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   Course Title    Population Geography
Lecturer    Bresena Dema
Institution    University of Shkodra
Country    Albania


Students should:

  • Understand and be able to identify and to evaluate the causes and the consequences of the geo-demographic changes and development.

  • Develop the capacity to think creatively and independently about the problems linked to population dynamics.

  • Make a description of the reasons why different countries have different population development

  • Be able to analyze the different maps and graphics of population changes

  • Be able to give conclusions about different population patterns by analyzing the population data.



Students should:

  • Recognize and explain the role of the physical and non-physical factors in the population distribution.
  • Identify the problems linked to population growth and analyze the theories about it and their validity.
  • Measure fertility and mortality rates and interpret the result, bearing in mind the situation of the corresponding country or region.
  • Construct an age-sex pyramid and give conclusions about the population dynamic by annualizing it.
  • Recognize and be able to identify the reasons for and results of different kinds of migration.
  • Analyze the different population policies by giving the causes and results.
  • Recognize the environmental problems linked with the environment and be able to express their opinion about possible solutions.



This course is part of the Human Geography Branch in the Department of Geography. It is taught during the second semester of the second year of study for the students. In the first semester the students are acquainted with the Elements of Human Geography in general and after that Population Geography is the first detailed subject of this field. The students should learn this kind of subject because they will need it in the third year of study for Regional Geography. In this course they learn about the laws of population geography in general with examples from different countries from all over the world, while in their third year of study they will use their knowledge in this field to determine the population situation in specific countries (within the Regional Geography of the World). During their fourth year of study they will use them for the subject of Regional Geography of Albania. So they will practice more what they have learned during the Population Geography Course.



There will be, in general, two kind of methods used: Mass Instruction for the lectures and Group Instruction for the seminars.

Mass instruction will be used for the lectures because there is a large group of learners, about 70 and the students are almost homogenous. This is a good method because the course content contains a large amount of world population data and the teacher is the primary resource of information.

Group instruction will be used in the seminars. The students are divided into three groups, 23 students for each. This kind of subject is very large and always a practical one, so the students are in contact with different kinds of useful information taken from the TV, magazines, newspapers, media in general and Internet. The small group discussions will allow the teacher and the students to introduce ideas, issues, tasks and problems, and the teacher will guide the discussion through a series of questions to reach the needed conclusion.



1st week

Lecture: An introduction to Population Geography

The field of its study

The roots of Population Geography

Modern Population Geography


Seminar: Free discussion on what students know about Human and Physical Geography and the place of Population Geography in the Geographical Sciences.

2nd week

Lecture: Population Distribution and Density (1)

Physical factors and Population Distribution

(accessibility, relief and soil fertility, climate and weather, natural vegetation and animal life, water supplies, mineral and energy resources )


Seminar: Comments on the distribution and density of population shown in the Distribution of the World Population Map with regard to their relationship with their natural environments.

3rd week

Lecture: Population Distribution and Density (2)

Non-Physical factors and Population Distribution

(culture and tradition, economic preference, religion and social beliefs, political forces)


Seminar: Discussion with examples from different countries about the human factors that have determined proper distribution.

4th week

Lecture: Population Distribution and Density (3)

Aspects of density- ecumene, non-ecumene

Measurement of population density (over population, under population, optimum population)

The dense regions (China, India, Japan, Java, West Europe, Great Britain, North-West America, Egypt)


Seminar: Exercises to measure density population, to show in the world map the boundary between ecumene and non-ecumene and to analyze the dense regions.

5th week

Lecture: Theories about population growth (1)

Romans and ancient Greeks and their thoughts about population growth

The Middle Ages and the problem of Population Growth


Seminar: Discussion on the thinking on population in ancient and mediaeval times in relationship with the historical situation.

6th week

Lecture: Theories about population growth (2)

Thomas Malthus and his "Essay on the principle of population"

The Modern Malthusianism


Seminar: Discussion on the problems that Malthus foresaw 200 years ago: food supply, space, employment, health.

7th week

Lecture: Theories about population growth (3)

Contemporary theories about population growth

Demographic Transition Theory

Biological Theory

Sociological Theory

Optimum Theory

Mathematics Theory


Seminar: Discussion on the contemporary theories, especially on the demographic transition theory and on the demographic transition model.

8th week

Lecture: The Population Dynamic (1)

Fertility Patterns

Measures of fertility

Fertility decline theory

Differential fertility

Spatial analyses

Fertility in developed and less developed countries


Seminar: Exercises on the measures of fertility (Crude birth rate, general fertility rate, child-woman ratio, age-specific birth rate, standardized death rate) Discussion on the patterns of fertility in different countries.

9th week

Lecture: The Population Dynamic (2)


Measures of mortality

Data quality

Mortality and development

Spatial patterns

Mortality in developed and less developed countries


Seminar: Exercises on the measures of mortality (Crude death rate, age-and sex- specific death rates, expectation of life at birth, infant mortality rate) Discussion on the patterns of mortality in different countries.

10th week

Lecture: Population Composition

Demographic patterns: Age Structure, Sex Structure

Socio-political Patterns: Religion, Language, Nationality

Economic Patterns: Occupational Structure, Unemployment

Composition and demographic change

Seminar: Construction of an age-sex pyramid for different countries and comments on their shape, bearing in mind the economic and geographical characteristics of these countries and their histories.

11th week

Lecture: Population movement (1)

The Analysis of migration

Classification of migration

Reasons for migration

Theories of migration

Results of migration


Seminar: Analyses of the flow-line map of the world that shows the population movements. Examination of the world pattern of 20th century migration and discussion on the consequences of these movements.

12th week

Lecture: Population movement (2)

Internal migration


Rural to urban movements in developed and less developed countries

The political economy perspective: the way forward


Seminar: Discussion on the internal migration in East and West countries during the years: 1945-1990

13th week

Lecture: Population movement (3)

International migration


Forced migration and refugees

Modern permanent-settlement immigration

Theoretical overviews


Seminar: Discussion on international migration after 1990, especially on Eastern European countries. Essay: "The population movement in Albania from 1945 up to now"

14th week

Lecture: Population policies

Pro-natalist policies

Anti-natalist policies

Population redistribution in developed countries

Population redistribution in less developed countries


Seminar: Discussion on the different population policies in developed and less developed countries, reasons for and results of such policies.

15th week

Lecture: Population and the environment

Assessing population impact on environment


Environmental problems within cities

Environmental impacts outside cities


Seminar: Discussion on the topic: "Is city-population growth the root of city environmental problems? "



A. Mandatory

Jones H. "Population Geography", London 1990

Misja, V.Vejsiu, Y.Berxholi, A. "Popullsia e Shqiperise" (The population of Albania )

Prof.As.Dr Draēi B. Prof.As.Dr. Doka Dh. Prof.As.Dr.Yzeiri E. "Bazat e Gjeografisė Ekonomike dhe Humane"(The basics of Economic and Human Geography), Tiranė 2001

Whynne-Hammond Ch. "Elements of Human Geography, Second Edition"

Projeksionet e popullsisė sė Shqipėrisė 1995-2010, INSTAT UNFPA (The projection of the population of Albania 1995-2010), Tiranė 1996

"Spatial Distribution", Demography, Volume 35, November 1998

B. Recommended

Sula, B. "Shkodra ne veshtrimin e saj demografik",(Shkodra in the demographic view) "Shkodra ne shekuj" vell II, Seminari II.

Konferenca Ndėrkombėtare mbi popullsinė dhe zhvillimin, UNFPA (National Conference on the population and development), Tiranė 2001

Gjonēa A. "Proēeset migruese nė vitet ’90-tė"(The migrative proceses during the 90’s), "Ekonomia dhe tranzicioni", Tiranė 2000

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