Distribution of Population

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 16, 2022, 9:41

The Distribution of Population, known as Population distribution, is a concept used to analyse and look at the pattern of where people live. Looking at the population distribution can help us observe the places with higher or lower densities of people and understand the various factors that lead to this dispersal. Due to various reasons, the population density around the world is quite uneven.

Distribution of Population Worldwide

Looking at the world's population concerning its habitable areas, we can observe several patterns when it comes to population distribution

  • The scale is highly uneven, with less than 10% of the population living in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Over 80% of the world lives in the area between 20 degrees and 60 degrees of the North Latitude.
  • Among the 195 countries present, about 60% per cent of the world lives in the ten most prominent countries in terms of population size.
  • Nearly three-quarters of the entire world resides in the continents of Asia and Africa alone.

To further understand these patterns, we must realise Population Density, a concept closely tied to population distribution.

Population Density is essentially the ratio between the number of people in the land to the size of the land they inhabit. The formula can represent it,

Density of Population = Population/Area

We use this concept to understand the distribution of population in numerical terms and to understand the limitations of the capabilities of land to support the people living in it.

To further investigate the distribution of population, let us look at the factors affecting the density of population-

1. Geographical Factors - Geographical and topographical conditions are often the most relevant factors to consider when studying population distribution. The most densely populated areas in the world, such as India, Bangladesh, eastern United States, etc., are usually characterised by favourable climates, abundant natural resources, etc. In contrast, areas (such as much of the Southern hemisphere) with hostile environments, sparse vegetation, and water, extreme temperatures, etc., are sparsely populated. The most important factors that are considered as part of geographical factors are-

  • Availability of Water
  • Landforms
  • Climate
  • Soils

2. Economic Factors- More recently, various economic factors such as wealth, employment opportunities, and modern facilities like education, health, etc., have played a significant influence on the movement of people. People tend to gravitate to places with greater chances for high standards of living for themselves, which is why cities are often the most densely populated places in the world. Urbanisation and Industrialisation play a significant role in determining population density.

3. Social and Cultural Factors- Some places with great cultural or religious significance can attract large numbers of people. People also tend to move away from areas with social or political unrest.

The Distribution of population is a concept closely tied with population density. It is a significant area of study that gives information and clarity about why people live in the places they do and the various factors that influence this phenomenon.

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FAQs on Distribution of Population

Q 1. How is the global population distributed?

Ans. The global population is divided on an uneven scale, with more than 80% of the population living on the northern side of the hemisphere.

Q 2. What is Population Density?

Ans. Population Density is the ratio between the number of people in the land to the land area.

Q 3. What are the factors that affect the distribution of population?

Ans. There are Geographical factors, economic factors, and socio-cultural factors.

Q 4. Which is the most densely populated city in the world?

Ans. Dhaka's city in Bangladesh has a density of 44,000 people per square kilometre.