estos módulos tan interesantes. El conocimiento adquirido es necesario e importante para la actualidad.

Solo una indicación, ojala todos los vídeos fueran en español también y algunos textos que aun están en ingles.

By Clément S

Dec 5, 2020

An amazing course if you want to know more about poverty, demographics and social policy in the US. The lecturer seems passionate and we can feel it. If you are a foreign student looking forward to studying in the US, then you should follow this course for sure.

By Rudolf N

Jul 20, 2021

I really enjoyed this course. My goal was the specific part of demography as a public policy tool, but I enjoyed the entire course content. Professor John Robertson has the ability to explain the most complex topics in a clear and simple way.

By Melisa K O

Apr 6, 2021

This course is very useful in increasing my knowledge. America's poverty alleviation policy can be one of the best practices for undeveloped countries. Thank you for the course, Prof. John Robertson, Columbia University, dan Coursera.

By Tisa L

Mar 19, 2021

A brief but comprehensive overview of policy-making in terms of social work. Explanations are really easy to understand. This made me want to pursue my master's in social work instead of public policy now.

By Zar N

Aug 5, 2021

It was a great learning and easy to understand. The reading materials were so helpful. I will choose more courses related to development and planning.

By Theo M

Apr 30, 2021

Very insightful, well-organized, and interesting guest speakers. Overall an experience I would recommend!

By Eyasu M

Aug 27, 2021

It is an amazing course. It is changing my life.

Thank you Columbia, school of social work and coursera!

By Sarobidy V R

Jan 17, 2022

I love this class. The instructor makes it easy to understand. Topics are so interesting!

By Dameliya K

Nov 9, 2022

This is a wonderful course to refresh your knowledge and get an idea of the US's system.