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Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English volume

Unoccupied population

Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English vol.
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Unoccupied population  (UNOCCUPIED population)


A distinction is generally made between the working population 1 or economically active population 1 and the unoccupied population 2 or economically inactive population 2. Generally speaking, the working population consists of those individuals engaged in gainful activities 3. A gainful activity, or economic activity 3, is an activity which contributes to the production of income. Unpaid family workers (353-5) are usually included in the economically active population. Homemakers 4 or housewives 4 engaged in unpaid domestic duties, students, retired workers, etc. are usually excluded. The members of the economically inactive population are sometimes referred to as dependents 5 (358-1) in the sense that they subsist on the product of the working population. (See, however, the different sense of this term stated in § 358). The ratio of the working population to the total population, usually computed with reference to a given sex-age group or other category, is called the activity ratio 6 or labor force participation ratio 6.

  • 1. The terms gainfully occupied population, gainful workers, labor force are used as synonyms for working population and economically active population.
    For statistical measurement of the working population, the gainful worker concept or the labor force concept may be used. According to the gainful worker concept, the working population is defined as being composed of those persons who have a gainful activity which they normally exercise. According to the labor force concept, it is defined as the group of persons who were working at a gainful occupation or wanting or seeking such work during a specified period preceding the inquiry.

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