Factors Affecting Distribution of Population - GS-I Notes

India’s population is 17 percent of the global population. Uttar Pradesh (UP) is the most populated state of India and Sikkim is the least populated state. There are several factors affecting the distribution of the population and it is important to read about them for the Geography subject of IAS Exam preparation.

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Factors affecting Population Distribution

There are several factors that affect the population distribution in India:

  1. Geographical Factors
  2. Social Factors
  3. Cultural Factors
  4. Economic Factors

Geographical Factors

Topography People prefer living on plains rather than plateaus and mountains since these areas are suitable for agriculture, manufacturing and also service activities. The Ganga Plains are one of the most densely populated areas of the world whereas mountains like the Alps, Andes and the Himalayas are thinly populated.
Climate People generally stay away from extreme climates (very cold or very hot) like the Sahara desert, the Russian Polar regions, Canada and Antarctica.
Soil Fertile soils offer optimal land for farming. Fertile plains like Brahmaputra and Ganga and in India, the Nile in Egypt, Hwang-He and Chang Jiang in China are highly populated.
Water People prefer to live in those places where freshwater is easily available. So, the river valleys are densely populated and the deserts have less population.
Minerals Places with deposits of mineral are naturally more populated. Diamond mines of South Africa and discovery of oil in the Middle East led to people settling down in these areas. In India, the areas of the Chhota Nagpur Plateau in Jharkhand and nearby areas of Odisha see a high population distribution because of the presence of huge mineral deposits.

Other Factors Affecting Population Distribution

Social, Cultural and Economic Factors

Social: Areas with better housing, health facilities and education are more populated e.g., Pune. Better transport facilities also contribute to the increased population of any region.

Cultural: Places with cultural or/and religious import attract people. Example: Varanasi, Jerusalem and Vatican city.

Economic: Industrial areas offer employment opportunities. A large number of people make their way into these areas. Examples: Mumbai in India and Osaka in Japan.

Factors Affecting Population Distribution – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

Also See:

NCERT Notes: Geography as a discipline
Geography in a Nutshell for UPSC Exam
Important books for Geography optional for UPSC IAS Mains

UPSC Preparation:

India Year Book – 5 Things to Know UPSC 2021 Calendar
Documents Required for UPSC Exam Language Papers in UPSC – Tips to Study
UPSC Admit Card IAS Eligibility Criteria


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