Chapter 2: Population and Migration

Understanding how the human population is organized geographically helps students make sense of cultural patterns, the political organization of space, food production issues, economic development concerns, natural resource use and decisions, and urban systems. Additionally, course themes of location, space, place, the scale of analysis, and pattern can be emphasized when studying fundamental population issues such as crude birth rates, crude death rates, total fertility rate, infant mortality rates, doubling time, and natural increase.

Explanations of why the population is growing or declining in some places are based on patterns and trends in fertility, demographic mortality, and migration. Analyses of refugee flows, immigration, and internal migration help us understand the connections between population phenomena. For example, environmental degradation and natural hazards may prompt population redistribution at various scales, creating new pressures on the environment, culture, and political institutions.

This module analyzed population trends across space and time as ways to consider models of population growth and decline, including the Malthusian demographic transition and the epidemiological (mortality) transition model.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the basic principles of population growth and its historical trends.
  • Identify the factors influencing birth rates, death rates, and migration patterns.
  • Explain the concept of demographic transition and its stages.
  • Recognize the interconnectedness of global population issues, including migration, refugee crises, and cultural diversity.
  • Understand the societal impacts of population dynamics on issues like healthcare access, housing, and employment.
  • Recognize the link between population growth, resource consumption, and environmental sustainability.
  • Explore strategies for achieving a balance between population growth and ecological limits.

Chapter Sections


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Introduction to Human Geography Copyright © 2019 by R. Adam Dastrup, MA, GISP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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