Unit 6: Population Distribution Growth World Geo 3200/3202 May 2011.

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6.1: Population Distribution: Population Density & Global Patterns


Unit 6: Population Distribution & Growth World Geo 3200/3202 May 2011 Unit Overview This unit draws students attention to the importance of population studies. The distribution of people over the earths surface reflects the characteristics (e.g., climate, physical features, ecosystems) of different regions. As well, population growth and structures are related to the level of economic development of a country or region. 6.1: Population Distribution: Population Density & Global Patterns Outcomes define the terms population density, densely populated, and sparsely populated; (k) explain why population density is not always an accurate indicator of population distribution; (k) examine patterns in the distribution of population on the earths surface; (a) analyze the impact of selected factors on the population distribution of a given region. (a) Important Terminology Population density is a measure of how compact or concentrated a population is. It takes are of land into account as well as population. Population Density = population per unit area (unit area is usually measured in Km or miles) Important Terminology Sparsely populated = small number of people per unit area ( less than 100 people / Km) Densely Populated = high number of people per unit area (higher than 100 people / Km ) Important Terminology It is important to note that these two classifications and the numeric cut off of 100 people / Km are somewhat arbitrary. Some books use a middle category moderately people / Km For example Canada as a whole has a much larger population than St. John's alone. However Canada is spread out over a much larger area than is St. John's. Therefore, St. John's would have a higher population density than Canada. Global Patterns North America: Sparsely populated in north, Densely populated along North eastern U.S. and south western U.S. Global Patterns South America: Sparsely populated in Center, Densely populated along Western Coast But most dense south Eastern Brazil Global Patterns Europe: Sparsely populated in Extreme North, Densely populated throughout remainder Global Patterns Asia: Sparsely populated in North & center, Densely populated in South East Global Patterns Africa: Sparsely populated in Sahara, Densely in North & Sub Sahara Factors Affecting Density & Distribution Climate: Warmer comfortable climates attract people. Notice that most people live in a moderate climate region. Factors Affecting Density & Distribution Economics: Population distribution has changed over time. No longer are dense populations around primary resources. Urbanization and the move to the industrial and now the information ages have changed population distribution. Factors Affecting Density & Distribution Transportation: Coastal regions attracted business and people because of ocean transportation. It was true for initial settlement and is still true today. Most major cities are located on the coast.


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