Choropleth maps

Choropleth maps are the fancy name given to maps which show information using colour.

In the example below, different shades of one colour are used to show the population density. This is the number of people that live in an area. The darker shades represent high numbers of people in an area and the lighter shades represent low numbers of people.

A choropleth map needs a key to explain what the different shades mean.

Chloropleth map showing global population density. Degrees of density are categorised by colour and explained in a key below the map.World population density

  • Sparsely populated (yellow) – few people live here
  • Moderately populated (browny/orange) – a medium number of people live here
  • Densely populated (dark orange) – lots of people live here
World map labelling Greenland, Canada, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Antartica, New Zealand, Australia, India, China and Russia
World map labelling London, Berlin, Tokyo, Shanghai, Mumbai, Cairo, Lagos, Sao Paulo, New York and Mexico City

Describe, in detail, the world distribution of world population density.

(use both maps to name regions, continents and countries to describe where is sparsely, moderately and densely populated.)

The population density of the world is unevenly distributed.

The most densely populated areas are cities like London, New York and Tokyo.

The least populated areas are northern Russia, Sahara Desert in northern Africa and arctic Canada in north America.

Places that are densely populated include NE USA, coastal Brazil and east China.

Places which are moderately populated include central Africa, New Zealand and Mexico. Places that are sparsely populated include Antarctica, Greenland and central Australia.