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CBSE Class 8 Geography Chapter 6 Human Resources– Detailed explanation of the chapter ‘Human Resources’ along with question answers. Given here is the complete explanation of the lesson, along with all the exercises, Question and Answers given at the back of the lesson.

 Class 8 Geography Chapter 6 – Human Resources

Introduction

People residing in a country are considered its greatest resources. Various things that are provided by nature to us gain significance only when people realize how it can be used in different ways. People along with their abilities and demands turn these things into ‘resources.’ Due to all these reasons, human resources are categorized as the ultimate resource. Those people who are motivated, healthy and educated are responsible for developing resources according to their requirement. 

As compared to other resources, human resources are not distributed in an equal manner all over the globe. They may differ in sex, educational degrees and ages. Their characteristics and numbers also see changes on a large scale. 

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Distribution of Population

The pattern in which people are spread across the surface of the earth is described as a pattern of population distribution. Around 30% of the earth’s surface is occupied by more than 90% of the population currently residing in this world. The population distribution across the globe is not even at all. 

Few of the areas are less populated, and few others are heavily crowded. In the regions of equatorial forests, high latitudes, high mountains and tropical deserts very few people reside. North and Eastern America, South and Southeast Asia and Europe are some of the heavily populated regions. 

A major part of today’s population lives on the North of the Equator as compared to the South. Around three quarters of the total population resides in two continents Asia and Europe itself. 60% of the total population currently resides only in 10 countries. All these countries have more than 100 million people.

Density of Population

The number of people residing in a unit area of the surface of the earth is described as population density. It is expressed in the form of per square km. The average population density across the globe is 51 people per sq km. The highest density of population can be found in South Central and South Asia. South – East and SouthEast Asia are other such regions. 

 The average density of India’s population is 382 people per square km. 

Factors affecting Distribution of Population

Geographical factors

  • Topography: People always prefer to reside on plains as compared to plateaus and mountains. It is so because people can easily carry out activities such as service, manufacturing and farming in these plain areas. The plains of Ganga are few of the most populated regions of the world. Mountainous regions such as the Himalayas, Andes and Alps have relatively little population. 
  • Soil: The areas which have fertile soil are considered best to carry out agriculture activities. Chang Jiang and Hwang – He in China, Brahmaputra and Ganga in India, and the Nile in Egypt are some of the densely populated regions due to the presence of fertile soil.
  • Climate: People do not like to live in those regions which have extreme climates. Very hot regions such as Sahara Desert or Thar Desert or cold regions such as polar regions of Canada, Russia and Antarctica have very less or no population.
  • Water: Those regions in which fresh water is easily available are  usually densely populated. Various river valleys are heavily populated while desert regions do not see much population. 
  • Minerals: Those areas which have mineral deposits are usually densely populated. Discovery of Oil Fields in Middle Eastern countries and Diamond mines in South Africa led to people settling around these places in huge numbers. 

Social, Cultural and Economic Factors

  • Social: The places that offer better health, housing and education facilities are hugely popular. Pune is one such city.
  • Cultural: Those places which have some type of religious or cultural significance associated with them, also are reasons for being highly populated. Vatican city, Jerusalem and Varanasi are few examples of such cities.
  • Economy: Those areas which have industries are good options for providing employment opportunities to a large section of people. It is the major reason why the majority of the population choses to reside around such industrial areas. India’s Mumbai and Osaka in Japan are examples of such places where high population is settled around industrial regions

Population Change

The change in number of persons during a given period of time is usually referred to as the ‘Population Change.’ The population of this world has never been found to be stable. As mentioned in the following figure, it keeps on increasing manifold.

As the patterns of number of births and deaths have changed across the globe in recent years, the population has increased at a large rate. If you observe the history of human beings, you may find that until 1800, the population grew in a slow but steady manner. However, this pattern changed in the later years. Babies were born in large numbers, however, at the same time their death numbers were high too. In those days, a number of places lacked even basic healthcare facilities. All the people did not even get two square meals in order to fill their stomachs. Even the farmers could not produce food crops in sufficient amounts so that the food requirements of every person could be met. Due to all these factors, the rate of increase in population was low. 

It was in 1804 for the first time when the population of this world touched the mark of one billion. In 1959 which is around a hundred and fifty years later, the population of this world stood at three billion. This process is often addressed by the term ‘Population Explosion.’ Only 40 years later , in 1999, the population of this world stood at six billion. Now, with supply of better food and required medicines the death rate has reduced. However, the birth rates still remained high. 

Birth Rate is the way to measure births that is the number of live births that takes place per thousand people. Death Rate is a way to measure the deaths that is the number of deaths that takes place per thousand people. As the number of people who keep moving in and out of any area is defined as migration. 

The processes of death and birth are considered as natural causes of change in the population of this world. Natural Growth Rate can be defined as the difference between the birth rate and death rate of a particular country. As the natural growth rate has seen a rapid increase in recent years across the globe, the population has increased by a significant amount. 

The Balance in Population occurs due to following factors:

  • Population Increase: When the birth rate is greater than that of death rate.
  • Population stays the same: When the death rate and birth rate both are the same.
  • Population Decrease: When death rate is more than birth rate.

Another way through which the size of population changes is the process of Migration. People usually choose to move between a country or within countries. Those people who decide to leave a country are called Emigrants. Those people who choose to arrive in a new country are called Immigrants.

Countries such as Australia and the United States of America have managed to gain in – numbers due to the process of in – immigration, which is also known by the name of immigration. On the other hand, Sudan is a country that has seen a drop in its population due to the process of emigration of out – migration.

Generally, the international migration takes place from those countries which are less developed to those which have developed already in order to get good employment options. Within a particular country, a large section of people decide to move from rural to urban areas so that they could get good educational, employment as well as healthcare opportunities. 

Patterns of Population Change

Different parts of the world witness different rates of population growth. Even though the population rate has been rising on a rapid scale in recent years, not all countries are experiencing this growth. Countries such as Kenya have seen high growth of population rate in recent times. The death rates and birth rates are also high in this country. As the health – care system has improved in this country, death rates have recorded a sharp fall. Due to this, the birth rates remain higher. Due to this, the growth rate has also gone higher.

In other countries, for example in the United Kingdom the growth of population has slowed down because of low death rates and low birth rates.

world population growth

Population Composition

The level of economic development of a country does not depend on how densely populated that country is. For example, both Japan and Bangladesh are examples of countries which are highly populated. However, Japan is a far more developed country than Bangladesh. 

We need to understand the qualities of a person in order to understand their role in the form of human resources. People may vary according to their age, gender, sex, professions, educational degrees, income level, occupation as well as health condition. It is important that we understand these characteristics of different persons. The structure of the population of a place is usually referred to as Population Composition. 

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With the help of composition of population, we get to know about following things:

  • How many of them are females or males. 
  • What is their age group to which they belong?
  • What are their educational qualifications
  • How much they earn.
  • What kind of health facilities they are provided.

Age – Sex pyramid is another way to study about the composition of population of a country. 

Population pyramid

Following things are shown with the help of a population pyramid:

  • The total population is divided into the age groups of various categories such as 24 – 30
  • In each of the groups, the total population percentage is subdivided into females and males each belonging to a particular age group. 

With the help of the population pyramid, we get to know about how people of a particular country are living.  Children are classified in the age group below 15 years and are shown at the bottom. They give us an idea about the level of births. The size of the top of the pyramid depicts those people whose age is above 65 years. It also depicts the number of deaths. 

With the help of the population pyramid, we also get to know about the number of dependents residing in a particular country. Usually the dependents are classified into two categories:

  • Young Dependents: Their age is below 15 years.
  • Elderly Dependents: Their age is above 65 years.

The people who belong to the working age are often said to be driven economically. 

If a population pyramid belonging to a country depicts high birth rates and death rates – that country’s base is broad and as you move towards top it starts narrowing. It is depicted in such a manner because even though children in huge numbers are born, a large number of such kids die in their infancy only. The old people are few in numbers. The population pyramid of Kenya depicts such a situation. 

 

There are countries where the death rate is on the verge of decreasing – especially among those who are really young. Due to this, the pyramid is broad among those who belong to younger age groups. It has happened because of better health conditions – many infants have managed to reach their adulthood. This case is especially visible in the example of our own country. As India has a large number of young people, therefore we have an expanding as well as large labour force. 

 

Population Pyramid of India

Countries such as Japan have witnessed low birth rates in the recent years. Due to this reason, its pyramid is narrower at the base. As the death rate of the country has decreased, a large number of people were able to reach old age. 

 

Hopeful, young and spirited populations who have positive hopes from their future are the spirits of any nation. Our country is fortunate to have such human resources who are relatively young. They need to be provided education and skills along with opportunities so that they become productive and able.

 

Questions and Answers

  1. Answer the following questions.

(i) Why are people considered a resource?

Answer. It is people with their demands and abilities that turn them into ‘resources’. Hence, human resources are the ultimate resource. Healthy, educated and motivated people develop resources as per their requirements.

(ii) What are the causes for the uneven distribution of population in the world?

Answer. The distribution of population of a place depends on topography and climatic conditions of that place. Areas such as tropical desert, mountainous regions, high latitude regions see low populations. A large number of people prefer to live in plain areas. In plain areas, soils are fertile, fresh water is easily available, and minerals have uniform distribution. Due to these factors, the regions offer better health, housing and education facilities. Those places which have religious significance associated with them are also densely populated. Places with industry are also highly populated. 

(iii) The world population has grown very rapidly. Why?

Answer. During the late 19th and 20th century the medical science saw lots of development taking place due to which the death rate has decreased at a rapid rate. As fewer people are now dying, there exists no way to decrease the birth rate. Hence, the world population has been growing rapidly.

(iv) Discuss the role of any two factors influencing population change.

Answer. There are two factors influencing population change:

  • Economic Factors: People prefer to reside in those places where industries are situated. In this way they get various employment opportunities. 
  • Geographical factors: People prefer to live in plains and valleys as compared to mountain or desert areas. Plains have fertile land, water and other facilities are easily available.

(v) What is meant by population composition?

Answer. The population structure regarding different factors such as age, religion, sex, education qualifications, and economic conditions is known as population composition.

(vi) What are population pyramids? How do they help in understanding about the population of a country?

Answer. The pictorial way to describe the composition of population is known as population pyramid. This pyramid depicts a lot of information about a particular country. The size of the pyramid at top is used to determine the death rate and the size at bottom is used to determine the birth rate.

2. Tick the correct answer.

(i) Which does the term population distribution refer to?

 (a) How the population in a specified area changes over time.

 (b) The number of people who die in relation to the number of people born in a specified area.

 (c) The way in which people are spread across a given area.

Answer. (c) The way in which people are spread across a given area.

(ii) Which are three main factors that cause population change?

 (a) Births, deaths and marriage

 (b) Births, deaths and migration

 (c) Births, deaths and life expectancy

Answer. (b) Births, deaths and migration

(iii) In 1999, the world population reached

 (a) 1 billion (b) 3 billion (c) 6 billion

Answer. (c) 6 billion

(iv) What is a population pyramid?

 (a) A graphical presentation of the age, sex composition of a population.

 (b) When the population density of an area is so high that people live in tall buildings.

 (c) Pattern of population distribution in large urban areas.

Answer. (a) A graphical presentation of the age, sex composition of a population.

3. Complete the sentences below using some of the following words.

sparsely, favourable, fallow, artificial, fertile, natural, extreme, densely

When people are attracted to an area it becomes …………………..populated.

Factors that influence this include ………………….. climate; good

supplies of ………………….. resources and ………………….. land.

Answer. Order wise: densely, favourable, natural, fertile

 

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