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Chp 2 Vocab Terms from De Blij and Barrons

Population Density

a measurement of the number of people per given unit of land

Arithmetic Population Density

the population of a country or region expressed as an average per unit area. The figure is derived by dividing the population of the areal unit by the number of square kilometers or miles that make up the unit

Physiological population density

the number of people per unit area of arable land

Population distribution

descriptions of locations on the Earth's surface where populations live

Dot map

a map where one dot represents a certain number of a phenomenon, such as population.


term used to describe large coalescing supercities that are forming in diverse parts of the world; formerly used specifcally with an uppercase "M" to refer to the Boston-Washington multimetroplitan corridor on the northeastern seaboard of the United States, but now used generically with a lower-case "m" as a synonum for conurbanization


a periodic and official count of a country's population

Doubling time

the time required for a population to double in size

Population explosion

the rapid growth of the world's human population during the past century, attended by ever-shorter doubling times and accelerating rates of increase

Natural increase

population growth measured as the excess of live births over deaths; does not reflect either emigrant or immigrant movements

Crude birth rate

number of live births yearly per thousand people in a population

Crude death rate

number of deaths yearly per thousand people in a population

Demographic transition

multistage model, based on Western Europe's experience, of changes in population growth exhibited by countries undergoing industrialization. High birth rates and death rates are followed by plunging death rates, producing a huge net population gain; this is followed by a convergence of birth rates and death rates at a lower overall level.

Stationary population level

the level at which a national population ceases to grow

Population composition

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

Population pyramids

Visual representations of age and sex composition of a population whereby the percentage of each age group (generally five year increments) is represented by a horizontal bar the length of which represents its relationship to the total population. The males in each age group are represented on the left of the center of the line of each horizontal bar; the females in each group are represented to the right of the center line.

Infant Mortality rate

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

Child Mortality rate

A figure that describes the number of children that die between the first and fifth years of their lives in a given population

Life expectancy

a figure indicating how long, on average, a person may be expected to live.

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)

Immune system disease caused by the Human Immunodeficency Virus (HIV) which over a period of years weakens the capacity of the immunie system to fight off infection so that weight loss and weakness set in and other afflictions such as cancer and pneumonia may hasten an infected person's demise

Chronic Diseases

Generally long lasting afflictions now more common because of higher life expectancies

Expansive population policies

Government policies that encourage large families and raise the rate of population growth

Eugenic Population policies

Government policies designed to favor one racial sector over others

Restrictive Population policies

Government policies designed to reduce the rate of natural increase

Age-sex Distribution

A model used in population geography that describes the ages and number of males and females within a given population

Baby Boom

A cohort of individuals born in the United States between 1946 and 1964, which was just after World War II in a time of relative peace and prosperity. These conditions allowed for better education and job opportunities, encouraging high rates of both marriage and fertility.

Baby Bust

Period of time during the 1960s and 1970s when fertility rates in the United States dropped as large numbers of women from the baby boom generation sought higher levels of education and more competitive jobs, causing them to marry later in life. As such, the fertility rate dropped considerable, in contrast to the baby boom, in which fertility rates were quite high.

Carry capacity

The largest number of people that the environment of a particular area can sustainably support.

Census tract

Small country subdivisions, usually containing between 2,500 and 8,000 persons, dilineated by the US Census Bureau as areas of relatively uniform population characteristics, economic status, and living conditions.

Chain Migration

The migration event in which idividuals follow the migratory path of preceding friends or family members to an existing community.


A population group unified by a specific common characteristic, such as age, and subsequently treated as a statistical unit.

Cotton Belt

The term by which the American South used to be known, as cotton historically dominated the agricultural economy of the region. The same area is now known as the New South or Sun Belt because people have migrated here from older cities in the industrial north for a better climate and new job opportunities.

Demographic Accounting Equation

An equation that summarizes the amount of growth or decline in a population within a country during a particular time period taking into account both natural increase and net migration


The study of human populations, including their temporal and spatial dynamics

Dependency Ratio

The ratio of the number of people who are either too old or too young to provide for themselves to the number of people who much support them through their own labor. This is usually expressed in the form of n:100, where n equals the number of dependents.


The process of moving out of a particular country, usually the individual person's country of origin.

Exponential Growth

Growth that occurs when a fixed percentage of new people is added to a population each year; is compounded because the fixed growth rate applies to an ever increasing population.

Forced Migration

The migration event in which individuals are forced to leave a country against their will.

Generation X

A term coined by artist and author Douglas Coupland to describe people born in the United States between the years 1965 and 1980. This post-baby-boom generation will have to support the baby boom cohort as they head into their retirement years.


A division of human geography concerned with spatial variations in distribution, composition, growth and movements of population.


The process of individuals moving into a new country with the intentions of remaining there.

Internal Migration

The permanent or semipermanent movement of individuals within a particular country.

Intervening obstacles

Any forces or factors that may limit human migration

Thomas Malthus

Author of Essay on the Principals of Population (1798) who claimed that population grows at an exponential rate while food production increases arithmetically, and thereby that, eventually, population growth would outpace food production

Maternal mortality

Number of deaths per thousand of women giving birth


A long-term move of a person from one political jurisdiction to another.


Advocacy of population control programs to ensure enough resources for current and future populations.


A value judgement based on the notion that the resources of a particular area are not great enough to support that area's current population.

Pull Factor

Attractions that draw migrants to a certain place, such as a pleasant climate and employment or educational opportunities.

Push Factor

Incentives for potential migrants to leave a place, such as a harsh climate, economic recession, or political turmoil.


People who leave their homes because they are forced out, but not because they are being officially relocated or enslaved.

Rust Belt

The northern industrial states of the United States, including Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, in which heavy industry was once the dominant economic activity. In the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, these states lost much of their economic base to economicaly attractive regions of the United States and to countries where labor was cheaper, leaving old machinery to rust in the moist northern climate

Sun Belt

U.S. region, mostly comprised of southeastern and southwestern states, which has grown most dramatically since World War II.

Total Fertility Rate

The average number of children born to a woman during her childbearing years.

Zero Population Growth

Proposal to end population growth through a variety of official and nongovernmental family planning programs.

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