Distribution of PoPulation The way in which people are spread across the earth surface is known as the pattern of population distribution. More than 90 per cent of the world’s population lives in about 30 per cent of the land surface. The distribution of population in the world is extremely uneven. Some areas are very crowded and some are sparely populated. The crowded areas are south and south east Asia, Europe and north eastern North America. Very few people live in high latitude areas, tropical deserts, high mountains and areas of equatorial forests. Many more people live north of the Equator than south of the Equator. Almost three-quarters of the world’s people live in two continents Asia and Africa. Sixty per cent of the world’s people stay in just 10 countries. All of them have more than a 100 million people. Activity Study Fig. 6.1 and find out : of the world’s total population which continent has — (a) only 5 per cent (b)only 13 per cent (c) only 1 per cent (d)only 12 per cent Human ResouRces 67 Birth rate more than death Death rate more than birth rate: population increase population stays the same rate:population decreases Fig 6.4: Balance of Population Migration is another way by which population size changes. People may move within a country or between countries. Emigrants are people who leave a country; Immigrants are those who arrive in a country. Countries like the United States of America and Australia have gained in-numbers by in-migration or immigration. Sudan is an example of a country that has experienced a loss in population numbers due to out-migration or emigration. The general trend of international migrations is from the less developed nations to the more developed nations in search of better employment opportunities. Within countries large number of people may move from the rural to urban areas in search of employment, education and health facilities. Patterns of PoPulation change Rates of population growth vary across the world (Fig 6.5). Although, the world’s total population is rising rapidly, not all countries are experiencing this growth. Some countries like Kenya have high population growth rates. They had both high birth rates and death rates. Now, with improving health care, death rates have fallen, but birth rates still remain high leading to high growth rates. In other countries like United Kingdom, population growth is slowing because of both low death and low birth rates. 70 ResouRces and development how many are males or females, which age group they belong to, how educated they are and what type of occupations they are employed in, what their income levels and health conditions are. An interesting way of studying the population composition of a country is by looking at the population pyramid, also called an age-sex pyramid. A population pyramid shows • The total population divided into various age groups, e.g., 5 to 9 years, 10 to 14 years. • The percentage of the total population, subdivided into males and females, in each of those groups. The shape of the population pyramid tells the story of the people living in that particular country. The numbers of children (below 15 years) are shown at the bottom and reflect the level of births. The size of the top shows the numbers of aged people (above 65 years) and reflects the number of deaths. The population pyramid also tells us how many dependents there are in a country. There are two groups of dependents — young dependents (aged below 15 years) and elderly dependents (aged over 65 years). Those of the working age are the economically active. The population pyramid of a country in which birth and death rates bothe are high is broad at the base and rapidly narrows towards the top. This is because although, many children are born, a large percentage of them die in their infancy, relatively few become adults and there are very few old people. This situation is typified by the pyramid shown for Kenya (Fig 6.7). In countries where death rates (especially amongst the very young) are decreasing, the pyramid is broad in the younger age groups, because more infants survive to adulthood. This can be seen in the pyramid for India (Fig 6.8). Such populations contain a relatively large number of young people and which means a strong and expanding labour force. In countries like Japan, low birth rates make the pyramid narrow at the base (Fig 6.9). Decreased death rates allow numbers of people to reach old age. Skilled, spirited and hopeful young people endowed with a positive outlook are the future of any nation. We in India are fortunate to have such a resource. They must be educated and provided skills and opportunities to become able and productive. Some Internet Sources for More Information Notes

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