Human Resources

Distribution Of Population

(REF: NCERT Textbook)

Density Of Population: The number of people living in a unit area is called density of population. It is usually expressed as number of persons per square km. The average population density of the world is 51 persons per square km. South Central Asia have the highest population density; followed by East and South East Asia. The population density in India is 382 persons per square km.


Geographical Factors

Topography: A larger number of people live in the plains than in the mountains or plateaus. Plains are suitable for farming, manufacturing and most of the other activities. The Ganges plains are the most densely populated area of the world.

Climate: People prefer to live in moderate climates and avoid extreme climates. Hence, less number of people lives in the Sahara Desert and in the polar regions of Russia, Canada.

Soil: Fertile plains of the Ganges and Brahmaputra (India), Hwang-he, Chang Jiang (China) and the Nile (Egypt) are the areas with a high population density.

Water: Water is essential for survival of people and hence, more people live in the river valleys than in the deserts.

Minerals: Areas with mineral deposits attract people because of potential of economic development.

Social, Cultural and Economic Factors

Social: Areas with better housing, education and health facilities are more densely populated. Pune, Bangalore and Delhi are the cities which attract people because of better facilities.

Cultural: Places with religion or cultural significance always attract people. Due to this, Varanasi, Jerusalem and Vatican City are densely populated.

Economic: Industrial areas give lot of opportunities to people. Mumbai’s population grew because of this reason. In recent years, areas around Delhi have attracted a large number of migrants from across the country; because of industrial development.


Until the 1800s, the world’s population grew at a slow and steady pace. The birth rate and death rate were very high during this period. There were no proper health facilities. Agricultural production was low and hence food availability was a problem.

The world’s population reached one billion in 1804. Within 150 years after that, the world’s population reached 3 billion in 1959. This is usually referred to as the population explosion.

40 years after that, the world’s population doubled and became 6 billon in 1999. This could happen because of better food supplies, health facilities. Death rate reduced and birth rate remained fairly high during this period.

Birth Rate: The number of live births per 1,000 people is called birth rate.

Death Rate: The number of deaths per 1,000 people is called death rate.

When the death rate is more than the birth rate, it will lead to de-growth in population. When the birth rate is equal to death rate, there will be no growth in population. When the birth rate is higher than death rate, it will lead to growth in population. The difference between birth rate and death rate is called natural growth rate of population.

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