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Factors affecting population distribution - SS2 Geography Lesson Note

1. Climate:

Effect: Climate plays a significant role in where people choose to live. Most prefer moderate climates with comfortable temperatures and suitable rainfall. Harsh climates, such as extreme cold or arid deserts, can deter settlement.

Examples: You'll find more people living in temperate regions with mild winters and ample rainfall, like parts of Europe and North America, compared to extremely hot or cold areas.


2. Relief (Topography or Terrain):

Effect: The physical features of the land, like mountains, valleys, and coastlines, affect population distribution. People tend to settle in areas with favorable terrain for agriculture, transportation, and habitation.

Examples: Low-lying plains and fertile valleys often have denser populations due to their suitability for farming and transportation. Mountainous regions are typically less densely populated.


3. Water Resources:

Effect: Access to water sources, such as rivers, lakes, and oceans, is crucial for human settlement. These areas support agriculture, transportation, and drinking water.

Examples: Many of the world's largest cities are located near rivers or coastlines, like New York City along the Atlantic Ocean and Cairo along the Nile River.


4. Soil Fertility:

Effect: Fertile soil is essential for agriculture, which is a primary source of food and livelihood for many. Areas with rich, arable soil tend to have higher populations.

Examples: The fertile plains of the Midwest in the United States and the Gangetic plain in India support large populations due to their fertile soil.


5. Minerals and Resources:

Effect: The presence of valuable minerals, ores, and natural resources can drive population distribution, as these resources often lead to economic activities and job opportunities.

Examples: Mining towns and regions are often centered around areas with rich deposits of minerals, such as gold mining towns in South Africa or coal mining regions in China.


6. Transportation and Infrastructure:

Effect: Access to transportation networks, like roads, railways, and ports, is critical for trade and connectivity. Areas with good infrastructure tend to attract more people.

Examples: Cities with well-developed transportation hubs, like Tokyo or London, have higher populations due to their connectivity.


7. Cultural and Historical Factors:

Effect: Historical events, cultural significance, and traditions can influence where people choose to live. Factors like historical migrations, cultural ties, and religious significance can shape population distribution.

Examples: Cities with historical importance, such as Rome or Jerusalem, have unique population distribution influenced by their cultural and historical significance.

Recommended: Questions and Answers on World population for SS2 Geography
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