Where do people settle and why

Where Do People
Settle and Why?
An interactive activity over the factors influencing
where people settle and population growth.
Where Do People Live?
• Human settlement is affected by both physical and human factors.
Three- fourths of the world’s population currently live on less than
5% of the earth’s surface.
• The majority of the population is concentrated in 5 areas
1. East Asia (China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan)
2. South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka)
3. Southeast Asia
4. Europe
5. North America
Factors That Affect Where People Settle
• There are three main factors that influence settlement patterns of
1. Physical Factors
2. Human Factors
3. Changes in Settlement Patterns
Physical Factors
Physical factors greatly impact where people settle. Population
tends to gather around seaports and fresh water sources such as
rivers and lakes. Most people live neat the ocean, or near a river with
ocean access. Two-thirds of the world’s population live within 500
miles of an ocean.
Much of the Earth’s land surface is unfriendly to human
habitation. Eight of the ten most populated cities are on or near
earthquake faults. Population is typically sparse in extremely dry,
wet, cold or mountainous regions. These areas have a low
population density (amount of people living in a specific area).
People usually settle in low-lying areas with fertile soil and
temperate or mild climates.
Click to play video
Human Factors
Human factors also impact where people choose to settle. The
need to create a capital city at a central location or to build new
transportation routes (roads, railroads) may cause people to settle in a
particular area. As technology improves, people are able to explore
and settle in new areas, even though there are physical barriers such
as mountains. Economic activities also bring people to new areas.
The discovery of valuable resources, such as gold, diamonds, or oil,
may attract people to an area that they normally would not want to
Click to play video
Changes In Settlement Patterns
Settlement patterns sometimes change overtime. As areas
urbanize (become cities), surrounding areas become an interest to
new settlers. The discovery of new resources or the construction of
new transportation routes can also encourage new settlement. The
Far West of the United States, for example, was lightly populated
until the discovery of gold in California and the creation of the
transcontinental railroad.
The Set Up of Cities
Throughout history, cities have varied in their size and location. As cities
become older they often change. Usually the business district was located in the
cities center and surrounded by neighborhoods. As people from the rural areas
began to move into the cities, then the wealthier individuals began to move outside
of the city.
Recently, suburbs have developed outside of the cities. As these suburban
areas grow they create new cities around the older city center. This creates a
metropolitan area.
In less developed nations, people from rural areas that move to the cities are
often less educated and lack resources. They usually create ‘shanty towns’. The
‘shanty towns’ are poor settlements where poor people live in dwellings made from
scrap materials.
World’s Population
Our World’s Population Growth
• Settlement patterns and distribution of the world’s population have
greatly changed overtime. When agriculture was introduced the
world’s population growth began to even out. As agriculture became a
way to provide more food for people the population began to
gradually increase.
• However, famines, plagues, and war kept the world’s population from
growing to quickly.
• When the Industrial Revolution occurred, Europe and North America
were the first two continents to apply the new technology to farming
and to use modern science to decrease death rates.
• Because of this, population growth accelerated by almost 10 times in
Great Britain. However, at this time average birth rates in these
regions gradually decreased. This kept the population from growing
to quickly.
Our World’s Population Growth
• Overtime, Europeans began to explore and colonize new areas. As
they migrated to these locations they spread their medical technology
and their new farming methods.
• Both of these technological advancements enabled people to live
longer. People where living longer and they often were not decreasing
their birth rates with caused the population in areas such as Asia,
Africa and Latin America to rapidly increase.
• Due to this large increase in population many areas are dealing with
the problems of overpopulation and a lack of resources.
• Some countries are trying to control their population growth in order
to solve this problem. For example, China encourages families within
the cities to only have 1 child.
Click to play video