Population Density & Distribution

Population Density & Distribution
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Social SciencesSecondary Education

This lesson contains 20 slides, with interactive quizzes and text slides.

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Population Density & Distribution

Slide 1 - Slide

The Factors Influencing the Density and Distribution of Population!
Population distribution is the spread of people across the world, ie where people live.
Population density is the number of people living in a particular area – usually 1 square kilometre – and can be written as total population/land area.

Slide 2 - Slide

Population density (often abbreviated PD) is a compound measure that tells us roughly how many people live in an area of known size. It is commonly used to compare how 'built-up' two areas are.

For example, Mumbai is one of the most densely populated cities on earth with roughly 29,650 people/km2. London, on the other hand, has a population density of around 5,100 people/km2, not even a fifth of that of Mumbai!

Slide 3 - Slide

The equation for population density is:

population density = population / land area

It is most commonly measured in population per square kilometre.

Slide 4 - Slide

Athens, the capital city of Greece, has a population of 3,685,000 and a land area of 684 km2. What is the population density of Athens? Give your answer to 2 decimal places.

Slide 5 - Open question

Calculate the area of Las Vegas if it has a population density of 1,750 people/km2 and a population of 1,300,000 people. Give your answer to 2 decimal places.

Slide 6 - Open question

Population Growth Trends
The reasons why population growth started to slow:
1. Contraception - People are now able to choose when to have children (family planning)
2. Lower fertility rates - Parents realise that their children will survive past their first birthday due to medical advancements
3. Anti-Natalist policies - The former 'One Child Policy' in China aimed at cutting the fertility rate to below 2
4. Career Women - Now deciding to postpone starting family to focus on forging a career path and earning money
5. Children cost a lot! - It can cost upwards of $200,000 to bring up a child until they turn 18 years old! 

Slide 7 - Slide

In 2022 the population of the world reached 8 billion people, the vast majority of whom live in the developing world. The world’s population is spread unevenly across the globe with concentrations of large numbers of people living in the same area. The world as a whole has more ‘empty’ areas than ‘crowded’ areas. There are several physical and human factors to explain this.

Population density and distribution are influenced by a number of factors:
1. Availability of freshwater.

2. Communications (roads, railways, airports).

3. Proximity to the coastline.

4. Cities and their opportunities

5. The shape (relief) of the land. 

Slide 8 - Slide

Physical factors:
1. Climate:
- People prefer to live in temperate climates where there is enough rainfall and no extremes of temperature.
- A lack of fresh water for drinking or irrigation stops people living in an area.
- Very high temperatures make farming difficult. Dehydration and heat stroke are other issues.
- Areas with high humidity are also uncomfortable places to live and can be affected by diseases such as malaria.
- Very cold temperatures make it difficult to grow crops or to build homes and transport links as the ground can be frozen for much of the year.
- Frostbite makes it difficult to work outside for any length of time, and protective clothing would need to be worn.

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2. Relief:
- Steep slopes make the use of machinery difficult.
- Steep slopes also make it difficult to build houses, roads and railways.
- High, mountainous areas are too cold which makes it difficult to grow crops.
- High mountainous areas are often remote which makes them difficult to access.
- Flat, low-lying areas have deeper soil which makes it easier to grow crops.

Slide 10 - Slide

3. Natural resources:
- Few natural resources, such as coal, in an area means there is a lack of industry and therefore a lack of employment opportunities.
- Scenery is a resource and can attract tourists, bringing job opportunities.

Slide 11 - Slide

4. Soils:
- Areas with fertile soils, eg river deltas, are good for growing crops to feed the population.
- Poor soils with few nutrients mean there will be a low agricultural output.

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Human factors:
- Jobs, eg in manufacturing and service industries encourage people to move to find work. 
- Tourism can also attract visitors to an area, providing local people with jobs.
- Areas with good transport links, such as roads and railways, will attract people and industry which creates employment opportunities.
- Remote areas which are isolated and have poor transport links do not attract people.

Slide 13 - Slide

What is population density?
The total population of an area
The number of people per square kilometre

Slide 14 - Quiz

Which of the following is NOT a factor influencing population density and distribution?
Availability of freshwater
Schools and universities
Weather patterns

Slide 15 - Quiz

What is the most densely populated city on earth?

Slide 16 - Quiz

What does anti-natalist policies aim to achieve?
Increase the fertility rate
Decrease the fertility rate

Slide 17 - Quiz

What type of area is not usually populated?
Areas with good transport links
Areas with fertile soils
Areas with high, mountainous terrain

Slide 18 - Quiz

Which of these is a physical factor that influences population distribution?
Relief of the land
Wages offered by employers
Cultural and religious practices

Slide 19 - Quiz

The end!

Slide 20 - Slide