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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 10 per cent of the land surface. The distribution of population in the world is extremely uneven. 

This is an important topic for candidates preparing for the upcoming IAS Exam and aspirants must refer to the facts and information discussed further below in this article regarding the distribution of population globally.

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What is Population Distribution?

Population Distribution is the pattern in which people live across the globe. The unevenness in the population distribution based on the distribution based on multiple factors. 

Some areas are very crowded and some are sparsely populated. The crowded areas are south and south-east Asia, Europe and northeastern 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 100 million people.

Factors influencing Population Distribution Globally

There are multiple factors which influence the population distribution at a global level. Aspirants can refer to the same below:

  1. Population density – It is the number of people living in a particular area
  2. Climatic reasons like the temperature, availability of natural resources, etc. define the distribution of population across the world

Candidates can know in detail the Factors affecting the Population Distribution at the linked article. 

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Population Patterns

Based on general population patterns, the following things can be derived:

  • The population of rural regions is less in comparison to urban areas
  • Climatic conditions play a very important role in the pattern of population distribution. Areas with extreme weather conditions generally do not have a very dense population
  • Availability of natural resources is another important factor which influences the pattern of population
  • Rural population is generally dependent on primary activities, whereas the urban population is dependent on service activities
  • Gender and age group are also two factors which influence the population patterns
  • Population pattern may also vary between developing and developed countries

Population patterns can be divided into three different types:

  • Uniform Dispersion – equally spaced apart population
  • Random Dispersion – dispersed randomly with no predictable pattern
  • Clumped Dispersion – clustered in groups

To know the detailed UPSC Syllabus for the prelims and mains examination, candidates can visit the linked article.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Distribution of Population


Q 1. What is Population Density?

Ans. Population density is a measurement of the number of people in an area. It is an average number. Population density is calculated by dividing the number of people by the area. Population density is usually shown as the number of people per square kilometre.

Q 2. What are the different types of population patterns?

Ans. Population patterns can be divided into three types:

  • Uniform Dispersion
  • Random Dispersion
  • Clumped Dispersion

Q 3. What are the main factors of population distribution?

Ans. Given below are the main factors which influence the distribution of population:

  • Presence Natural and Mineral Resources
  • Accessibility of Livelihood resources
  • Governmental Policies
  • Trade and Mitigation facilities
  • Climatic Condition
  • Political Boundaries

Q 4. Why is population distribution uneven?

Ans. Population distribution is uneven because of the climatic conditions, availability of resources, gender and age group divide and multiple other reasons.
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