Chapter 2 The World Population Distribution, Density and Growth Class 12 Geography Notes

Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 2 The World Population Distribution, Density and Growth will provide a quick glimpse of the chapter and improve the learning experience. It is quite easy to retain the answers once you are fully aware of the concept thus these NCERT notes can be beneficial for you. NCERT Solutions for Chapter 2 Class 12 Geography will help in solving the difficulties that lie ahead with ease.

Chapter 2 The World Population Distribution, Density and Growth Class 12 Geography Notes

Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 2 The World Population Distribution, Density and Growth

Patterns of Population Distribution in the World

• The population of the world is unevenly distributed.

• The term population distribution refers to the way people are spaced over the earth’s surface.

• Broadly, 90 per cent of the world population lives in about 10 percent of its land area.

• The 10 most populous countries of the world contribute about 60 per cent of the world’s population. Of these 10 countries, 6 are located in Asia.

Density of Population

• The ratio between the numbers of people to the size of land is called the density of population. It is usually measured in persons per sq. km

• Density of Population = Population/Area

Factors Influencing The Distribution Of Population

Geographical Factors

• Availability of water: People prefer to live in areas where fresh water is easily available. Water is used for drinking, bathing and cooking – and also for cattle, crops, industries and navigation.

• Landforms: People prefer living on flat plains and gentle slopes because such areas are favourable for the production of crops and to build roads and industries.

• Climate: An extreme climate such as very hot or cold deserts are uncomfortable for human habitation. Areas with a comfortable climate, where there is not much seasonal variation attract more

• Soils: Fertile soils are important for agricultural and allied activities. Therefore, areas which have fertile loamy soils have more people living on them.

Economic Factors

• Minerals: Areas with mineral deposits attract industries. Mining and industrial activities generate employment therefore these areas are densely populated.

• Urbanisation: Cities offer better employment opportunities, educational and medical facilities, better means of transport and communication.

• Industrialisation: Industrial belts provide job opportunities and attract large numbers of people.

Social and Cultural Factors

• Some places attract more people because they have religious or cultural significance. People tend to move away from places where there is social and political unrest.

• Many a times governments offer incentives to people to live in sparsely populated areas or move away from overcrowded places.

Population Growth

• The population growth or population change refers to the change in number of inhabitants of a territory during a specific period of time.

• Population change in an area is an important indicator of economic development, social upliftment and historical and cultural background of the region.

Basic Concepts of Population Geography

• Growth of Population : Change of population in particular area between two points of time is known as growth of population.

• Growth Rate of Population : This is the change of population expressed in percentage.

• Natural Growth of Population: This is the population increased by difference between births and deaths in a particular region between two points of time.
Natural Growth = Births – Deaths
Actual Growth of Population : Births – Deaths + In Migration – Out Migration

• Positive Growth of Population: When the birth rate is more than the death rate between two points of time or when people from other countries migrate permanently to a region.

• Negative Growth of Population: If the population decreases between two points of time it is known as negative growth of population. It occurs when the birth rate falls below the death rate or people migrate to other countries.

Components of Population Change

• There are three components of population change – births, deaths and migration.

• The crude birth rate (CBR) is expressed as number of live births in a year per thousand of population. It is calculated as:

CBR = Bi/P × 1000

Here, CBR = Crude Birth Rate; Bi = live births during the year; P=Mid year population of the area.

• Crude Death Rate (CDR) is a simple method of measuring mortality of any area. CDR is expressed in terms of number of deaths in a particular year per thousand of population in a particular region.

CDR = D/P × 1000

Here, CDR=Crude Death Rate; D= Number of deaths; P=Estimated mid-year population of that year.


• When people move from one place to another, the place they move from is called the Place of Origin and the place they move to is called the Place of Destination.

• Migration may be permanent, temporary or seasonal. It may take place from rural to rural areas, rural to urban areas, urban to urban areas and urban to rural areas.

• People migrate for a better economic and social life. There are two sets of factors that influence migration:

→ The Push factors make the place of origin seem less attractive for reasons like unemployment, poor living conditions, political turmoil, unpleasant climate, natural disasters, epidemics and socio-economic backwardness.

→ The Pull factors make the place of destination seem more attractive than the place of origin for reasons like better job opportunities and living conditions, peace and stability, security of life and property and pleasant climate.

Trends in Population Growth

• The population on the earth is more than seven billion.

• In the first century A.D. it was below 300 million.

• Around 1750, at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, the world population was 550 million.

• World population exploded in the eighteenth century after the Industrial Revolution.

Doubling Time Of World Population

• It took only 12 years for it to rise from 5 billion to 6 billion.

• Developed countries take more time to double their population as compared to developing countries. Most of the population growth is taking place in the developing world, where population is exploding. 

Spatial Pattern Of Population Change

• The growth of population is low in developed countries as compared to developing countries.

• There is negative correlation between economic development and population growth.

• The world population growth rate is 1.4%, it is highest in Africa i.e. 2.6% and lowest in Europe i.e. 0.1% means neither grow nor decline.

Impact Of Population Change

• Population growth beyond a certain level leads to problems in which depletion of resources is the most serious.

• Population decline is also a matter of concern. It indicates that resources that had supported a population earlier are now insufficient to maintain the population.

Demographic Transition

• Demographic Transition theory tells us that population of any region changes from high births and high deaths to low births and low deaths as society progresses from rural agrarian and illiterate to urban industrial and literate society.

• These changes occur in stages which are collectively known as the demographic cycle.

• The first stage has high fertility and high mortality because people reproduce more to compensate for the deaths due to epidemics and variable food supply. Two hundred years ago all the countries of the world were in this stage.

• Fertility remains high in the beginning of second stage but it declines with time. Improvements in sanitation and health conditions lead to decline in mortality. Because of this gap the net addition to population is high.

• In the last stage, both fertility and mortality decline considerably. The population is either stable or grows slowly.

• In the present day, different countries are at different stages of demographic transition.

Population Control Measures

• Family planning means the spacing or preventing the birth of children.

• Access to family planning services is a significant factor in limiting population growth and improving women’s health.

• Propaganda, free availability of contraceptives and tax disincentives for large families are some of the measures which can help population control.

• For the sustainability of our resources, the world will have to control the rapid population increase.
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