Study Material and Notes of Ch 6 Human Resources Class 8th Geography

Topics in the Chapter

• Introduction
• Distribution of Population
• Density of Population
• Factors affecting distribution of Population
→ Geographical Factors
→ Social, Cultural and Economic Factors
• Population Change
• Patterns of Population Change
• Population Composition


• People with their demands and abilities are considered as Human Resources.

• Human resources like other resources are not equally distributed over the world.
→ They differ in their educational levels, age and sex. Their numbers and characteristics also keep changing.

Distribution of Population

• The way in which people are spread across the earth surface is known as the pattern of population distribution.

• The distribution of population in the world is extremely uneven.
→ More than 90 per cent of the world’s population lives in about 30 percent of the land surface.

• Crowded areas: South and south east Asia, Europe and north eastern North America.

• Almost three-quarters of the world’s people live in two continents Asia and Africa.

• Sixty percent of the world’s people live in just 10 countries.→ These are China, India, USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Russian Fed. and Japan.

Density of Population

• Population density is the number of people living in a unit area of the earth’s surface.
→ It is normally expressed as per square km.

• The average density of population in the whole world is 51 persons per square km. 

• South Central Asia has the highest density of population.

Factors affecting distribution of Population

Geographical Factors

• Topography: People always prefer to live on plains rather than mountains and plateaus because these areas are suitable for farming, manufacturing and service activities.
→ Example: The Ganga plains are the most densely populated areas of the world while mountains like Andes, Alps and Himalayas are sparsely populated.

• Climate: People usually avoid extreme climates that are very hot or very cold.
→ Example: Sahara desert is very hot and polar regions of Russia, Canada and Antarctica are cold are sparsely populated.

• Soil: Fertile soils provide suitable land for agriculture.
→ Example: Fertile plains such as Ganga and Brahmaputra in India, Hwang-He, Chang Jiang in China and the Nile in Egypt are densely populated.

• Water: People prefer to live in the areas where fresh water is easily available.
→ Example: The river valleys of the world are densely populated while deserts have spare population.

• Minerals: Areas with mineral deposits are more populated.
→ Example: Diamond mines of South Africa and discovery of oil in the Middle east lead to settling of people in these areas.

Social, Cultural and Economic Factors

• Social: Areas of better housing, education and health facilities are more densely populated.
→ Example: Pune.

• Cultural: Places with religion or cultural significance attract people.
→ Example: Varanasi, Jerusalem and Vatican city.

• Economic: Industrial areas attract large number of people as it provide employment opportunities. → Example: Osaka in Japan and Mumbai in India.

Population Change

• Population change refers to change in the number of people during a specific time.

• The change happens due to changes in the number of births and deaths.

• Until the 1800s, the world’s population grew steadily but slowly
→ Large numbers of babies were born, but they died early too as there were no proper health facilities.
→ Also, Sufficient food was not available for all the people.

• In 1804, the world’s population reached one billion.

• In 1959, the world’s population reached 3 billion which is often called population explosion.

• In 1999, 40 years later, the population doubled to 6 billion.
→ The main reason for this growth was that with better food supplies and medicine, deaths were reducing, while the number of births still remained fairly high.

Natural Growth Rate

• Birth rate: The number of live births per 1,000 people.

• Death rate: The number of deaths per 1,000 people. 

• Migrations is the movement of people in and out of an area.

• The difference between the birth rate and the death rate of a country is called the natural growth rate.

• The population increase in the world is mainly due to rapid increase in natural growth rate.


• Migration is another way by which population size changes.

• Emigrants are people who leave a country.
→ Countries like the United States of America and Australia have gained in-numbers by in-migration or immigration.

• Immigrants are those who arrive in a country.
→ Sudan is an example of a country that has experienced a loss in population numbers due to out-migration or emigration.

Patterns of Population Change

• Rates of population growth vary across the world.

• Countries like Kenya have high population growth rates as they had both high birth rates and death rates.

• Countries like United Kingdom, population growth is slowing because of both low death and low birth rates.

Population Composition

• Population composition refers to the structure of the population.
→ It tells about age, sex, literacy level, health condition, occupation and income level of population.

• Population pyramid, also called an age-sex pyramid is a way to study the population composition of a country.

Population pyramid
• A population pyramid shows
→ The total population divided into various age groups, example: 5 to 9 years, 10 to 14 years.
→ The percentage of the total population, subdivided into males and females, in each of those groups.

• There are two groups of dependents
→ Young dependents (aged below 15 years)
→ Elderly dependents (aged over 65 years)

• Those between the age of 15 years and 65 years are working age and are the economically active.

• The population pyramid tells us how many dependents there are in a country.

• The population pyramid of a country in which birth and death rates both are high is broad at the base and rapidly narrows towards the top 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.
→ Example: Kenya.

Population pyramid of Kenya

• The 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.
→ These countries contain a relatively large number of young people and which means a strong and expanding labour force.
→ Example: India.
Population pyramid of India

• The countries where death rates are decreasing allow numbers of people to reach old age.
→ Example: Japan.

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