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Truncated lognormal distributions and scaling in the size of naturally defined population clusters

Corral, A; Udina, F; Arcaute, E; (2020) Truncated lognormal distributions and scaling in the size of naturally defined population clusters. Physical Review E , 101 (4) , Article 042312. 10.1103/PhysRevE.101.042312. Green open access

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Abstract

Using population data of high spatial resolution for a region in the south of Europe, we define cities by aggregating individuals to form connected clusters. The resulting cluster-population distributions show a smooth decreasing behavior covering six orders of magnitude. We perform a detailed study of the distributions, using state-of-the-art statistical tools. By means of scaling analysis we rule out the existence of a power-law regime in the low-population range. The logarithmic-coefficient-of-variation test allows us to establish that the power-law tail for high population, characteristic of Zipf’s law, has a rather limited range of applicability. Instead, lognormal fits describe the population distributions in a range covering from a few dozen individuals to more than 1 × 106 (which corresponds to the population of the largest cluster).

Type: Article
Title: Truncated lognormal distributions and scaling in the size of naturally defined population clusters
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.101.042312
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.101.042312
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10110108
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