Influence of sociodemographic characteristics on human mobility

Maxime Lenormand1, Thomas Louail2,3, Oliva García Cantú4, Miguel Picornell4, Ricardo Herranz4, Juan Murillo Arias5, Marc Barthélemy2,6, Maxi San Miguel1 and José J. Ramasco1

1Instituto de Física Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos IFISC (CSIC-UIB), Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
2Institut de Physique Théorique, CEA-CNRS (URA 2306), F-91191, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
3Gégraphie-Cités, CNRS-Paris 1-Paris 7 (UMR 8504), 13 rue du four, FR-75006 Paris, France.
4Nommon Solutions and Technologies, calle Cañas 8, 28043 Madrid, Spain.
5 BBVA Data & Analytics, Avenida de Burgos 16D, 28036 Madrid, Spain.
6Centre d'Analyse et de Mathématique Sociales, EHESS-CNRS (UMR 8557), 190-198 avenue de France, FR-75013 Paris, France.

(May 2015)

Human mobility has been traditionally studied using surveys that deliver snapshots of population displacement patterns. The growing accessibility to ICT information from portable digital media has recently opened the possibility of exploring human behavior at high spatio-temporal resolutions. Mobile phone records, geolocated tweets, check-ins from Foursquare or geotagged photos, have contributed to this purpose at different scales, from cities to countries, in different world areas. Many previous works lacked, however, details on the individuals’ attributes such as age or gender. In this work, we analyze credit-card records from Barcelona and Madrid and by examining the geolocated credit-card transactions of individuals living in the two provinces, we find that the mobility patterns vary according to gender, age and occupation. Differences in distance traveled and travel purpose are observed between younger and older people, but, curiously, either between males and females of similar age. While mobility displays some generic features, here we show that sociodemographic characteristics play a relevant role and must be taken into account for mobility and epidemiological modelization.