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Unit 2: Population


The study of human populations


An official count of a population after set periods of time (ten years)

Population density

The umber of people in a particular area

Arithmetic density

(population density) a type of population density; total number of people divided by total land area

Physiologic density

A type of population density; total umber of people divided by the number of arable (farmable) land

Population composition

Structure of a population in terms of age, sex and other properties such as marital status and education

Age-sex pyramid

Pyramid/graph that shows the percentages of each age group for both males and females

Crude birth rate

(CBR) number of live births per year per thousand people in a year

Crude death rate

(CDR) number of deaths per year per thousand people in year

Infant mortality

number of infant deaths per thousand live births

Total fertility rate

(TFR) number of children born to women of reproduction age

Demographic transition

(cycle) change in a population from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates

Doubling time

The number of years it takes for a country to double in population

Exponential growth

Type of growth where the more it is added, the faster it grows

Linear growth

Type of growth with a constant fixed rate of growth

Natural increase

The difference between the number of births and the number of deaths during a certain period

Population explosion

The rapid growth of the world's human population during the past century

Stationary population level

(SPL) the level at which a national population ceases to grow

Absolute direction

A compass direction like north or south

Relative direction

Directions such as left, right, forward, backward, up, and down

Absolute distance

The distance between two points usually measured in miles or kilometers

Relative distance

Distance not measured in linear terms such as miles or kilometers but in cost and time

Push factors

Negative conditions that force someone to leave their home and move

Pull factors

Positive conditions that attract people to new locations

Activity space

(action) space within which daily activity occurs

Cyclic movement

Movement during your daily routine from your home and back


Movement among a definite set of places

Seasonal movement

A form of cyclic movement; involves moving because of a change in season


Process of permanently moving from your home and to another region


Process of people exiting or leaving a region

Forced migration

(involuntary) when migrants are pushed from their land

Voluntary migration

When migrants have an option of whether or not to move

Internal migration

Movement within a country, not outside a country

External migration

Movement outside a country

Interregional migration

Moving from one region in the country to another region

Step migration

Migration to a long distance location that is achieved in a series of small steps

Counter migration

The return of migrants to the regions from which they are from

Intervening opportunity

The presence of a nearer opportunity that greatly lessens the attractiveness of sites farther away

Distance decay

The interaction between two places declines as the distance increases


A migrant fleeing some form of persecution or abuse

Temporary refugees

Refugees staying in a host country/region while waiting for resettlement.

Permanent refugees

Refugees who have been greatly integrated into the host country/region and are thus seen as long-term visitors.

International refugees

Refugees that flee their country and move to another country

Intranational refugees

Refugees that abandon their homes but still stay in their country to escape persecution

Immigration laws

Laws and regulations of a state designed specifically to control immigration into the state

Eugenic population policy

Government policy designed to favor one race over another

Expansive population policy

Government policy that encourages large families and raises the rate of population growth

Restrictive population policy

Government policy designed to reduce the rate of natural increase

Negative population growth

The actual decline in population due to less than replacement births or extensive diseases

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