Several factors influence population distribution in the United Kingdom. Here are some of the key factors:

  1. Economic Opportunities: Economic opportunities play a significant role in population distribution. Cities and regions with strong economies, such as London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Edinburgh, tend to attract larger populations. These areas offer a wide range of job opportunities, diverse industries, and higher wages, attracting people from both within the UK and from abroad.
  2. Urbanization: Urban areas in the UK are magnets for population due to the availability of amenities, infrastructure, and services. Cities provide access to education, healthcare, cultural activities, and a vibrant social life. Urbanization has led to population concentration in cities and their surrounding areas.
  3. Transport Infrastructure: Availability of transport infrastructure, including road networks, railways, and airports, influences population distribution. Well-connected regions with efficient transportation systems are more attractive to businesses and individuals. Areas with good transport links, such as London and the Southeast, tend to have higher population densities.
  4. Housing Availability and Affordability: The availability and affordability of housing are key factors influencing population distribution. Areas with a range of housing options, including rental and affordable housing, tend to attract a diverse population. Housing affordability issues in some regions, such as London and the Southeast, can result in population outflows to other parts of the country.
  5. Education and Universities: The presence of prestigious universities and educational institutions can shape population distribution. Cities with renowned universities, such as Oxford, Cambridge, and Edinburgh, attract students and academics from around the world. This concentration of educational institutions contributes to population growth in these areas.
  6. Natural Resources and Environment: Factors such as the availability of natural resources, scenic landscapes, and environmental quality can influence population distribution. Areas with attractive natural landscapes, national parks, and coastlines, such as the Lake District, Scottish Highlands, and Cornwall, draw people seeking a high quality of life or tourism opportunities.
  7. Historical and Cultural Factors: Historical and cultural factors can impact population distribution. Some areas have historical significance, architectural heritage, or cultural attractions that attract residents and tourists. For example, cities like Bath and York, with their historical landmarks and cultural heritage, draw visitors and residents.
  8. Government Policies: Government policies can influence population distribution. Policies related to immigration, regional development, and investment incentives can impact where people choose to live and work. Government initiatives to decentralize economic activity or develop specific regions can influence population flows.
  9. Demographic Factors: Demographic factors, such as fertility rates, aging populations, and migration patterns, can shape population distribution. Migration within the UK, as well as international migration, affects the demographic composition and distribution of populations in different regions.
  10. Socio-Political Stability: Stability and safety are attractive features for population distribution. Areas with a reputation for safety, political stability, and social cohesion tend to attract residents, particularly families and individuals seeking a secure environment.

It’s important to note that population distribution in the UK is a complex interplay of these factors, and their influence can vary over time. Economic, social, and political changes can lead to shifts in population patterns and distribution across different regions of the country.


Population distribution refers to the spatial arrangement or pattern of where people live within a particular area or region. It can be described in terms of the density, dispersion, and concentration of people in different areas. Population distribution is influenced by a variety of factors such as geography, climate, resources, infrastructure, economic opportunities, social and cultural factors, and government policies.

The population distribution in South Sudan is heavily influenced by a combination of environmental, political, and cultural factors.

The majority of the population is concentrated in the Nile River Valley and other areas with access to water, particularly in the states of Central Equatoria, Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile. This is due to the fact that South Sudan is largely an arid and semi-arid country, with variations in rainfall patterns and topography. As such, access to water resources is a key factor in determining where people settle.

The following are factors that influence the population distribution in South Sudan

  • Climate and geography: South Sudan is largely an arid and semi-arid country with variations in rainfall patterns and topography, which affects the availability of water and agricultural productivity, and thus influences population distribution.
  • Natural resources: The distribution of natural resources such as minerals, oil, and gas has influenced the location of settlements and economic activity in certain regions of South Sudan.

  • Political instability and conflict: The decades-long civil war and ongoing intercommunal violence have forced many South Sudanese to flee their homes and seek refuge in other parts of the country, disrupting population distribution.
  • Infrastructure: Access to transportation, communication, and other basic infrastructure affects population distribution by determining the ease of movement and exchange of goods and services.
  • Economic opportunities: The availability of employment and economic opportunities in certain regions attracts people to settle and contribute to the local economy, influencing population distribution.
  • Ethnic and cultural ties: People tend to settle in areas where they share ethnic or cultural ties with the majority of the population, which can create enclaves of certain ethnic groups.
  • Religion: Religious affiliations and practices can influence where people choose to settle and interact with others who share similar beliefs.
  • Historical and colonial legacies: South Sudan has a complex history of colonialism, slavery, and ethnic conflict that have shaped population distribution patterns over time.

  • Migration and refugee movements: The movement of people across borders and within the country can have a significant impact on population distribution, particularly in areas with high refugee populations.
  • Development policies: Government policies and investments in infrastructure, education, and healthcare can influence population distribution by attracting people to certain regions or encouraging migration from others.

Overall, the population distribution in South Sudan is uneven, with some areas experiencing high population density while others remain sparsely populated. This has significant implications for the provision of basic services such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure, as well as for economic development and social cohesion.





Areas that receive heavy and reliable rainfall which support the growth of crops have attracted people in large numbers e.g. shores of Lake Victoria, Kenya highlands, slopes of Mt. Elgon and Kigezi highlands while areas that receive low and unreliable rainfall attract very few people e.g. Karamoja, Turkana land and Miombo woodlands.


areas with deep and well-drained fertile soils that support agriculture have attracted dense settlements e.g. Mbale, Kabale, shores of Lake Victoria while areas with infertile soils have sparse populations e.g. Nyika plains, North Eastern Kenya and Masai land.


areas with very high altitudes e.g. top of Mt. Elgon and Rwenzori, Bundibugyo have a sparse population because of the high pressure, difficulty in constructing houses and roads.

However low altitude areas have attracted large settlements due to ease in constructing settlements and roads.

However, areas in broad valleys occupied by swamps have sparse populations due to the presence of disease vectors like mosquitoes.

Also, lowland areas are subjected to floods and therefore are always avoided.


dense forests, bushland, and swamps are unfavorable areas for settlement because it’s hard and expensive to clear the vegetation.

They also habour wild animals and disease-carrying vectors like tsetse flies which scare away settlements.

Areas with savannah vegetation are easy to clear for agriculture and settlement hence attracting dense populations e.g. Masaka, Mpigi, and Mukono.

Natural water resources

The existence of natural water resources can attract dense populations e.g. shores of Lake Kyoga and Victoria.

Also, in areas of low rainfall, many people are attracted near watercourses or rivers e.g. along rivers Athi, Nile because the dense population utilizes the rivers for small-scale irrigation, livestock rearing and domestic use.

However, areas without surface water bodies have scared away settlements leading to sparse population e.g. in Karamoja and Turkana land.


Poorly drained areas e.g. coastal margins of Kenya and Tanzania are full of mangrove swamps which are unproductive in terms of agriculture, therefore leading to sparse population while areas which are well drained have high population densities like central Uganda, slopes of Mt. Kenya and Elgon.

Economic Activities

Areas that have activities like mining, trading, and manufacturing industries especially towns likeDar-es-salaam, Nairobi, Kisumu, Kampala, Jinja attract a large population than areas where they are few economic activities e.g. Karamoja.

This is because people are more attracted to areas that have enough job opportunities than areas with fewer employment opportunities.

Government policy

The government may determine settlement in an area e.g. the creation of the national park and game reserves discourage settlement e.g. Kidepo valley game park and on another hand, the setting up of resettlement schemes and refugee camps have attracted settlement in large numbers e.g. in Kiryandongo and Internally Displaced Peoples’ (I.D.P) camps in Gulu.

Political stability

Areas that are unstable and insecure have got low populations e.g. Karamoja where there is a lot of cattle rustling compared to areas that are generally politically stable and secure hence attracting dense settlements e.g. towns like Kampala and Mombasa.


some areas have got low population density because of their culture e.g. Ankole, Karamoja, Masai land areas are sparsely populated because of their practice of nomadic pastoralism which keeps them on the move always.

Within central Uganda, dense settlements exist because of the settled ways of life that encourage family development e.g. in Mukono and Wakiso districts.


Densely populated areas of the world

These are found in the agricultural east and industrial west and include the following parts:

Industrial North west Europe

This is where you can find the most industrialized countries like UK, Germany, France and Denmark.

This area has been the center of civilization

It lies within the temperature zone which has warm summers and mild winters

It has good natural vegetation which supports lumbering

It is also the home for the industrial revolution

It has a long indented coastline which gives great opportunity for sea transport

It has mineral resources which attract people to go and work in the mines.

Industrial North East USA

It is the industrial belt of the USA and Canada

It stretches from the great lakes through Pittsburgh to New York

This area is also rich in minerals and has a good network of transport.

Agricultural Monsoon Asia

It includes countries like China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Indonesia

The area has fertile soils which attract a lot of people

It has plenty of water used by peasant farmers for irrigation.

Moderately populated areas

It covers large areas of the cool temperate forests because these are lumbering areas.

It also include the coniferous forests of Canada

This also includes the temperate and tropical grasslands where pastoralism and large scale mechanized farming are common.

Sparsely populated areas

They include areas like the cold polar lands of the Arctic and Antarctic, the Canadian and Eurasian Tundra, Greenland, and the high mountains of the Himalayas,



What is population?

The word population comes from the Latin word Populus meaning people. Population or human population refers to the total number of people found in a given area at a specified time.

What is a population size?

Population size refers to the total number of people in the country.

This may change over time due to dynamic components like birth, death, and migration. Population size is obtained through censuses.


un even distribution

It is unevenly distributed over the surface such that some areas have low density other have medium density and some areas have high-density population other areas have no population at all.

Population is dynamic

Population is dynamic in the sense that it is migratory as people move from one place to another place either permanently or temporarily depending on the prevailing conditions.

The population has an age-sex structure

This refers to the composition or proportion of the population in terms of sex, age, and occupation.

variation of development across population

The population is characterized by variation in the level of development and technology, Such as Japan, America, and France while other countries are less developed or poor due to the use of low technology like Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique.

it is faced by various problems

The population usually faces problems like diseases such as HIV-AIDS, Environment calamities like famine and flood as well as earthquakes.


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