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Call for Papers
Call for Papers: Quetelet Journal, "Demographic Change along the Rural-Urban Gradient"
Call for Papers: Call for Papers: Quetelet Journal, "Demographic Change along the Rural-Urban Gradient"

Beyond the urban-rural dichotomy, differences in demographic behaviour over a range of urbanicity needs to be addressed. The open access Quetelet Journal ( calls for papers around the following topics:

Gradient of urbanicity in demographic research

The terms “rural” and “urban” are crude measures of settlement types, and there is actually no universal definition of what is considered urban. Going beyond the urban-rural dichotomy is an important step in addressing this. Indeed, much of the population in the world live in semi-urban, or peripheral settlements, suggesting that a continuum of urbanicity is much more relevant. The following issues may be addressed:

  1. New technologies in defining urbanicity and how they help with population estimates (including satellite and geocoded Big Data)
  2. Numerous categories of urbanicity – contributions and constraints to demographic research
  3. Demography of “in-between” settlements
  4. The role of the urban/rural gradient in demographic theories and in population policies

Diffusion of behaviours across rural & urban sectors

The urban sector is often considered to lead the first demographic transition. Mortality and fertility would decline first in the urban sector. Is this pattern really universal? In addition, while the second demographic transition follows spatial patterns, there is no univocal evidence of urban and rural variance in features of the second transition such as non-marital cohabitation or single parent households. Papers related to the diffusion of behaviour across the rural-urban gradient are encouraged, with special attention to the following:

  1. Contemporary and historic fertility decline
  2. Contemporary and historic mortality decline
  3. Changes in gender, family composition and living arrangements

Migration and circulation within countries

Internal migration is more common than international migration, yet intra-country movements of populations is often left out of the limelight. People may move between regions within countries, between rural and urban sectors or within rural areas and within urban areas. Some may opt to live in one area and to work in another. Little research addresses these mobility patterns, and especially how they determine rural and urban populations’ characteristics and behaviours. How are these internal movements measured? How would mobility and circulation affect demographic estimations? Contributions focusing on the following themes are encouraged:

  1. Cyclic and seasonal migration
  2. Satellite towns
  3. Circulation decisions over the life course
  4. Urban-Rural, Rural-rural and urban-urban migration

Urbanisation, economic inequalities and ecology

Urbanisation is often associated with economic progress, accompanied by industrialisation and complex economies, as well as mass education and democratisation. Yet this relationship has also been challenged, taking into account the worsening inequalities and risks to the environment. Does urbanisation necessarily go hand-in-hand with economic growth? What are the advantages of urbanisation for sustainable development? Papers addressing these questions are welcome.

  1. The environment along the rural-urban gradient
  2. The rural-urban gradient in relation to poverty and inequalities: spatial and historical approach

The "Revue Quetelet/Quetelet Journal" (RQJ) is a bilingual thematic journal (English and French) of the Center for demographic research - Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), in Belgium. RQJ accepts original contributions that follow the usual format of empirical papers but also papers that have unusual formats: theoretical literature review, methodological papers, advocacy for heterodox or controversial ideas, negative results, replication of previously published results, descriptive results on new data, unusual datasets, mixed-methods, etc. During the reviewing process, the emphasis will be on the scientific rigour and not on the direction of results found by the authors, in the spirit of “non-result review”.

Interested in submitting to this journal? We recommend that you review the About the Journal page for the journal's section policies, as well as the Author Guidelines. Authors need to register with the journal prior to submitting or, if already registered, can simply log in and begin the five-step process. The Quetelet Journal is an open access journal that has no author-side Article Processing Charge (APC) or submission-related charge.