Chapter 2. The World Population Distribution, Density And Growth

Overview
• The world at beginning of 21st century recorded presence of over 6 billion people.
• The population of world is unevenly distributed. The remark of George B. Cressey about population of Asia is that ‘Asia has many places where people are few and few places where people are very many’ is true about pattern of population distribution of world also.

Patterns of Population Distribution
• The demographic features of any location can be better understood by looking at patterns of population distribution and density.
• The term ‘population distribution’ refers to ‘how people are distributed across earth’s surface.’
• 90% of world’s population lives in 10% of its land area. 10 countries in world contribute 60% of world’s population.
• Six of ten most populous nations are in Asia (China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Russia, & Indonesia), followed by Japan, Brazil, & United States.

Density of Population
• To understand ratio between numbers of people to size of land, this ratio is density of population. It is generally measured in person per sq km. Density of population = Population Area
High density areas of World: (more than 200 person/sq km) North eastern part of USA, North western part of Europe, south, southeast & East Asia.
Medium density areas of World: (11-50 person/sq km) Western China, Southern India in Asia, Norway, Sweden (Europe).
Low density areas of World: (1 person/sq km) North and South poles, hot & cold deserts and high rainfall zones near Equator.

Factors Influencing The Distribution Of Population Geographical Factors
Availability of water: People live in areas where fresh water is readily accessible for drinking, bathing, & cooking, as well as for livestock, crops, industries, and navigation. The valleys of rivers are densely inhabited.
Landforms: People choose level plains and moderate hills to live on. Because certain locations, like as Ganga plains, are conducive to crop cultivation and construction of highways and industry. Mountainous and steep regions, such as Himalayan region, are less inhabited due to lack of transportation, agricultural, and industrial development.
Climate: Areas with abundant rainfall or severe and harsh temperatures, such as Mediterranean, have a low population. People want to live in areas with a pleasant climate and little seasonal change.
Soil: Fertile soil is essential for agricultural and related operations. As a result, locations with fertile loamy soils are densely populated. For instance, consider India’s northern plains.

Economic Factors
Minerals: Mineral-rich areas attract industries and, as a result, create jobs. Workers, both skilled and semiskilled, flock to these locations, making them heavily inhabited. Example Katanga Zambia’s copper belt located in Africa.
Urbanization: Cities provide greater job possibilities, educational and medical facilities, improved transportation and communication, and superior civic amenities, all of which attract more people.
Industrialization: Industrial belts attract a huge number of people by providing work possibilities. Example- The Japanese area of Kobe-Osaka.

Social and Cultural Factors
• Enhance number of people who come because of religious and cultural relevance.
• People flee locations when there is political and social instability.
• Governments sometimes provide incentives for individuals to reside in sparsely populated areas or to relocate away from congested ones.

Population Growth
• Changes in number of people living in a certain region throughout time.
• Change may be both beneficial and detrimental.
• It can be expressed as a percentage or in absolute amounts.
• Population change is a reflection of region’s economic prosperity, social progress, and historical and cultural background.

Components of population change
Crude Birth Rate (CBR): Number of live births in a year per thousand of women population. Crude birth rate, CBR = Bi P
´ 1000 where, Bi – Live Births during year P – Mid year Population of area.
Crude Death Rate (CDR): Number of deaths in a particular year per thousand of population. Crude birth rate, CDR = ´ D P
1000 where, D – number of deaths P – Mid year Population of that year
• By and large mortality rates are affected by region’s demographic structure, social advancement and levels of its economic development.

Migration
• The place from which individuals migrate is called Place of Origin, and place to which they go is called Place of Destination.
• The population of place of origin is decreasing, while population of destination is increasing. Migration can be viewed as a natural attempt to attain a better population-resource balance.
• Migration may be permanent, temporary or seasonal. It may take place from rural to rural areas, rural to urban areas, urban to urban areas and urban to rural areas.
Immigration: Migrants who move into a new place are known as Immigrants.
Emigration: Migrants who move out of a place are known as Emigrants.
• Unemployment, bad living circumstances, political unrest, terrible weather, natural catastrophes, diseases, & socioeconomic backwardness are all push factors for migration.
• Better career possibilities and living circumstances, peace & stability, life & property security, and a lovely environment are all pulling factors for migration.

Trends in Population Growth
• The population of Earth exceeds 6 billion people.
• The population peaked at 8 million people around 8,000 to 12,000 years ago, with development and adoption of agriculture.
• It was less than 300 million in first century A.D.
• The rate of population growth accelerated in 16th and 17 th centuries as international trade expanded.
• The world population was 550 million in 1750, at start of Industrial Revolution.

Doubling Time of World Population
• The human population reached one billion people after more than a million years.
• However, it only took 12 years for it to expand from 5 to 6 billion people. Developed nations, on other hand, are taking longer to double their population than developing ones.
• Yemen, Liberia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Oman are examples of emerging nations with high population growth rates.

Spatial Patterns of Population Change
• Change in annual population rate from 1.6 percent in 1990-95 to 1.4 percent in 2004-05.
• This is owing to fact that when a tiny yearly rate is applied to a big population, a huge population change occurs.
• Another major cause is rise in infant mortality and number of women dying during/after delivery.

Impact of Population Change
• In a growing economy, a minimal rise in population is beneficial. However, population increase that exceeds a particular threshold causes issues.
• The most significant of them is depletion of resources. It’s a cause for concern because population is dwindling. It means that resources that once sustained a population are now insufficient to keep population going.
• The deadly HIV/AIDS epidemics in Africa and some parts of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Asia have pushed up death rates and reduced average life expectancy. This has slowed down population growth.

Demographic Transition
• This theory is used to describe and predict future population of any area. As civilization advances from rural agricultural and illiterate to urban industrial and literate society, population of any region varies from high births and high deaths to low births and low deaths.
Three stages in demographic transition theory:
1. First stage: High fertility and mortality; because people reproduce more to compensate for deaths caused by epidemics and erratic food supplies. Most of people are engaged in agricultural activities where large families is an asset . However lack of literacy and adequate techno-medical advancement leads to high mortality rate.
2. Second stage: Fertility stays high but reduces over time as sanitation and health conditions improve; mortality decreases as sanitation and health conditions improve.
3. Third stage: Fertility and mortality are both declining. The population grows more urbanised, literate, & technologically skilled, and family size is consciously limited.

Population Control Measure
• The spacing or prevention of children’s births is referred to as family planning. Family planning services are an important part of reducing population increase and enhancing women’s health. Propaganda, free contraception, and financial breaks for big families are just a few of techniques that can aid population control.
• In his theory (1798), Thomas Malthus predicted that population would grow faster than food supply. Famine, illness, & conflict would wreak havoc on people if population grew any further. Physical checks are preferable to preventative checks. The globe will have to curb tremendous population growth if our resources are to be sustained.

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