Contemporary Human Geography - Chapter 2

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population portion


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population portion

world can be divided into 7 portions, each containing about 1 billion people

Population Clusters

.2/3 of the worlds inhabitants live in 4 regions: East Asia, South Asia, Europe, Southeast Asia


The portion of Earth's surface occupied by permanent human settlement.

Arithmetic Density-population geography

The total number of people divided by the total land area.

arable land

land suited for agriculture

Physiological Density

The number of people per unit area of arable land

-measures the pressure that people place on the land to produce enough food

  • Physiological density = total number of population / total area of arable land

Agricultural Density

The ratio of the number of farmers to the total amount of arable land

  • Agricultural density = # of farmers / amount of arable land

countries with higher stages of economic development are able to

produce higher crop yields with fewer people

Natural Increase Rate (NIR)

The percentage by which a population grows in a year

doubling time

The number of years needed to double a population, assuming a constant rate of natural increase.

Crude Birth Rate (CBR)

The total number of live births in a year for every 1000 people alive in the society.

Crude Death Rate (CDR)

The total number of deaths in a year for every 1000 people alive in the society.

demographic transition

The process of change in a society's population from a condition of high crude birth and death rates and low rate of natural increase to a condition of low crude birth and death rates, low rate of natural increase, and a higher total population.

4 stages of demographic transition

stage one: very high CBR, very high CDR, Very low NIR

stage 2:still high CBR, rapidly declining CDR, very high NIR

stage 3: rapidly declining CBR, moderately declining CDR, moderate NIR

stage 4:very low CBR, low, slightly increasing CDR, 0 or negative NIR

Stage 5: Decline (low Crude Birth Rate - High Crude Death Rate)

700,00 female babies are "missing" in China and India every year because of

gender-based selection

sex ratio

The number of males per 100 females in the population.

Maternal Mortality Rate

annual number of deaths of women from pregnancy-related causes per 100,000 live births

Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)

The total number of deaths in a year among infants under 1 year old for every 1,000 live births in a society.

potential support ratio (elderly support ratio)

the number working-age people (age 15-64) divided by the number of persons 65 and older

life expectancy

The average number of years an individual can be expected to live, given current social, economic, and medical conditions. Life expectancy at birth is the average number of years a newborn infant can expect to live.

dependency ratio

the number of people under 15 and over 64 compared to ppl in labor force

Population Pyramid

bar graph that displays the percentage of a place's population for each age and gender

annual per capita expenditure on health care exceeds $1000 in developed countries

less than $100 in sub-Saharan African and SouthAsia


Disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects a very high proportion of the population.

Epidemiologic Transition

process of change in distinctive causes of death in each stage of demographic transition

Total Fertility Rate (TFR)

The average number of children a woman will have throughout her childbearing years.

Zero Population Growth (ZPG)

population neither grows nor declines

lower CBR

education, health care, contraception

Population pyramid

bar graph- displays % of a place's population for each age and gender

Two major reasons for reducing birth rate:

economic development and distribution of contraceptive devices

Four most populous regions

  • East Asia

  • South Asia

  • Southeast Asia

  • Europe

Common characteristics of most populous regions

  • Near ocean or river w/ easy access to an ocean

  • occupy generally low-lying areas

  • fertile soil

  • temperate climate

Characteristics of sparsely populated regions

Dry, wet cold, mountainous