Population Distribution – UPSC GS1

The term population distribution refers to the way people are spaced over the earth’s surface. Broadly, 90 per cent of the world population lives in about 10 per cent of its land area.

  • Geographical Factors
    1. Availability of water: easy availability of fresh water e.g. River valley
    2. Terrain: flat plains and gentle slopes –> farming, industrialization, transportation easy e.g. Ganga plain
    3. Climate: harsh climate has low population and vice versa e.g. Mediterranean inhabited due to pleasant climate
    4. Soils: Fertile soil important for agriculture and allied activities
  • Economic Factors
    1. Minerals: Ex. Katanga Zambia copper belt in Africa
    2. Urbanisation: Better employment opportunities, educational and medical facilities, better means of transport and communication
    3. Industrialisation: Job opportunities etc. Kobe-Osaka region of Japan is thickly populated because of the presence of a number of industries
  • Socio-Cultural Factors
    1. Attraction due to Cultural & Religious factors
    2. Push due to Political & Social unrest
    3. Often government provider incentives to populate sparsely populated area or depopulate congested areas