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Population refers to the inhabitants of place. There are many aspects to population. An excellent web site which contains population data on 200 countries around the world is population.com.

Population Density

Population distribution means where people live. Places which are sparsely populated contain few people. Places which are densely populated contain many people. World population distribution (map) is uneven. Sparsely populated places tend to be difficult places to live. These are usually places with hostile environments e.g. Antarctica. Places which are densely populated are habitable environments e.g. Europe.

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 area. Population density is usually shown as the number of people per square kilometre.

Population Change

The world's population is growing very rapidly. It recently reached 6 billion people. Current world population figures can be found here This is an excellent site explaining world population growth.
The major reason for population changes, whether in an individual country or for the whole world, is the change in birth and death rates. The birth rate is the number of live babies born in a year for every 1000 people in the total population. Death rates are number of people dying per 1000 people. When birth rates are higher than death rates the population of an area will increase. When death rates are higher than birth rates population will decrease.

Population pyramids are used to show the structure of the population according to age and sex. Click here to see teh three major types of population pyramid.

The Demographic Transition Model attempts to show how population changes as a country develops. It does not take into account migration.

Life Expectancy

Life expectancy is the average age a person can expect to live to in a particular area. Life expectancy can be used as an indicator of the overall 'health' of a country. From this figure you can determine many features of a country e.g. standard of living. An excellent article about life expectancy can be found here.

Population Structure

The population structure for an area shows the number of males and females within different age groups in the population. This information is displayed as an age-sex or population pyramid. Population pyramids of LEDCs (Less Economically Developed Countries) typically have a wide base and a narrow top. This represents a high birth rate and high death rate. Population pyramids of MEDCs (More Economically Developed Countries) typically have a roughly equal distribution of population throughout the age groups. The top obviously gets narrower as a result of deaths. Population pyramids for every country in the world can be found here.


Information on migration can be found here.

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World Population Explosion






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