Population density refers to the number of individuals in a certain geographic area, usually expressed as the number of people per square mile or square kilometre. It is calculated by dividing the total population of an area by its total land area.
Population density is an important demographic indicator that can provide insight into various aspects of a region, including its level of urbanization, social and economic development, and potential environmental impacts. High population densities can strain local resources and infrastructure, while low population densities can indicate rural or remote areas with limited access to services and amenities.
Population density can also have implications for public health, as high population densities can increase the risk of disease transmission, while low population densities can limit access to healthcare and emergency services. As such, understanding population density is an important consideration for policymakers, planners, and researchers working in a range of fields.
Population density is defined as the number of persons per square kilometre of land.
The population density of a country can be expressed mathematically as:
|Total Population||Land area|
|i||Population density||Population density x land area|
|ii||Total population||Total population|
|Iii||Land area||Population density|
Example of population density
Calculate the population density of Nigeria, having a total population of 88,514,501 as of 1991 with a total land area of923,768 sqkm. Solution
Total population = 88,514,501
Total land area = 923,768 km2
Population density = Total population
Total land area = 88.514.501
= 96 persons /km2
Population may either be high or low depending on the number of people in a specified area or country. Generally, high density occurs when there are many people in an area which leads to overpopulation as discussed earlier.
Similarly, a low population density refers to a situation where there are few people in a specified area of land.
Importance Of population density
The importance of population can be viewed from different perspectives, including economic, social, environmental, and political.
- Economic Importance: The population is a critical factor in economic growth and development. A larger population can provide a larger pool of labour and consumers, which can stimulate economic growth through increased production and consumption. The working-age population is particularly important for economic development, as they contribute to the production of goods and services, pay taxes, and support the social welfare system.
- Social Importance: The population is also important from a social perspective. The population is composed of individuals and families who make up the social fabric of communities, and their interactions shape the culture and values of a society. A larger population can also provide greater diversity, which can enrich society with a variety of perspectives, talents, and skills.
- Environmental Importance: The size and distribution of the population can also have significant environmental impacts. A larger population can put greater pressure on natural resources such as water, land, and energy, leading to increased pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change. Sustainable population growth and resource use are essential for ensuring the long-term health and well-being of both human societies and the natural world.
- Political Importance: The population is also a critical factor in political processes. The number of people in a region determines the number of representatives and political power they hold in government. Accurate population data is important for making informed policy decisions, allocating resources, and ensuring fair representation.
In summary, the population is a critical factor in shaping societies and economies, as well as having significant environmental and political implications. Understanding the dynamics of population growth and its impacts is essential for addressing a range of global challenges, from poverty and inequality to environmental degradation and climate change.