Variation in the population in various countries
The Growth of Human Population: Four Major Periods or Stages
An early period of hunters and gatherers
This period ranges between the first evolutions of humans on this planet to the beginning of agriculture. During this period, it is estimated that the total population was probably less than a million, population density was about 1person per 130-260 sq km in the most habitable areas, and the average rate of growth was perhaps less than 0.00011% per year.
Early, per-industrial agriculture
This period began sometime between 9,000 BC and 6,000 BC and lasted approximately until the 16th century AD. The first major increase in population came during this period. The total human population of the world was approximately 100 million by 1AD that further increased to about 500 million by 1600 AD. The population density increased greatly to about 1 or 2 people per sq km or even more. The average rate of growth was probably about 0.03%.
The age of industrial revolution
The second and much more rapid increase in population started about 400 years ago with the industrial revolution associated with the advances in medicines and health care. Experts are of the opinion that Renaissance in Europe, (beginning about 1600 AD) marks the transition from agricultural to liberate societies, when medical care and sanitation were factors responsible in reducing the death rate. The total human population of about 900 million in 1800 AD almost doubled in the next century and again doubled to approximately 3 billion by 1960. The average rate of growth by 1600 AD was about 0.1% per year, which increased about one-tenth of a percent every 50 years until 1950. The main reasons of this rapid increase in population were discovery of the causes of diseases, invention of vaccines, improvement in sanitation, and advances in agriculture that led to a great increase in the production of food, shelter and clothing.
The modern era
Though the rate of population growth has slowed down in developed countries, but population still continues to increase rapidly in many parts of the world, particularly developing countries. At mid 2002, the world population stood at 6.215 billion. The average rate of growth reached 2% in the middle of the 20th century and has declined to 1.3% in 2002 AD. According to projections, the global population will be Approximately 8 billion by 2025 and 10 billion by 2050 AD. According to World Bank projections, the world population may stabilize between 10.1 to 12.5 billions. Developed countries would only increase from 1.2 billion today to 1.9 billion, but developing countries would increase from 5 billion to 9.6 billion. In these projections, the developing countries using by 95%.
Variation of Population Among Nations
The distribution of world population densities show that while the great majority of the land surface is sparsely or moderately populated, but some limited areas are densely populated. The densely populated areas include Western Europe, the Indian subcontinent, the plains and river valleys of China, and north-eastern USA. High concentrations of people are also found in some relatively smaller areas, for example—the Nile valley of Egypt, the Islands of Java in Indonesia and the Southern part of Japan. In terms of continents and countries, the world’s population is very ill-balanced. More than half of the world’s people live in Asia (approximately 3.7 billion), which accounts for only one-fifth of the world’s land area; while North, Central and South America together occupying more than a quarter of the land surface, have only one-fifth of the population (1.3 billion). The African continent also accounts for a quarter of the land surface but has just over one-eighth (840 million) of the world population. On the other hand, Europe whose area is only one twenty-fifth of the total has about one-ninth (729 million) of the world’s people.
The distribution within the continents is also uneven. In Asia, China alone, with about 1.29 billion people, accounts for one-third Asian and one-fifth of the world population. The Indian subcontinent has a further 1.3 billion people—India, 1.05 billion; Pakistan, 143.5 million; Bangladesh, 133.6 million; Nepal , 23.9 million; Sri Lanka , 18.9 million; Bhutan, 0.9 million; and Maldives, 0.3 million. In Europe too, the population is an evenly distributed. Far less people live in Northern European countries than in other European countries .The most populous European countries are Russia (143.5 million), Germany (82.4 million), United Kingdom (60.2 million), France (59.5 million); Italy (58.1 million), Ukraine (48.2 million), Spain (41.3 million) and Poland (38.6 million). In Africa and Americas people are for the most part spread very thinly across the land, leaving large sections such as Northern Canada, Southwest USA, the Sahara desert and the Amazon forest practically uninhabited.
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