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Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English volume


Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English vol.
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The harmonization of all the second editions of the Multilingual Demographic Dictionary is an ongoing process. Please consult the discussion area of this page for further comments.

Go to: Introduction to Demopædia | Instructions on use | Downloads
Chapters: Preface | 1. General concepts | 2. The treatment and processing of population statistics | 3. Distribution and classification of the population | 4. Mortality and morbidity | 5. Nuptiality | 6. Fertility | 7. Population growth and replacement | 8. Spatial mobility | 9. Economic and social aspects of demography
Pages: 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 80 | 81 | 90 | 91 | 92 | 93
Index: Global Index | Index of chapter 1 | Index of chapter 2 | Index of chapter 3 | Index of chapter 4 | Index of chapter 5 | Index of chapter 6 | Index of chapter 7 | Index of chapter 8 | Index of chapter 9


The study of spatial mobility 1 or geographic mobility 1 is concerned with the quantitative aspects of moves 2 made by individuals in geographic space. The distinguishing characteristic of migration 3 is that it involves a change in usual place of residence (310-6*) and implies movement across an administrative boundary. The administrative unit left by the migrant is the place of origin 4 or place of departure 4; the unit to which the migrant goes is the place of destination 5 or place of arrival 5. The concept of migration is often not applied to moves made by persons without a fixed place of residence, for example, nomads are excluded from the count of migrants in many countries. In practice it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between migration, which implies a relatively permanent change of residence, and temporary moves 6, except on the basis of criteria of length of absence 7 from the place of origin or duration of stay 8 at the place of destination. In general, geographic mobility does not include short-term trips which involve no change of usual residence, even though such moves may deserve study because of their economic and social importance. Commuting 9 involves the daily or weekly journey from place of residence to place of work or schooling; seasonal moves 10 have a yearly periodicity. Transits 11, which are moves across a territory to reach a destination, do not involve migration with respect to the territory crossed. Tourist traffic 12 or vacationing 12 also are not included in geographic mobility.

  • 1. Spatial mobility is distinguished from social mobility (920-4) and occupational mobility (921-3).
  • 3. Migration, n. - migrate, v. - migrant, n.: one who migrates, also used as adj. - migratory, adj.: pertaining to migration. The term migration refers to a process and cannot serve in English (in contrast to French) to describe a particular move; it is rarely used in the plural. Some authors view all residential mobility (803-6) as migration. For most, however, migratory moves involve the crossing of a boundary, and the administrative unit selected is called the migration defining area.
  • 5. The terms country of arrival and country of reception are appropriate when international migration is the subject of interest.
  • 9. Commute, v. - commuter, n.: one who regularly travels from his place of residence to his place of work. The expression journey to work is also used to describe this type of movement.
  • 10. Seasonal movement is more accurate than the frequently used term seasonal migration since these moves rarely involve a change of usual residence.


When migration is observed over time, it is convenient to compare the place of residence at a fixed past date 1 or the place of last previous residence 2 with the place of current residence 3. An individual whose administrative unit of residence differs at the beginning and end of a certain interval is identified as a migrant 4. Migrants may be classified as emigrants 5 or out-migrants 5 with respect to their place of origin and as immigrants 6 or in-migrants 6 with respect to their place of current residence. When a census or survey has included a question on previous place of residence 2, the information generated concerns in fact the latest migration 7 or latest change of residence 7, whatever its date. A migrant is any individual who has had at least one prior residence in a different administrative unit from his or her current residence; such an individual can be considered to have migrated into 8 the current residence, and migrated out 9 of the previous one. A lifetime migrant 11 is a person whose place of birth 10 was in a different administrative unit from his or her current residence. In specific cases, migrants can be qualified as emigrants for political, religious or ethical reasons 12★, or immigrants for political, religious or ethical reasons 13★.

  • 4. Strictly speaking, under this concept a migrant must have been born before the beginning of the migration defining interval and must survive until the end. This definition is sometimes extended to include children born during the interval who are allocated to the place of residence of their mother at the beginning of the interval. The number of recorded migrants is not necessarily equal to the number of moves which occurred during the interval for these individuals, as any one may have moved several times in the interval, or even have returned to his previous place of residence by the time of the census or survey.
  • 10. Usually the place of birth is defined as the place of usual residence of the mother at the time of the birth even though custom or the location of medical facilities may have resulted in the birth occurring elsewhere.


The population of a sovereign country (305-3) may be involved in internal migration 1 when both place of departure (801-4) and place of destination (801-5) are within the country, or in international migration 2 which occurs across national boundaries. The term external migration 3 is sometimes encountered in the latter sense. International migration is called immigration 4 or emigration 5 according to whether the country in question is the country of destination or the country of origin, respectively. When the country is divided into sub-areas, movement within the boundaries of each sub-area are local moves 6 and constitute residential mobility 6, while movement between sub-areas is called in-migration 7 or out-migration 8 depending on whether the sub-area considered is the place of destination or the place of origin for the migrants. A migration stream 9 is a group of migrants having a common origin and destination. The larger stream between two sub-areas is called the dominant stream 10 and the smaller the counterstream 11.

  • 1. The definitions of migration in this paragraph can be extended to the migrants involved. The distinction between internal and international migration is not always precise when territories within a country are more or less autonomous.
  • 2. Simple commuting across a national border receives the name of border traffic, and should not be mistaken for international migration.
  • 4. Immigration, n. - immigrate, v. - immigrant, n. and adj.
  • 5. Emigration, n. - emigrate, v. - emigrant, n. and adj.


When an individual migrates several times during a certain period, his or her moves may be distinguished according to the order of migration 1. The duration of residence 2 or duration of stay 2 refers either to the interval between the arrival in a place and the subsequent departure for another destination or to the interval since the most recent move. Return migration 3 involves movement back either to the initial area, or to any previous place of residence. Repeat migration 4 or chronic migration 4 refers to a tendency to migrate several times over a relatively short time interval. Rural-urban migration 5 sometimes takes the form of serial migration 6, stage migration 6 or step migration 6, as migrants tend to move to large cities as a final place of destination by a series of shorter, intermediate migrations to cities or areas of successively larger size. The serial migrations 7★ between a series of cities of different sizes is sometimes used when net migration of each city is positive and results from an excess of in-migration from the rural sector and smaller cities over emigration to the larger cities.

  • 3. Individuals involved in return migration are called return migrants.
  • 4. When repeat migration involves moving to new areas, some authors talk of secondary migration and of secondary migrants, in contrast to primary migration which involves first order or primary migrants. This is a source of confusion, since these terms usually take the meaning of 806-4.


The contribution of migration (801-3) to overall population growth or population growth due to migration 1★ (701-1) is due to net migration 2, i.e., the difference between the number of arrivals 3 and the number of departures 4. Net migration can have a negative or a positive sign; net immigration 5 or net in-migration 5 is used when arrivals exceed departures, and net emigration 6 or net out-migration 6 when the opposite is true. The sum of arrivals and departures in a country can be used to measure the volume of migration 7. A similar concept, applied to sub-areas of a country, is the migration turnover 8. The net stream 9 or net interchange 9 of migration between two areas is defined as the difference between the stream (803-9) and the counterstream (803-11), whereas the gross interchange 10 is the sum of stream and counterstream.

  • 2. This may also be called the balance of migration or the migration balance. Terms such as "net migrant" should be avoided, and phrases such as the net number of migrants should be preferred.


Spontaneous migration 1, voluntary migration 1 or free migration 1 is the result of the initiative and free choice of the migrants. In the absence of concerted action, the movement is referred to as individual migration 2. When entire families are moving together, the term family migration 3 is sometimes encountered. Secondary migration 4 or ancillary migration 4 is induced by the movement of others, as when children follow the head of the family. An example of such migration is family reunification 9★, which pertains to the migration of family members, including children, of the family head. The movement of workers or of members of the labor force in response to employment opportunities is referred to as labor migration 5. Moves occurring as a result of marriage and when individuals retire from the labor force are sometimes referred to respectively as marriage migration 6 or retirement migration 7. Chain migration 8★ or linked migration 8★ refers to a pattern of migration to specific places of destination, where a prospective migrant has a relative (114-3*) or friend who has established a residence and is willing to provide information and support.

  • 4. Although the terms are sometimes used in a different sense (cf. 804-4*), a primary migrant is the person who makes the actual migration decision while a secondary migrant is an individual such as a young child whose migration is the result of another person’s decision.


Where groups of individuals or families decide to migrate together collective migration 1 or group migration 1 will result. Mass migration 2 involves a very large number of migrants. The term exodus 3 may be used for a sudden mass migration caused by some emergency or catastrophe.


Voluntary migration (806-1) contrasts with forced migration 1, in which individuals are compelled by public authorities to move. Repatriation 2 applies to forced return of individuals to their country of origin. Another example of forced migration is the expulsion 3 from their places of abode either of individuals or of whole groups of people. The term evacuation 4 is generally reserved for the movement of whole populations in order to safeguard them from some catastrophe, such as earthquakes, floods, operations of war or the like. A refugee 5 has usually migrated on his own volition, though there may have been strong pressure on him to migrate because his continued stay in his country of origin may have exposed him to danger of persecution. A displaced person 6 is a person who has been moved by a public authority from his place of origin. This move may have taken place as a result of large-scale displacement of population 7 or population transfer 7, or population exchange 8.

  • 2. Repatriation, n. - repatriate, v.
  • 3. Expulsion, n. - expel, v - expellee, n., one who has been expelled. The term deportation is used for expulsion of an individual person from his country of residence because his continued residence is considered undesirable by the authorities. Deportation, n. - deport, v. - deportee, n.
  • 4. Evacuation, n. evacuate, v, - evacuee, n., a person who has been evacuated.


The process by which immigrants adjust themselves to conditions in the area of destination falls into several categories: naturalization (331-1), the acquisition of legal citizenship; absorption 1 the entry into productive economic activity; assimilation 3, integration into the social structure on terms of equality; and acculturation 2 the adoption of the customs and values of the population in the place of destination.


When immigrants from a particular territory do not assimilate in their new country but retain the customs of their place of origin (801-3), they are called a colony 1. This raises problems of coexistence 2 between different populations. These may be solved by the fusion 3 of the populations, i.e. by the disappearance of recognizable differences, or by the integration 4 of one of the populations into the other. Segregation 5 exists in a territory where two or more populations live but remain separated by barriers imposed by custom or by the force of law.

  • 1. Colony, n. colonize, v., to found a colony, also used in the sense of settling a new territory - colonist, n., member of a colony.
  • 2. Coexistence, n.-coexist, v.
  • 5. Segregation, n. - segregate, v.
    In extreme cases, the conflict may result in genocide, i.e. an attempt by one population to exterminate the other. Exterminate, v. - extermination, n.


Migration policy 1 is one aspect of population policy (105-2). Most countries through their immigration laws 2, restrict the admittance of foreign nationals. These laws frequently provide for selective immigration 3 of persons with certain specified characteristics. Some countries have established quota systems 4 whereby the number of immigrants is fixed in relation to the national origin 5. Measures designed to influence the redistribution of population 6 within a country through internal migration (803-1) are usually more indirect in character.

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Go to: Introduction to Demopædia | Instructions on use | Downloads
Chapters: Preface | 1. General concepts | 2. The treatment and processing of population statistics | 3. Distribution and classification of the population | 4. Mortality and morbidity | 5. Nuptiality | 6. Fertility | 7. Population growth and replacement | 8. Spatial mobility | 9. Economic and social aspects of demography
Pages: 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 80 | 81 | 90 | 91 | 92 | 93
Index: Global Index | Index of chapter 1 | Index of chapter 2 | Index of chapter 3 | Index of chapter 4 | Index of chapter 5 | Index of chapter 6 | Index of chapter 7 | Index of chapter 8 | Index of chapter 9