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Social sciences: geography

Grade 6

Population distribution and density

Module 5

population distribution

  • It is easy to analyse the words population distribution . Population refers to people and distribution refers to where these people live on earth. The map below indicates that people are not distributed evenly across the globe. In certain areas there is a larger concentration of people than elsewhere.

1. Factors that influence the movement and settlement of people

There are approximately 6 milliard (6 000 million) people on earth and they inhabit only approximately 15% of the surface of the earth (see circle graph).

There are certain factors that influence the choice of where to live.

N atural factors:


Pleasant temperatures (between 10 ºC and 30 ºC) and comfortable humidity attract people. Extreme circumstances such as windstorms or very high rainfall should not prevail.


People go where their basic needs can be addressed. Food and water are the most important of these needs.

Human factors


People will settle where they can earn money (often in spite of an unpleasant climate).

Political decisions:

Decisions made by the government of a country can make circumstances very unpleasant for the inhabitants, which cause a migration of people elsewhere.

AN INTERESTING FACT: - Approximately 90% of the world population lives in the Northern Hemisphere.

- Approximately 60% of the world population lives in areas that are lower than 200 m above sea level.

Activity 1:

To study a map of the world as a group to acquire information

[lo 1.1]

  • Study the map of the world as well as maps in your atlas. Find possible answers to the following questions:
  • What are the reasons for the low density of population at a, b and c?
  • Why is the population at d and e also sparse?
  • Does the Amazon River in Brazil have anything to do with the density of _______________population in that country? (Explain)
  • Explain the reasons for the density of population in the North Eastern corner of __________________________Africa.
  • Would you say that Australia is an urbanised country?

2. The choice: in the city or in the country/rural area?

  • Most of the grade 6 learners who are reading this, live in a city or in a large town! We know this because more than half of our country’s population is URBANISED . This means that more than 50% of our people live in large towns or cities. This is determined by means of a census .
  • When you examine the map on page 3 it becomes clear that people are not distributed evenly over the globe, but are concentrated in certain parts. This has not always been the case. From the very beginning – even in Biblical times – there were cities, although most people did not live there. Only over the past 50 years the number of people in South Africa living in cities increased, and decreased in rural areas. These figures vary from country to country.
  • In the migration between urban and rural areas, technology has always played a significant role. As new opportunities for work develop, people change their workplace and often the place where they live. This means that people generally move from rural to urban areas to look for new employment opportunities.
  • Technological development results in people being replaced by machines in the workplace and that the people who lose their jobs, move to the cities where there are more employment opportunities.

Questions & Answers

what is Economics
Ebem Reply
the branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth and has Influence by sociology!!!!
Economics is the study of how humans make decisions when they want to fulfil their requirements and desires for goods, services and resources.
Economics is the study how humans make decisions in the faces of scarcity.
economic is the study of how human make decision in the fact of scarcity.
Economics is a social science which study human behavior as a relationship between earn and scarce mean which have alternative uses
what is market structure
market structure in economics depicts how firms are differentiated and categorised based on types of goods they sell and how their operations are affected by external factors and elements.
what is demand
Gooluck Reply
demand is the willingness to purchase something
demand is the potential ability or williness to purchases something at a particular price at a given period of time..
Demand refers to as quantities of a goods and services in which consumers are willing and able to purchase at a given period of time. Demand can also be defined as the desire backed by ability to purchase .
what is demand
John Reply
is the production of goods in scarcity
Demand refers to as quantities of a goods and services in which consumers are willing and able to purchase at a given period of time.
what is demand of supply
music Reply
What is the meaning of supply of labour
Anthonia Reply
what is production?
Elizabeth Reply
Production is basically the creation of goods and services to satisfy human wants
under what condition will demand curve slope upward from left to right instead of normally sloping downward from left to right
Atama Reply
how i can calculate elasticity?
Tewekel Reply
What is real wages
Emmanuella Reply
what are the concept of cost
Tabitha Reply
what is the difference between want and choice
Grace Reply
Want is a desire to have something while choice is the ability to select or choose a perticular good or services you desire to have at a perticular point in time.
substitutes and complements
Amman Reply
Substitute are goods that can replace another good but complements goods that can be combined together
account for persistent increase in lnflation
niwahereza Reply
what is opportunity cost
Adebowale Reply
opportunity cost reffered to as alternative foregone when choice is made
government measures to control inflation?
Formu Reply
control populationk growth rate by using family planning to reduce faster increase of people than job creation
in a comparison of the stages of meiosis to the stage of mitosis, which stages are unique to meiosis and which stages have the same event in botg meiosis and mitosis
Leah Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Geography grade 6. OpenStax CNX. Sep 07, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11000/1.1
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