Factors influencing global population distribution

Human factors

Employment opportunities

  • Jobs in areas such as manufacturing and service industries encourage people to move to find work.
  • Tourism can also attract visitors to an area, providing jobs for local people.

Transport links

  • Areas with good transport links, such as roads and railways, will attract people and industry which creates employment opportunities.
  • Remote areas which are isolated and have poor transport links do not attract people.

Population patterns

According to the United Nations, it is estimated that in 2008, for the first time, more people lived in cities than in rural areas.

This is expected to increase to 53 per cent in 2015 and to 60 per cent in 2030, when the percentage of people living in urban areas in developing countries will be more than 50 per cent.

In general, people all over the world are moving from rural areas to urban areas, and cities are continuing to grow.

In developing countries more people still live in rural areas, as there are large numbers of people working in primary industries such as farming, whereas in developed countries most people are employed in service industries, eg offices and provide services in urban areas.