CultureGrams–Population Distribution

US County Population Map2

Using Census data, Walter Hickey and Joe Weisenthal of Business Insider created this map to show that half of the population of the United States is concentrated in just 146 of more than 3,000 counties. Are you surprised that so much of the population lives in such a small portion of the country? Why do people live where they do? Why are they concentrated in some areas of a state, country, or province rather than others? And it isn’t just the U.S. Why are the populations of Australia or Norway concentrated much more heavily along the coast than in the interior parts of these countries? Why are the majority of places in the world with high population density found in the northern hemisphere?

Population distribution can be affected by a variety of factors, including climate, topography, economic forces, access to natural resources, proximity to major transportation routes, historical events, etc. And sorting out which factors have contributed to a region’s population distribution is a useful exercise. It’s also important to consider the impact population distribution has on the politics, economics, or other aspects of daily life in a particular country or state.

CultureGrams can be a valuable starting point to help you answer these and other questions. CultureGrams likely won’t provide you with all of the answers you need, but you’ll find helpful information about population, topography, natural resources, economic development, major historical events, etc. You also have access to data tables and maps that may prove useful in thinking about why people live where they do. So get started. Look at where the citizens of your country or state live and think about how culture and geography are intertwined.

Kip Clark

Kip Clark is a Supervising Editor at CultureGrams. He has been with ProQuest for over 15 years. Prior to his employment with ProQuest, Kip worked as a writing and humanities instructor, editor, research assistant, furniture shipper, flower presser, and cookie maker. He has a BA and MA in English, with an emphasis on the literature of the American West. Kip has traveled throughout much of Western Europe, as well as to Kenya, Uganda, Canada, Israel, and Russia. His interests include cooking, reading, playing racquetball, and collecting spinning tops.

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