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A periodic and official count of a country's population.


The study of population
*Population geographers work with demographers.


The population of an area in too large numbers.
*When the resources and facilities of a country or region become scarce and are not enough to support a population.

Global Density

The total number/ratio of people on Earth.

Arithmetic Density

The population of a country or region expressed as an average per unit area.
*Derived by dividing the population of the areal unit by the number of square kilometers/meters that make up the unit.

Physiological Density

The number of people per unit area of arable land (agriculturally productive land)

Agricultural Density

The total amount/ratio of farmable land in a country, region, or in the world.

Crude Birth Rate

The number of live births yearly per thousand people in a population.

Crude Death Rate

The number of deaths yearly per thousand people in a population.

Rate of Natural Increase

The percent growth of a population in a year.
* Computed as the crude birth rate minus the crude death rate.

Doubling Time

The time required for a population to double in size.

Total Fertility Rate

The rate at which a population neither grows nor shrinks.

Infant Mortality Rate

A figure that describes the number of babies that die within the first year of their lives in a given population.

Life Expectancy

A figure indicating how long, on average, a person may be expected to live.
*Normally expressed in the context of a particular state.

Demographic Transition Model

The sequence of stages in popualtion growth.

Agricultural Revolution

A breakthrough in agriculture

Medical Revolution

A breakthrough in medicine and cures.

Zero Population Growth

There's no population growth.

Population Pyramid

Used to represent age and gender, the key indicators of population, visually.

Dependency Ratio

Age population ratios of those typically not in the labor force.
* Population Pyramids show dependency ratios of fewer than 15 and over 65.

Sex Ratio

The ratio of males versus females.

Thomas Malthus

1. Wrote "Principles of Population" and predicted that the population would outrun food supplies, leading to a decrease in food per person.
2. Assumed that populations grow exponentially, food supplies grow arithmetically, and food shortages along with chaos are inevitable.


The act or practice of killing a newborn infant.

Population Control Policies (PCP) - Expansive

Encourages large families and raises the rate of natural increase.

PCP - Eugenic

Designed to favor one ratial or cultural sector of the population over others.

PCP - Restrictive

Seeks to reduce the rate of natural increase.
* Ranges from toleration of officially unapproved means of birth control to outright prohibition of large families.


A change in residence that's intended to be permanent.

Forced Migration

Human migration flows in which the movers have no choice but to relocate.

Chain Migration

When a migrant communicates to family and friends at home, encouraging further migration along the same path, along kinship links.

Internal Migration

Movement within a single country's borders (implying a degree of permanence)

International Migration

Movement across country borders (Implying a degree of permanence)

Step Migration

When a migrant follows a path of a series of stages or steps toward a final destination.

Voluntary Migration

Migrants weigh the push and pull factors to decide...
1. to emmigrate from the home country
2. where to go


The process of migrating away from a country or area.q


The process of migrating into a particular country or area.

Net - Migration

The difference between the total number of arrivals and that of departures that occur in a country or region.


The ability to communicate.
*Your activity space.
- Ex : cell phones, laptops, iPods, internet


The spreading or transmission of something to a wider group of people or area.

Seasonal Mobility

Migration based on the changing seasons (similar to birds)

Pull Factors

The circumstances that effectively attract the migrant to certain locales from other places
* The decision of where to go

Push Factors

The conditions and perceptions that help the migrant decide to leave a place.


People who flee across an international boundary because of a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership, of a particular social group, or political opinion.


A region or area affected by a massive flood.

Interregional Migration

Migration within a country

Intraregional Migration

Migration outside a country

Migration Transition

Change in the migration pattern in a society that results from industrialization, population growth, and other social and economic changes that also produce the demographic transition.

E.G. Ravenstein

Created/ thought of the Laws of Migration


Someone who helps sneak illegal immigrants across a country's borders.


Established limits by governments on the number of immigrants who can enter the country each year.

U.S. Immigration and Nationalization Service

The process of becoming an American citizen.

U.S. Border Control

The mobile law enforcement arm of the Immigration and Naturalization Service that detects and prevents illegal entry of aliens into the United States

Intervening Obstacles

Obstacles that get in the way of migration.

Brain Drain

When a country allows only those with a specific amount of intelligence or "smarts" to enter their country.

Guest Workers

Legal immigrants who have work visas - usually short term

Counter Urbanization

A demographic and social process whereby people move form urban areas to rural areas

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