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Human Geography. Chapter 5. Section 1: Population Geography. Population Geographers. Study the relationship between populations and their environment. They use maps, graphs, population pyramids, and spatial perspective to study population patterns and trends.

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Section 1:

Population Geography

population geographers
Population Geographers
  • Study the relationship between populations and their environment.
  • They use maps, graphs, population pyramids, and spatial perspective to study population patterns and trends.
  • Closely related to demography.
  • The statistical study of human populations.
  • Statistics are information in number form.
  • Demographers use statistics to make educate guesses about future populations.
population density
Population Density
  • The average number of people living in an area.
  • Usually in persons per square mile (#/mi2).
  • This reflects the size of a country, its populations, and environmental conditions.
population density1
Population Density
  • This also can be expressed by people living on land that is arable. This is called physiologic population density
  • Arable means land that can be farmed or grow crops.
  • In some countries this makes a huge difference. For example, Egypt has an average population density, but since most of the country is desert, its physiologic population density is very high.
population distribution
Population Distribution
  • People are spread unevenly across the earth.
  • About 90% of the world’s population is in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Almost 66% of these people live in the mid-latitudes.
population distribution1
Population Distribution
  • Over 1 billion people (of the nearly 7 billion) live in two countries: India and China
  • Most of the world’s population growth is happening in LDCs
  • LDCs: Lesser Developed Countries
population density2
Population Density
  • The 4 areas of great population cluster are: East Asia, South Asia, Europe, and eastern North America.
  • People choose places that are good for settling down.
  • These tend to be mild (temperate) climates with fertile soil and adequate supply of freshwater.
east asia
East Asia*
  • 1/5 of world population
  • China, Japan, Koreas, Taiwan
    • 5/6 in China
  • China’s interior is mostly mountains and deserts
  • Although China has many highly populated urban areas, most people live in rural river valleys
  • South Korea & Japan is the opposite: ¾ pop. live and work in urban areas
south asia
South Asia*
  • 1/5 of the global population
  • India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
    • India: ¾ of the area’s population
  • Most important concentration of people live along the plains of the Indus and Ganges Rivers
  • Like China, although there are many urban areas most of the population lives in rural farming areas
  • 1/9 world’s population
  • Western, Eastern, and Russian Europe (4 dozen countries)
  • Most live in cities (20% rural)
  • Dense clusters near coalfields in England, Germany, and Belgium
north america
North America
  • Considerably smaller than Europe
  • Not as contiguous
  • U.S. Megalopolis is 20% of the population
population change
Population Change
  • Geographers also use statistics to find how populations are changing.
  • Three statistics must be taken into effect are: birth rate, death rate, and migration.
population change1
Population Change
  • Birthrate: the number of births each year for 1,000 people living in a place.
  • Death rate: total number of deaths each year for every 1,000 people.
population change2
Population Change
  • Migration: the process of moving from one place to live in another.
  • People who leave a country to live somewhere else are called emigrants.
  • People who come to a new country to live are called immigrants.
  • Push factors: reasons people leave a location (lack of opportunities, environmental hazards, political unrest)
  • Refugees: people who have been forced to leave and cannot return to their homes.
  • They often leave because they do notfeel safe where they live or suffer discrimination.
  • Pull factors: attracts people to a new location (higher pay)
  • Political and personal freedom is a pull factor
  • Physical geography also affects these push/pull factors.
  • The Industrial Revolution caused more people to move from rural areas to urban areas.
  • Rural: farm land
  • Urban: cities
  • With modern advancements in transportation, people were able to move out of the cities into suburbs.
  • They were able to commute to work in cities while their families lived elsewhere.
natural increase
Natural Increase
  • The natural rate of population growth; this is based only on births and deaths.
  • The final number is represented as a percent.
  • Highest rates are found in Africa and Southwest Asia; lowest in North America and Europe.
  • Russia and Italy have negative rates.
natural increase effects
Natural Increase Effects
  • Economic Development: employment, nutrition
  • Education: more educated women tend to have less children
  • Gender Empowerment More opportunities for women lead to lower birth rates
  • Healthcare: can cause increase in life expectancy and decrease with family planning methods
  • Culture: some cultures place importance on the role of women as wives and mothers
  • Public policy: economic incentives and legal penalties
world population trends
World Population Trends
  • A rapid increase in the past 200 years.
  • Population is now more than 6 billion people and increasing by almost 80 million every year.
  • Overpopulation: the existing number of people is too large to be supported by available resources.
demographic transition
Demographic Transition
  • A model that shows how birth and death rates dropped in many Western countries as they developed modern economies and industries.
  • Stage 1: Birth and death rates are high. Parents have many children but poor health conditions mean they do not live long. High infant mortality (babies that do not live past one year)
demographic transitions
Demographic Transitions
  • Stage 2: death rate begins to fall (improvements in medicine), lower infant mortality, as people switch to a more urban lifestyle they marry later and have fewer children.
  • Stage 3: Birth and death rates low; all of the world’s economically advanced countries (U.S., Japan, most of Europe) have reached this stage.
demographic transition1
Demographic Transition
  • Stage 4: birth and death rates at a low level that is constant and unchanging
future populations
Future Populations
  • We cannot be certain of how the population will change in the future but we can use demographics to make population projections.
  • These are estimates of a future population's size, age, growth rate, etc.
  • Demographers usually make several different projections based on different variables.

Section 2:

Cultural Geography

studying culture
Studying Culture

Culture: all the features of a people’s way of life. It is learned and passed down by teaching, example, and imitation.

Aspects of culture include (but are not limited to): language, religion, architecture, economics, relationships, food, government, beliefs, technologies, skills, etc.

What is part of your culture?

studying culture1
Studying Culture

Culture Trait: activities and behaviors that people often take part in.

Culture Complex: a group of traits that define a specific culture

Culture Region: an area in which people have many shared culture traits.

Ethnic Groups: a human population that shares a common culture or ancestry.

culture change
Culture Change

This can be as simple as clothing or as life-altering as transportation systems.

Migration, war, and trade cause significant cultural change throughout history.

Acculturation: when an individual or group adopts some of the traits of another culture.

Assimilation: When immigrant groups adopt all of the features of the main culture.

culture change1
Culture Change

Two concepts that help us understand how cultures change are innovation and diffusion.

Innovation: New ideas that a culture accepts.

Diffusion: when an idea of innovation spreads from one person or group to another is adopted.

culture change2
Culture Change

Due to advances in technology, information can travel faster than ever across the entire planet.

Globalization: a process in which connections around the world increase and cultures become more alike.

culture change3
Culture Change

The opposite of globalization is traditionalism.

This is the following of longtime practice and opposing many modern technologiesand ideas, also called a folk culture.

Cultural Divergence: the process of cultures becoming separate and distinct.


Section 3:

World religions

and Cultures

geography of languages
Geography of Languages

Language is important to culture to it is the main means of communication. Languages have spatial characteristics.

About 3,000-6,500 languages are spoken in the world today and are divided into more than a dozen (12) families.

The language with the most speakers is Mandarin Chinese, but English is the most widespread.

geography of languages1
Geography of Languages

Speakers of any one language might use a specific dialect.

Dialect: a regional variation of a language. (example: English is spoken by Americans and the British)

To understand language patterns, geographers study where a language comes from and how far it has spread.

english dialect quizzes
English Dialect Quizzes
geography of religion
Geography of Religion

Religion is a key culture trait that binds many societies together. And gives meaning to peoples’ lives.

Religious differences are central to many conflicts in the world and throughout history.

Geographers identify three main types of religions: ethnic, animist, and universalizing.

ethnic religions
Ethnic Religions

Focus on one ethnic group and generally have not spread into other cultures.

They do not seek to convert.

Examples: Hinduism,


animist religions
Animist Religions

People believe in the presence of spirits and forces of nature.

Polytheism: the belief in many gods.

Common in many traditional societies.

Examples: many African and Native American tribes

universalizing religions
Universalizing Religions

Seek followers all over the world.

Monotheism: the belief in one higher being.

Missionaries: people who dedicate their lives to spreading their religion throughout the world

Examples: Islam and Christianity