Factors influencing global population distribution

Human factors

  • Jobs, eg in manufacturing and service industries encourage people to move to find work. Tourism can also attract visitors to an area, providing local people with jobs.
  • 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 more than half of the world's population now live in urban areas, most notably in high-density cities. This number is expected to increase to 60 per cent in 2030.

Globally, more than 4 billion people live in urban areas. This is projected to increase to more than 7 billion by 2050. Urbanisation rates are increasing rapidly in developing countries as people migrate from rural to urban areas.

In developing countries, many 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.