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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
Sparsely 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,

Population density arithmetic density
Population density: Arithmetic density


Population density physiological density
Population density: Physiological density


Agricultural density
Agricultural density

  • Agricultural density: Number of farmers for arable land area


Population density compared
Population density compared


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