The population of the world is not evenly distributed around the globe and there are considerable variations in density.

The following diagrams show FOUR different areas or maps. The diagram tells us TWO important things about population.

Firstly the population is spread in different ways; in other words population varies in distribution.

Secondly, each area has a different size of population, or different density.

   One Unit of Population
   One Square km

Choose suitable words from the list below and insert them into the table. Complete the rest of the table by inserting the correct density information. Give the population density as: x/

Distribution: Dispersed

DistributionDensityPopulation Density
Map A
Map B
Map C
Map D

Density: Sparse

In some areas of the word there are many people, in others there are very few people or even none at all. Some areas attract people to them because conditions at that place make life easy. Other areas are not so attractive so fewer people live there.

Study the map of the world and the other picture sources of different regions of the world and then write a short (200 word) essay on why people choose to live in some areas of the world and not in others. Make comparisons and outline a few specific points. Then answer the remaining questions.

Why do you think people avoid living in Tundra and Hot Deserts?

What relationship can you see between Tundra and population density?

Why do you think that people live close to active volcanoes?

Why do people continue to live in the flood plains of Bangladesh even though their crops are wiped out almost every year due to floods?

What does population density mean?

Why does no one live here?


Six places are marked on the map with the numbers 1-6. They represent the following regions: Amazon Basin, Antarctica, Bangladesh, Himalayas, Sahara, Western Europe.

On the table write the correct name to each number in column B In column C of the table state whether each of the six regions has DENSE or SPARSE population. Write the correct description in column D from the list given below
  1. Flat, fertile soils for intensive rice farming
  2. Hot and dry
  3. Many factories, intensive farming
  4. Steep slopes and thin soil
  5. Very cold and covered in snow and ice
  6. Very hot and wet

A: NumberB: Name of RegionC: DensityD: Description of Region

Give a brief description of the reasons for dense or sparse population in each region. Choose one region with dense population and one region with sparse population. For each region you have chosen write a paragraph to explain fully the reasons for the population density.

Dense Population
Region chosen:

Sparse Population
Region chosen:


The population of the world is changing very quickly. Experts have worked out that every hour there are an extra 8,000 people living on our planet. See if you can calculate how many people are added to the planet every day __________, every hour __________, every min. _________

The rate of increase is enough to fill the Island of Nassau every _________ hrs.

There are 260,000 people in The Bahamas. How long does it take for the world's population to increase to reach the size of the Bahamian population?

In 1987the world's population passed the 5,000 million mark and by the year 2010 it is expected to reach 6,100 million. The increase in population is now so fast that it is referred to as the "population explosion"

List FIVE problems that are associated with with this rapidly increasing population.

Population increases when the number of babies born is greater than the number of people dying. The number of babies being born each year is called the BIRTH RATE. The number of people who die each year is called the DEATH RATE.

Birth rates and death rates are measured as the number of births and deaths for each 1,000 of the population. The speed at which the population increases is called the POPULATION GROWTH RATE.

Increasing birth rate
Steady birth rate
Decreasing birth rate


It is obvious that people do not generally live in areas that are too hot, too cold, too dry or too wet.

Look at the table below and complete the blanks from the list of alternatives given. For each box give an example of a location in the world.

Areas of difficultyAreas of Attraction


Areas of difficultyAreas of Attraction


Areas of difficultyAreas of Attraction

Areas of difficultyAreas of Attraction

Clearly there exist areas where many of the aspects of difficulty coincide. Similarly there are many areas where the aspects of attraction coincide - when this happens large concentrations of people occur.


A millionaire city is a city which has a million or more people living in it.

Nassau is not a millionaire city, but Miami is. How many millionaire cities are there in North and South America? You can find out this information by looking in an atlas or a book about populations.

The table below gives the population of some of the largest 15 cities in the world.

CityPopulation in Millions 1980Population in Millions 2000 (estimate)
Mexico City1331
Sao Paulo1326
New York1822
Rio de Janeiro1019
Beijing (Peking)1019
Los Angeles1115
Buenos Aires1014

Using an atlas mark the 15 cities from the chart above on the world map below.

Fill in the table below to show the number of the world's biggest cities in each of the major world regions.

World regionAfricaAsiaAustralasiaLatin AmericaNorth America
Number of biggest cities in year 2010

From the information you have gathered on the map and the chart, write a short essay. Describe in which parts of the world you see the most population growth. Why do you think cities are growing so much in these areas?



The chart above gives an indication of people movement from rural to urban areas in developing countries. The general name for all the movement shown is migration. Most of the movements are within the country concerned but some people do leave the country and emigrate to a city in another country. Most movements are from a village to the nearest town. Some migrants move several times to cities of increasing size, while people born in small towns may move to a larger city.

Migrants rarely loose touch with their original farm or village roots.

Before leaving a farm or village, difficult personal decisions have to be taken. The advantages and disadvantages of moving or staying must be carefully weighed up. The city may appear very attractive and lure people away from the village. In addition life in the village may become increasingly hard, leaving little choice but to move and seek a better life in the city.

But the ties of family, tradition and home are very strong. It is important to realize also that news of the city will sometimes reach the village second or third hand. A person thinking of migrating any distance is most unlikely to have enough money to go and see what the city looks like before deciding to move. Sometimes ideas of what city life will be like are unrealistic, but increasingly migrants are aware of the reality of life that awaits them in the city.


There are many reasons why people migrate.

Complete the diagrams below by listing some reasons why the country pushes people "out" and why cities pull people "in".



In addition it is in the larger cities that governments set up offices to run the country, and build hospitals and clinics that can bring improved medical care to the greatest number of people.