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The scientific study of population characteristics


The number of people in an area exceeds the capacity of the environment to support life at a decent standard of living


The portion of Earth's surface occupied by permanent human settlement

Arithmetic Density

The total number of people divided by the total land area

Physiological Density

The number of people per unit of area of arable land, which is land suitable for agriculture

Agricultural Density

The ratio of the number of farmers to the total amount of land suitable for agriculture

Crude Birth Rate (CBR)

The total number of live births in a year for every 1,000 people alive in a society

Crude Death Rate (CDR)

The total number of deaths in a year for every 1,000 people alive in a society

National Increase Rate (NIR)

The percentage growth of a population in a year, computed as the crude birth rate minus the crude birth rate

Doubling Time

The number of years needed to double a population, assuming a constant rate of natural increase

Total Fertility Rate (TFR)

The average number of children a woman will have throughout her childbearing years

Infant Mortality Rare (IMR)

The total number of deaths in a year among infants under 1 year old for every 1,000 live births in a society

Life Expectancy

The average number of years an individual can be expected to live, given current social, economic, and medical conditions

Demographic Transition

The process of change in a society's population from a condition of high crude birth rate and death rates and low rate of natural increase to a condition of low crude birth and death rates, low rate of natural increase, and a higher total population

Industrial Revolution

A series of improvements in industrial technology that transformed the process of manufacturing goods

Medical Revolution

Medical technology invented in Europe and North America that is diffused to the poorer countries of Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

Agricultural Revolution

The ratio of the number of farmers to the total amount of land suitable for agriculture

Zero Population Growth (ZPG)

A decline of the total fertility rate to the point where the natural increase rate equals zero

Population Pyramid

A bar graph representing the distribution of population by age and sex

Dependency Ratio

The number of people under the age of 15 and over age 64, compared to the number of people active in the labor force

Sex Ratio

The number of males per 100 females in the population

Epidemiologic Transition

Distinctive causes of death in each stage of the demographic transition


Branch of medical science concerned with the incidence, distribution, and control of diseases that affect large numbers of people


Disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects a very high proportion of the population


A complete enumeration of the population

Brain Drain

Large- scale emigration by talented people

Chain Migration

Migration of people to a specific location because relatives or members of the same nationality previously migrated there


Short-term, repetitive, or cyclical movements that recur on a regular basis


Net migration from urban to rural areas in more developed countries


Migration from a location


The are subject to flooding during a given number of years according to a historical trend

Forced Migration

Permanent movement compelled usually by cultural factors

Guest Workers

Workers who migrate to the more developed countries of Northern and Western Europe in search of higher-paying jobs


Migration to a new location

Internal Migration

Permanent movement within a particular country

International Migration

Permanent movement from one country to another

Interregional Migration

Permanent movement from one region of a country to another

Intervening Obstacle

Any environmental or cultural feature of the landscape that hinders migration

Intraregional Migration

Permanent movement within one region of a country


Form of relocation diffusion involving a permanent move to a new location

Migration Transition

Change in the migration pattern in a society that results from industrialization, population growth, and other social and economic change, etc


All types of movement from one location to another

Net Migration

The difference between the level of immigration and the level of emigration

Pull Factor

Factor that induces people to move to a new location

Push Factor

Factor that induces people to leave old residences


Laws that place maximum limits on the number of people who can immigrate to a country each year


People are forced to migrate from their home country and cannot return of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership or political opinion

Undocumented Immigrants

People who enter a country without proper documents

Voluntary Migration

Permanent movement undertaken by choice

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