Chapter : 2

What Are Population ?

Patterns Of Population Distribution

The term “population distribution” refers to how people are distributed on the earth’s surface. 90% of the world’s population resides in around 10% of its land area, indicating that population is not fairly distributed.
The world’s ten most populated countries account for over 60% of the world’s population. Six of the ten nations are found in Asia.

Population Density

It is defined as the ratio of the number of individuals to the total area of the land. It’s expressed as a population density per square kilometre. Some areas are densely populated like North-Eastern USA, North-Western Europe, South, South-West and East Asia. Some regions are sparsely populated, such as near the poles and heavy rainfall zones around the equator. In contrast, others, such as Western China, Southern India, Norway, and Sweden, have a medium population density.

Factors Influencing Population Distribution

Geographical Factors

Landforms, fertile soil, a good temperature for farming, and the availability of an appropriate amount of freshwater are some of the geographical elements that influence population distribution. The following are some geographical aspects to consider:

  • Land Forms: People prefer flat Plains and gentle slopes because these are favourable for crop production and building roads and industries.
  • Climate: People prefer climates that have less seasonal volatility.
  • Soil: More people live in soil areas with fertile loamy soil because they can sustain intensive agriculture.
  • Water: People like to live in regions with plenty of freshwaters. It is the most crucial aspect of existence.

Economic Factors

There is a significant concentration of population in places with job prospects, such as mineral-rich areas, industrial units, and metropolitan centres. The following are some economic factors:

  • Mineral: This resources attract industries, and mining and industrial activity provide jobs.
  • Urbanisation: People are drawn to cities by good civic facilities and the excitement of city life.
  • Social and Cultural Factors: Places with religious importance and cultural significance are also very densely populated.

Population Growth

This refers to the change in the number of people living in a region during a certain period of time. The term  “growth rate of the population” refers to the percentage change in population over time. Natural population growth is defined as an increase in population resulting from the difference between births and deaths. There is also Positive Population Growth, which occurs when the birth rate exceeds the death rate, and Negative Population Growth, which occurs when the birth rate falls below the death rate.

Components of Population Change

There are three components of population change, i.e., births, deaths and migration.

  • Crude Birth Rate (CBR)

The number of births per year per thousand of the population is expressed as the Crude Birth Rate (CBR).

  • Crude Death Rate (CDR)

The number of deaths in a year per thousand of the population is expressed as Crude Death Rate (CDR).

Migration

It is the movement of people across regions on a permanent, temporary or seasonal basis. The place they move to is called the place of origin, and the place they move to is called the place of destination.

Push And Pull Factors Of Migration

The Push factors make the place of origin appear less desirable for causes like u nemployment, bad living circumstances, political unrest, disagreeable climate, natural catastrophes, diseases, and socio-economic backwardness. For reasons like as better career possibilities and living conditions, peace and stability, security of life and property, and a good environment, the Pull factors make the place of destination appear more appealing than the place of origin.

According to trends, population growth was first slow, but following advances in science and technology, there was a massive increase in population, referred to as a population explosion. The world’s population was 8 million between 8000 and 12000 years ago, and it has since risen to 7 billion. Every 12 years, a billion people are added to the world’s population. Death rates have been lowered due to increased agricultural and industrial productivity, vaccination against diseases, and improvements in medical services.

  • Doubling Time of World Population: In comparison to developing countries, developed countries take longer to double their population. Population growth rates are high in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Liberia, and Yemen, but low in Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Germany, and other countries.
  • Spatial Pattern of Population Change: The global population growth rate is 1.4 percent, with the highest (2.6 percent) rate in Africa and the lowest (0.0 percent) in Europe. As a result, even a small yearly rate applied to a big population will result in a significant population shift. Economic progress and population expansion
    have a negative relationship.
  • Impact of Population Change: Population growth causes issues such as natural resource depletion, unemployment, and scarcity. A population decline means that resources are insufficient to support the population.

Demographic Transition Theory

This theory looks at how a region’s population changes when it transitions from high births and deaths to low births and deaths. This occurs when society evolves from rural agricultural and illiterate to urban, industrial, and literate.

  • First Stage: High fertility and a high mortality rate characterise this stage, as humans reproduce more to compensate for fatalities caused by diseases and unstable food supplies. The majority of the population is impoverished, illiterate, and works in agriculture. The average lifespan is short, and population growth is
    modest.
  • Second Stage: As technology advances, other medical, health, and sanitation services improve, and the death rate decreases. However, the fertility and birth rates remain high, resulting in a massive increase in population. Because of the large difference between birth and mortality rates, the population is rapidly
    growing.
  • Third Stage: The birth and mortality rates are both decreasing, and the population is stabilising. People become more literate, urbanised, and in control of their family size. There is also good technological judiciousness.

Population Control Measures

The spacing and prevention of children’s births are referred to as family planning. According to Thomas Malthus’ (1793) thesis, population growth outpaces food supply, resulting in hunger, illness, and conflict. As a result, it is critical to maintaining population control. It is accomplished through strategies such as family planning
knowledge, free contraception availability, tax disincentives, and active propaganda.