Geography 445:  Population Distribution and Migration

Instructor:  Richard Morrill

Autumn, 2001


Course Outline and Objectives:

This course is an introduction to the field of population geography.  It is designed to advance a demographic-geographic perspective on our understanding of social change.  Population growth, distribution, migration and diversity lie at the heart of many contemporary social issues – from the impact of population growth on the environment to political representation.  The course aims to provide students with an understanding of the connections between population processes (both temporal and spatial) and societal dynamics.  Specifically, the goal is to provide students with:


i)           a practical understanding of population processes (fertility, mortality, and migration);

ii)          a critical understanding of traditional and contemporary population theories and research;

iii)        knowledge of the geographic variation in population structure, mobility and characteristics;

iv)        knowledge of sources of data for demographic research; and

v)         an appreciation for the demographic underpinnings of contemporary social issues.


Course Requirements and Grading:



            Term Paper                                           40%      Outline due October 18; Paper due December 6.

            Midterm Exam                                      20%      November 1

            Final Exam                                            40%      December 1xxxxx


General Expectations:     Students are expected to keep up with the assigned readings, and to participate in class discussions.



Administrative Information:


Lecture Time / Location:    Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30 to 2:20 , 405 Smith Hall



Required Text:                    John R. Weeks, (1999)  Population:  An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, Seventh Edition, Wadsworth Publishing Company:  Belmont, CA


Additional Readings:           Copies made available in Odegaard Library Reserve and at website


Office:                               303B Smith Hall


Office Hours:                     Tuesday and Thursday; or by appointment, 10:00 to 11:00, or by appointment


Phone & Email:                  543-5285,


Academic Honesty:        The University’s policy on academic honesty will be adhered to in this course.  Academic dishonesty includes such indiscretions as cheating on exams, copying other students’ work, and failure to fully cite references, including Internet sources.

Geography 445:  Population Distribution and Migration                             Autumn, 2001



General Topic

Assigned Reading

Week 1

    Tuesday Oct. 2

    Thursday Oct 4


Week 2

    Tuesday Oct 9

    Thursday Oct 11


Week 3

    Tuesday Oct 16

    Thursday Oct 18


Week 4

    Tuesday Oct 23

    Thursday Oct 25


Week 5

    Tuesday Oct 30

    Thursday Nov 1


Week 6

    Tuesday Nov 6

    Thursday Nov 8


Week 7

    Tuesday Nov 13

    Thursday Nov 15


Week 8

    Tuesday Nov 20


Week 9

    Tuesday Nov 27

    Thursday Nov 29


Week 10

   Tuesday Dec 4

   Thursday Dec 6


Week 11

    Tuesday Dec 11

    Thursday Dec 13



Final Exam

    19-Dec  Wednesday


Introduction to Population Geography

Theories of population

Sources of Population Data


Theories of settlement, world distribution of population; US distribution and redistribution  Urbanization


Mortality differentials

Age/Sex Structure (term paper outline due)

Aging of the population


Fertility Concepts and Measures

Fertility Trends and Explanations



Household and lifestyle variation

Race and ethnic variation, MIDTERM



Race, continued, Introduction to migration

Migration theory, models, data



U.S. Inter-regional Migration & Diversity

Immigration, international migration




Residential mobility



Population growth and development

Population growth and environment




Population policy

Demographics, political redistricting




Presentations continued (Term Paper Due)







Chapter 1


Chapter 2,3


Frey reading

Chapter 11



Chapter 4

Chapter 8, 9



Chapter 5

Chapter 6



Chapter 10




Chapter 7




Clark Ch 3

Martin et al reading




Clark Ch 2



Chapter 12

Chapter 13




Chapter 14

Chapter 15






Geography 445:  Population Distribution and Migration


Term Paper Assignment


Each student will select a topic and write a term paper of no more than 15 double-spaced typed pages.  The pages limit does not include figures, tables or references.  The topic must fall within the general theme of population research.  This provides a great deal of scope, but you must employ demographic and geographic perspectives.  Your paper can take a variety of forms, ranging from a literature review, to an empirical analysis, or a policy evaluation, among others.  Whatever topic or form you decide to pursue, your paper must express your own ideas on the topic.


General Guidelines for a Good Research Paper


Select and Analyze Your Subject Carefully

Choose a subject that interests you and that you can treat adequately within the specified page limit.  Select a subject about which you can get sufficient information within the time frame shown in the syllabus.  Have a clear purpose in view from the outset.  Form an idea of what you plan to demonstrate or prove by investigating your subject.  What conclusions do you expect to draw from it? (This question should be grounded in class and outside readings).


Take Careful Notes from your Readings

Take notes in your own words.  Condense paragraphs or even pages into summary sentences.  Judge the reliability of your sources.


BEFORE you write your paper, prepare an outline for your paper – it will make actually writing it much easier! (it’s also required)

Your outline should cover the following major points:

I.      Purpose of the Paper.

II.    Importance/significance of the subject

III.  Background or history of the subject

IV.   Nature of the investigation (substantive ideas)

V.    Conclusions (generalized statements based on your investigation)


Write a First Draft of your Research Paper

Write in as clear and straightforward a manner as you can.  Avoid long sentences.  Avoid repetition.  Make your discussion clear and concise.  Your essay should proceed logically.  Each new paragraph should represent a new idea.  A well-written paper allows the reader to follow the basic logic of your argument by reading the first line of each paragraph.


Use References to Indicate Sources of Information

A list of all references should be included at the end of the paper.  Within the text, you should reference sources using Harvard style citations.  Your textbook uses the Harvard citation style.  You must reference any idea that is not your own.  If you are quoting directly, you must also include the page number.  An example citation is as follows:


“No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of

violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (Hobbes, 1651, p. 373).


Your paper must present your thoughts and ideas as you reflect upon the materials you have read.  You probably have not developed your ideas sufficiently if you find yourself continually referencing the same source, or referencing every idea contained within the paper.  Your paper must add something to the discussion.


Revise your Paper to Make a Final Draft for Submission

Undoubtedly, you will make a number of revisions to the initial draft of your paper.  The final draft must be carefully edited with an eye to spelling, punctuation, grammar, and style.


The Write Place

The Geography Department provides a writing consultant to assist students with their research and writing assignments.  I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity in the early stages of your work.


415 Smith Hall




Following is a list of journals and periodicals frequently used for demographic research:


American Demographics                                          Suzzallo  HB3505 .A66

Annals of the AAG                                                  Suzzallo  G3 .A77

Demography                                                           Suzzallo  HB881 .A1 D53

Development & Change                                           Suzzallo  HD82 .D387

Economic Geography                                              Suzzallo  HF1021 .E4

Environment & Planning A                                       Suzzallo  HT390 .E582

Environment & Planning D – Society and Space         Suzzallo  HM1 .E57

European Journal of Population                                Suzzallo  HB3581 .E875

Growth & Change                                                   Suzzallo  HT390 .G74

International Family Planning Perspectives                   Online for UW

International Journal of Urban & Regional Research    Suzzallo  HT166 .I619

International Migration Review                                  Suzzallo  JV6001 .A1 I55

Journal of Marketing Research                                   Foster   HF5415.2 .J6

Papers in Regional Science                                         Suzzallo  HT390 .R44

Population                                                               Suzzallo  312. O5 PR

Population & Development Review                           Suzzallo  HB848 .P62

Population & Environment                                       Suzzallo  HB848 .J68

Population Bulletin                                                   Suzzallo  HB881 .A1 P65

Population Index                                                     Suzzallo Reference  Z7164. D3 P83  and Online for UW

Population Research & Policy Review                        Suzzallo  HB848 .P65

Population Studies – A Journal of Demography         Suzzallo  HB848 .P66

Professional Geographer                                          Suzzallo  G3 .P76

The Journal of Regional Science                                 Suzzallo  H62 .J65

Urban Affairs Review                                               Suzzallo  HT101 .U67

Urban Geography                                                    Suzzallo  HT101 .U725

Urban Studies                                                          Arch. & Urban Planning   710.5 URS


Published Data and Reports are available from numerous sources, including the Internet.  More commonly used sources include the following:


            National Center for Health Statistics         Monthly Vital Statistics Report

            Population Reference Bureau                   Population Bulletin and World Population Data Sheet

            United Nations                                      Demographic Yearbook

            World Watch Institute                             World Watch Annual Reports

U.S. Bureau of the Census                       …detailed Census information, summary reports, survey data, subject reports, Statistical Abstract       


Remember: a great deal of data is available through the Center for Social Science Computation and Research (CSSCR), located in 145 Savery (basement).  Speak with the archivist, Grace Gu (145-B Savery).