Demography and international migration

Authored by: Philippe Fargues

Routledge Handbook of Immigration and Refugee Studies

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138794313
eBook ISBN: 9781315759302
Adobe ISBN: 9781317638773


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Demography is the science of population growth and structure. The growth of any population is determined by entries and exits and its structure depends on the distribution by age and sex, as well as a few other characteristics. Formal, mathematical demography was established for closed populations, ones that would be exclusively entered by birth and exited by death (Lotka 1939; Bourgeois-Pichat 1968). Migration had no place in demographic models and theories until the 1960s (Keyfitz 1968, 1971). As soon as a population is defined by a territory, however, entries and exits must combine natural movements (births and deaths) with migratory movements (inward and outward mobility). When the territory is that of a country (or a ‘nation’), then international migration becomes relevant to demography.

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