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Perspectives on ‘Demography at the edge’
chapterposted on 16.07.2020, 00:00 by Dean Carson, PC Ensign, RO Rasmussen, A Taylor
The intent of this book is to examine the relationships between ‘remoteness’ and the demographic characteristics of populations who live in remote areas. It is concerned with the remote parts of developed nations, and so it faces the challenges of demographic research at the sub-national level. The grand theories of demography have been developed around observations of human populations at the national or supra-national scale. While propositions such as the demographic transitions are not universally accepted, they have proven very useful for researchers and policy makers concerned with the characteristics of relatively large populations (Burch 2003). Far less attention has been paid to formal or behavioural demography as it applies to smaller (particularly sub-national), more dynamic and more open populations (Swanson 2004). There are numerous studies about such populations, but they tend to be concerned with data quality issues, methods of data analysis and the production of localised descriptions of population characteristics (see, for example, Wilson and Bell 2004, Wilson and Rees 2005). Processes of industrialisation and post-industrialisation have effected how regional populations change and how they interact with one another (Pierson1998). A focus on migration, including models of rural-to-urban migration and counter-urbanisation (Bosworth 2008) has been a main feature of sub-national demography. Population changes have been interpreted in the light of theories of economic development such as the staples thesis and various core-periphery models (Barnes et al. 2001). Overall, however, there have been few attempts to synthesise knowledge about how sub-national populations work into general models, despite calls for attention to the issue over at least the past two decades (McNicoll 1992).