top of page

Chapter-2 The World Population Distribution, Density and Growth Notes | Class 12th Geography NCERT | STUDYSHIP WITH KRATI

The People of a Country: Real Wealth

Significance of People

  • People are considered the real wealth of a country.

  • They are the actual resources who utilize the country’s other resources.

  • They make critical decisions about the country's policies.

  • The identity of a country is largely defined by its people.

Key Population Metrics

  • Gender distribution (number of men and women).

  • Birth rates (number of children born each year).

  • Death rates (number of people who die and causes of death).

  • Urban vs. rural residency.

  • Literacy rates (ability to read and write).

  • Occupational distribution (types of work people do)

World Population at the Start of the 21st Century

Global Population

  • The global population exceeded 6 billion at the beginning of the 21st century.

  • This unit explores patterns in population distribution and density.

  • Examines reasons for regional preferences in habitation.

Patterns of Population Distribution

  1. Definition:

  • Population distribution refers to how people are spread across the earth's surface.

  1. Global Distribution:

  • 90% of the world’s population lives in about 10% of its land area.

  • The 10 most populous countries contribute about 60% of the world’s population, with 6 of these countries located in Asia.

Density of Population

  1. Definition:

  • The density of population is the ratio of the number of people to the size of the land.

  • It is expressed as persons per square kilometer.

  1. Calculation Example:

  • Density of Population = Area

For example, area of Region X is 100 sq km and the population is 1,50,000 persons. The density of population is calculated as: 1,50,000

Density 100 = 1,500 person/sq km

This indicates a high concentration of people in Region X.

Factors Influencing Population Distribution

1.Geographical Factors

  • Availability of Water:

  • Essential for drinking, agriculture, industry, and navigation.

  • River valleys (e.g., Nile, Ganges) are densely populated due to abundant water supply.

  • Landforms:

  • Flat plains and gentle slopes are preferred for agriculture and infrastructure.

  • Mountainous and hilly areas are less populated due to difficult terrain and limited economic activities.

  • Example: Ganga plains vs. Himalayan mountains.

  • Climate:

  • Moderate climates attract more people (e.g., Mediterranean regions).

  • Extreme climates (hot deserts, cold tundras) are less hospitable and sparsely populated.

  • Soils:

  • Fertile soils support intensive agriculture, leading to higher population densities.

  • Example: Indo-Gangetic plains vs. Deccan Plateau.

2. Economic Factors

  • Minerals:

  • Areas rich in minerals attract industries and workers (e.g., Katanga copper belt in Africa).

  • Urbanization:

  • Cities offer employment, education, healthcare, and better living standards.

  • This leads to rural-to-urban migration and growth of mega cities (e.g., Tokyo, New York).

  • Industrialization:

  • Industrial regions provide diverse job opportunities, attracting large populations (e.g., Kobe-Osaka in Japan).

3. Social and Cultural Factors

  • Religious/Cultural Significance:

  • Places with historical or religious importance attract people (e.g., Varanasi, Mecca).

  • Political Unrest:

  • Areas with social and political stability are more attractive.

  • Unrest and conflicts lead to migration away from affected areas.

  • Government Incentives:

  • Policies to encourage settlement in sparsely populated areas or discourage overcrowding in cities.

Population Growth

  1. Definition

  • Population growth or change refers to the increase or decrease in the number of people in a region over a specific period.

  • It can be positive (growth) or negative (decline).

  1. Measurement

  • Absolute Numbers:

  • Difference in population between two points in time.

  • Example: India’s population grew from 1.027 billion in 2001 to 1.210 billion in 2011.

  • Percentage

  • Growth rate expressed as a percentage.

  • Example: If population grows from 1,000 to 1,100, the growth rate is 10%.

  1. Types of Growth

  • Natural Growth:

  • Difference between birth rate and death rate.

  • Formula: Natural Growth = Births - Deaths.

  • Actual Growth:

  • Includes births, deaths, and migration.

  • Formula: Actual Growth = Births - Deaths + In-Migration - Out-Migration.

  • Positive Growth:

  • Birth rate exceeds death rate or net in-migration.

  • Negative Growth:

  • Death rate exceeds birth rate or net out-migration.

Components of Population Change

Birth Rate

The crude birth rate (CBR) is expressed as number of live births in a year per thousand of population. It is calculated as:

CBR = B/P *1000

Here, CBR = Crude Birth Rate; B = live births during the year; P= Estimated mid year population of the area.

Death Rate

  • Crude Death Rate (CDR):

  • Number of deaths per 1,000 people per year.

  • Formula: CDR=(Deaths/Population)×1000


  • Definition:

  • Movement of people from one place to another.

  • Place of Origin: Location people move from.

  • Place of Destination: Location people move to.

  • Types:

  • Permanent, temporary, or seasonal.

  • Rural to rural, rural to urban, urban to urban, and urban to rural.

Factors Influencing Migration

  • Push Factors: Negative conditions driving people away (e.g., unemployment, political unrest).

  • Pull Factors: Positive conditions attracting people (e.g., job opportunities, better living conditions).

Demographic Transition Theory

  1. Stages of Demographic Transition:

  • Stage I: High Fluctuating:

  • High birth and death rates.

  • Population growth is slow and fluctuating.

  • Example: Pre-industrial societies.

  • Stage II: Expanding:

  • High birth rates, declining death rates.

  • Rapid population growth.

  • Example: Early industrial societies.

  • Stage III: Low Fluctuating:

  • Declining birth rates and low death rates.

  • Population growth slows.

  • Example: Developed industrial societies.

Demographic Transition

Demographic Transition Theory describes the transition from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates as a country develops from a rural, agrarian society to an urban, industrial one. This theory helps predict future population trends and consists of several stages known as the demographic cycle.

Stages of Demographic Transition

Stage I: High Fluctuating

  • Characteristics:

  • High birth rates and high death rates.

  • Slow population growth.

  • High infant mortality rates.

  • People reproduce more to compensate for deaths due to epidemics and unstable food supply.

  • Majority of the population is engaged in agriculture.

  • Large families are considered beneficial for agricultural work.

  • Life expectancy is low.

  • High levels of illiteracy and low technological advancement.

  • Historical Context: Two hundred years ago, all countries were in this stage.

Stage II: Early Expanding

  • Characteristics:

  • Birth rates remain high initially but begin to decline over time.

  • Significant decline in death rates due to improvements in healthcare, sanitation, and food supply.

  • Population growth rate increases due to the gap between high birth rates and declining death rates.

  • Enhanced public health measures, such as vaccination and better medical care, reduce mortality.

  • Population Impact: Rapid population growth due to high net addition to the population.

Stage III: Late Expanding

  • Characteristics:

  • Further decline in birth rates, approaching the low death rates.

  • Population growth rate begins to slow down.

  • Increased urbanisation and industrialization.

  • Higher literacy rates and improved education.

  • Greater access to family planning and reproductive health services.

  • Change in societal values and economic incentives leading to smaller family sizes.

  • Population Impact: Population growth stabilizes or grows slowly.

Stage IV: Low Fluctuating

  • Characteristics:

  • Both birth rates and death rates are low.

  • Stable or slowly increasing population.

  • High levels of urbanisation and technological advancement.

  • High life expectancy and better quality of life.

  • Deliberate family planning and control over fertility.

  • Socio Economic Impact: Society becomes more literate, technologically advanced, and family-oriented.

Modern Context

  • Current Status:

  • Different countries are at various stages of the demographic transition.

  • Developed countries are generally in the later stages (Stage III or IV).

  • Many developing countries are in Stage II or early Stage III.

  • Examples:

  • Developed countries like Germany and Japan are in Stage IV.

  • Developing countries like India and Nigeria are in Stage II or early Stage III.

Population Control Measures

  • Family Planning:

  • Family planning involves spacing or preventing the birth of children.

  • Access to family planning services is crucial for limiting population growth and improving women's health.

  • Methods:

  • Propaganda and education about family planning.

  • Free availability of contraceptives.

  • Tax disincentives for large families.

  • Malthusian Theory:

  • Proposed by Thomas Malthus in 1798.

  • Stated that the population grows geometrically while food supply grows arithmetically.

  • Predicted that population growth would outpace food supply, leading to famine, disease, and war.

  • Suggested preventive checks (such as moral restraint) are better than physical checks (such as famine and disease).

  • Emphasized the need for population control to ensure resource sustainability.

51 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page