Geographia Polonica (1988) vol. 54

Age patterns and model migration schedules in Poland

Alina Potrykowska

Geographia Polonica (1988) vol. 54, pp. 63-81 | Full text

In the past years, studies on human spatial mobility has benefited from the greater availablity of aggregate data. Research on mobility has been broadly concerned with the estimation of migration flows, the identification of migration propensities by age, sex and other characteristics, and with explanation migration by economic and social determinants. This approach has yielded useful results, but it has also raised some new questions. One of the most important regularities observed in human migration is its relationship to age. This may be attributed to the relationship of age to other characteristics of migrants and to other aspects of the family life-cycle and work (Courgeau 1985, p. 139). As statistical schedules of the general structures of population according to the rates of age-specific fertility or mortality demonstrate, that remarkably persistent regularities are characteristic of most human populations. In demographic terminology they are known as hypothetical model schedules. Contrary to well-deve-loped model schedules applied in analyses of fertility and mortality, similar techniques have not yet been applied in migration studies. A. Rogers and L. Castro (1981, 1985) have used those techniques, borrowing them from analyses of fertility and mortality, and applying in their most recent studies, to the modelling of migration schedules. The authors use the notion of a multi-regional model and concentrate upon the development of families of schedules according to age. Model migration schedules have been applied in a number of countries (Rogers and Castro 1985). Model migration schedules may be used to graduate observed migration data to derive summary measures for comparative analysis. They may also be used for interpretation with respect to age intervals of observed migration, to assess the reliability of empirical migration data, and to resolve problems caused by incomplete data (Drewe 1985). However, this question requires a detailed analysis and an assessment of the complexity of migration and the various forms of interdependence and possibilities for applying those models. In the light of the above remarks, it seems advisable to apply synthetic models of hypothetical migration schedules in Polish conditions on the basis of available stasistical data. In Poland, model migration schedules were primarily used to assess the temporal stability of age-and sex-specific migration (Potrykowska 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986).

Alina Potrykowska, Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakowskie Przedmieście 30, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland