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Articles in Population Geography

Urbanization, Economic Productivity, and the Industrial Revolution

By Martin W. Lewis | August 23, 2022 |

Non-urban areas can be very economically productive, especially if they have relatively high population density, good transportation networks, and proximity to larger markets. Britain’s industrial revolution itself began in rural landscapes. Although maps of the industrial revolution usually emphasize coal and iron ore deposits, industrialization was originally dependent on hydropower, which requires abundant precipitation and significant drops in elevation.

Hispanic Vs. Non-Hispanic White Life Expectancy in Texas

By Martin W. Lewis | August 19, 2022 |

In Texas, Hispanics can be expected to outlive non-Hispanic whites by 2.8 years. The gap between the two groups, however, varies widely by county, as can be seen in the map posted here (derived from this data source). The patterns are clear, and intriguing.

Demographic Patterns in Montana (and the Rest of the United States)

By Martin W. Lewis | August 8, 2022 |

This penultimate post on county-level maps of Montana and the rest of the United States examines some basic demographic patterns. We begin with sex ratio, as measured by males per females in the population. The national map shows some clear patterns, but they are not always easy to interpret. Sex ratios are high (more males than females) in the interior …

The Geography of Health and Longevity in Montana (and the Rest of the U.S.)

By Martin W. Lewis | August 7, 2022 |

Although life expectancy tends to correlate with income, the correlation collapses in many of these areas. Hidalgo County, Texas is over 91 percent Hispanic and has a per capita income of only was $12,130, making it “one of the poorest counties in the United States,” but it ranks in the highest category on this map.

The Cost of Housing and Essential-Worker Relocation in Booming Southwestern Montana

By Martin W. Lewis | August 1, 2022 |

But will such cities as Anaconda and Helena retain their affordability?  Footloose and often well-compensated Zoom workers also find them attractive. And prices are increasing.

What Is a Zoom Town?

By Martin W. Lewis | July 30, 2022 |

Bozeman, Montana is often described as a quintessential “Zoom town,” a city or small town that has experienced explosive growth owing to the relocation of remote workers since the beginning of the Covid pandemic. Bozeman is certainly booming, and many of its new residents do work remotely, usually through Zoom. But how widespread is this phenomenon, and where might other …

Montana Population Change in Comparative Context

By Martin W. Lewis | July 28, 2022 |

Recent posts have emphasized population decline in the Great Plains of eastern Montana. Comparative analysis shows, however, that eastern Montana has fared better than most other parts of the region. Almost every county in western Nebraska, for example, experienced population decline from 2010 to 2020.

Montana’s Changing Population Geography

By Martin W. Lewis | July 27, 2022 |

Montana has experienced several demographic cycles, each marked by different geographical patterns. Geographer William Wyckoff has extensively documented these changes.

Recent Population Growth — and Decline — in Montana

By Martin W. Lewis | July 24, 2022 |

. Although most Montana countries grew sharply during this time of COVID, the Northern Great Plains continued in its seemingly inexorable decline. All of Montana’s larger cities, except Great Fall, saw rapid growth. So did Ravalli County in the scenic Bitterroot Valley, a zone of high rural population density (by Montana standards). Also of note is the growth rate of Flathead County in the northwest surpassing that of Gallatin County (which includes Bozeman) in the south-center.

Are Small Towns Really Urban Places? Eastern Montana According to the U.S. Census Bureau

By Martin W. Lewis | July 14, 2022 |

In 1910, when the urbanization rate in the United States stood at only 45.6 percent (with Montana recording 35.5 percent), it made sense to classify small towns as urban places. It no longer does. Depicting Dawson County now as “mostly urban” is misleading, based on an antiquated classification system. 

Total Fertility Rates by Country, 1950 and 2015

By Martin W. Lewis | February 29, 2016 | 6 Comments

It is quite significant that extremely high fertility figures are now mostly confined to tropical Africa, with only a few exceptions (such as Afghanistan and East Timor).

Population History, Population Density, and Cultural Values in the Philippines

By Martin W. Lewis | February 3, 2016 | One Comment

Owing to this long history of internal migration, the population distribution of the Philippines has become somewhat more even. Mindanao is no longer a frontier zone, and is now moderately populated by Philippine standards

Mapping Crime and Substance Abuse in Russia

By Asya Pereltsvaig | January 20, 2016 | 2 Comments

In the previous post, I examined regional differences in demographic issues across Russia. As many sources note, alcoholism is one of the biggest factors contributing to low life expectancy and high rate of death from non-natural causes. In fact, Russia ranks at the top in terms of both alcohol consumption (especially by men), as discussed in detail in my earlier …

Mapping Russia’s Demographic Problems

By Asya Pereltsvaig | January 18, 2016 | 12 Comments

[Note to readers: customizable maps of Russia are now available in Russian here.]
Much has been written about Russia’s demographic problems, particularly in the 1990s and 2000s. The country as a whole is characterized by low birth rates and high abortion rates; high death rates, especially from non-natural causes; rather low life expectancy, especially for men; and skewed sex ratios. This …

Mapping Regional Differences in Economic and Social Development in Russia—A GeoCurrents Mini-Atlas

By Asya Pereltsvaig | January 14, 2016 | 13 Comments

Generalized indicators of economic and social/human development, such as GDP per capita or HDI, typically place Russia into a medium-high category. However, such ratings overlook regional differences in economic and social development, which are highly pronounced in Russia. To examine these regional patterns, GeoCurrents has created a mini-atlas of Russia, designed using GeoCurrents customizable maps, which are available for free …

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