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The study of patterns and rates of population change, including birth and death rates, migration trends, and evolving population distribution patterns.


a periodic and official count of a country's population

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 area unit by the number of square kilometers or miles that make up the unit

Physiologic Population Density

The number of people per unit area of arable land.

Population Composition

structure of a population in terms of age, sex and other properties, education

Age-sex Pyramid

Graphic representation (profile) of a population showing the percentages of the total population by age and sex, normally in five-year groups.

Crude Birth Rate

the number of live births yearly per thousand people in a population

Crude Death Rate

The number of deaths per year per 1,000 people.

Infant Mortality

the death rate during the first year of life

Total Fertility rate

The number of children born to an average woman in a population during her entire reproductive life

Demographic Transition

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

Doubling Time

the time required for a population to double in size

Exponential Growth

cumulative or compound growth of a population over a given time period

Linear Growth

Growth in which a quantity increases by some fixed amount during each unit of time.

Natural Increase

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

Population Explosion

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

Stationary Population Level

the level at which a national population ceases to grow

Absolute Direction

the EXACT way or direction to get to something (north,south,east,west)

Relative Direction

direction based on a person's perception of places

Absolute Distance

the physical distance between two points usually measured in miles or kilometers

relative distance

distance measured, not in linear terms such as miles or kilometers, but in terms such as cost and time.

Push Factors

a factor that causes people to leave their homelands and migrate to another region

Pull Factor

Factor that induces people to move to a new location.

Activity space

the space within which daily activity occurs

Cyclic Movement

movement that has a closed route and is repeated annually or seasonally


movement among a definite set of places

Seasonal Movement

Movements that are taken based on a seasonal basis.


the movement of persons from one country or locality to another


migration from a place (especially migration from your native country in order to settle in another)

Forced Migration

human migration flows in which the movers have not choice but to relocate

Voluntary Migration

movement in which people relocate in response to perceived opportunity; not forced.

Internal Migration

human movement within a nation-state, such as going westward and southward movements in the US`

External Migration

migration across an international border

Interregional Migration

movement from one region of a country to another

Step Migration

migration to a distant destination that occurs in stages, for example, from farm to nearby village and later to a town and city

Counter Migration

migration back to an original area in which people had left (e.g., migration increases after natural disasters, yet many eventually return after a time)

Intervening Opportunity

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


The diminishing in importance and eventual disappearance of a phenomenon with increasing distance from its origin.


a person who has to leave his or her country to find safety.

Temporary Refugees

refugees encamped in a host country or host region while waiting for resettlement

Permanent Refugee

Refugee who does not return to their country of origin and is given permanent residence status in the new country

International Refugee

Refugees who have crossed one or more international boundaries duting their dislocation, searching for asylum in a different country.

Intranational Refugee

those who have abandoned their homes but not their country

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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