Population geography is traditionally understood to encompass the spatial variation and analysis of the demographic components of change: migration, fertility, and mortality. One statement that can be made without reservation is that the boundary between population geography and demography, sociology, or economics can be difficult to locate. The consensus is that demographers focus more on fertility research, whereas population geographers tend to focus on migration. Indeed, fertility research and segregation studies, to name another topic, have tended to be dominated by other disciplines, although this is changing. With the advent of more-sophisticated methods, in particular those related to geographical information systems (GIS) or remote sensing, and the ever-increasing availability of data at multiple spatial scales, the fundamental importance of space and geography has become more mainstream in population studies across the social sciences. This evolution is apparent in the development of a multidisciplinary subfield called spatial demography that is neither traditional population geography nor pure demography. As can be easily discerned by the citations included in this article, the core competency of population geographers is internal migration along with population distribution and composition. In the subfield of population and environment, geographers have made strong contributions in the area of land-use change, perhaps because of the geographers’ early comfort with remote sensing techniques.
Article. 12626 words.
Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography ; Human Geography
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