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Cultural Geography. James Leigh, University of Nicosia. Tracy Bucco. Population Part 1. Crowd, This lecture’s reading.

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cultural geography

Cultural Geography

James Leigh, University of Nicosia

Tracy Bucco

population part 1

PopulationPart 1


this lecture s reading
This lecture’s reading
  • Rubenstein, J. (2005), The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography, Latest Edition, Saddle River,Prentice Hall.
    • Chapter: Population
  • Fellman, J. Getis, A. and Getis, J. (2005), Human Geography: Landscapes of Human Activities, Latest Edition, New York, McGraw-Hill.
    • Chapter: Populations: World Patterns, Regional Trends
preview summary
Preview summary
  • MDCs:
    • low birth rates lead to
    • aging and
    • slowly growing population
    • only partly offset by immigration
  • LDCs:
    • high birth rates lead to
    • young and rapidly growing population
    • which siphons off any economic surplus
    • and exhausts the economic ability of the country to supply a life of wellbeing to its people
    • (Corruption and lack of organization and infrastructure are also huge problems)

(Tracy Bucco)

some global facts
Some global facts
  • More people alive now than ever – 6.5 billion people
  • In last half of the 20th century world populations increased rapidly
  • Virtually all global population growth is concentrated LDCs
  • MDCs have stable or shrinking populations
  • World pockets of over- and under- population
population concentrations
Population concentrations
  • 75% world population live on 5% of earth’s surface
  • World population clusters in 5 areas:
    • East Asia
    • South Asia
    • Southeast Asia
    • Western Europe
    • Eastern Nth America
  • On the population cartogram countrysize is related to population

Population cartogram,


Population density,

where do they live
Where do they live?

~ 88%

~ 12%

(Fellmann et al)

where are the people
Where are the people?
  • Population largely clustered 10o - 55oN
  • In low flat areas, near oceans or rivers with good soil
  • Not in dry, polar orhighland areas


Population density,

sparsely populated areas
Sparselypopulated areas
  • Humans avoid harsh environments
  • Permanently settled areas are the ecumene: not too wet/dry or too hot/cold or too high or too mountainous
  • The ecumene world area ever increases

Ecumene shown in greens (Rubenstein)

5 hypotheses where we don t live
5 hypotheses: where we don’t live
  • Dry
  • Wet (?)
  • Hot
  • Cold
  • High

sparsely populated areas1

World Deserts,

Sparsely populated areas
  • Dry Lands
    • 20% earth’s surface
    • Largest areas: 15o-50o N, and 20o-50o S
    • N Africa and SW and central Asia
    • Nomads and oil rich, some irrigation

Population density,

sparsely populated areas2

Population density,

Sparsely populated areas
  • Wet Lands
    • Very wet areas areinhospitable
    • 20o N and S or equator
    • Interiors of S America,Central Africa, SE Asia
    • At least 1.25 m and most2.25 m rainfall
    • Rain + heat depleted soil, makes agriculture difficult
    • Rainfall may be seasonal or spread across the year
    • Seasonal wet lands can grow food, e.g. rice in SE Asia

Humid tropical areas,

sparsely populated areas3

Population density,

Sparsely populated areas
  • Hot lands
    • N & S Africa
    • Middle East
    • Persian Gulf
    • N Australia
    • W USA
    • Many are deserts
    • Hostile environment
    • Demands changed behaviour

Hottest deserts,

sparsely populated areas4
Sparsely populated areas
  • Cold Lands
    • N and S poles with extreme cold and permafrost
    • Polar regions have:
      • Actually little precipitation
      • Can’t crop or have animals
      • Few humans

Population density,

Cold lands,

sparsely populated areas5
Sparsely populated areas
  • High Lands
    • Steep, snow cover and few people
    • ½ Switzerland is >1,000 m high, only 5% of people live there
    • Some exceptions: S America and Africa where high altitude living may be more comfortable
      • E.g. Mexico City 2,243 m high, Nairobi 1,800 m high

Population density,

Relief mag,

agricultural density
Agricultural density
  • Agricultural density: Number of farmers for arable land area


population measurements
Population measurements
  • (Crude) Birth Rate (CBR):
    • Number of births for 1,000 people in a year




world abortion laws
World abortion laws

Abortion laws,

population measurements1
Population measurements
  • (Crude) Death Rate (CDR):
    • Number of death for 1,000 people in a year


population measurements2
Population measurements
  • Natural Increase Rate (NIR):
    • NIR = CBR – CDR
    • This figure excludes immigration


Many visual items are used in the course.
  • They have been collected in “notes” over several years.
  • If any items are unreferenced please let us know.
  • We would be happy to give credits.
  • James Leigh, University of Nicosia

Tracy Bucco