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.


In the field of population studies, two key concepts used to understand the spatial patterns of human populations are the distribution of population and the density of population. While they both provide insights into the spatial aspects of human populations, they differ in their focus and interpretation.

Table: Difference between the Distribution of Population and Density of Population

Distribution of PopulationDensity of Population
Refers to the spatial arrangement or pattern of population across a specific area. It examines how individuals or households are distributed within a given region.Refers to the number of people per unit of land area, usually expressed as individuals per square kilometer or square mile. It measures the concentration or crowding of people in a specific area.
Focuses on the dispersion or clustering of population within a region, including the arrangement of settlements and the pattern of population centers.Focuses on the intensity of population within a given area, providing a measure of population concentration and the level of crowding in a specific geographic space.
Considers factors such as distance to amenities, availability of resources, historical development, and transportation networks that influence the spatial distribution of population.Considers the total population size and the area over which the population is distributed to calculate the average population density. It helps understand the pressure on resources and infrastructure in a particular area.
Provides insights into the spatial inequalities in population distribution, identifying regions with high or low population density and the associated social, economic, and environmental implications.Provides insights into the level of population concentration, which can have implications for urban planning, resource allocation, infrastructure development, and the provision of services in densely populated areas.
Examples of distribution patterns include clustered (agglomeration of settlements), dispersed (scattered settlements), linear (along transportation routes), and nucleated (settlements around a central point).Examples of population density include sparsely populated areas with low population density (e.g., remote rural regions) and densely populated areas with high population density (e.g., urban centers).

Conclusion: In summary, the distribution of population focuses on the spatial arrangement and pattern of the population across a region, while the density of population measures the concentration or crowding of people within a specific area.

The distribution of the population considers factors influencing the dispersion of the population, while density of population reflects the intensity of population concentration. Understanding both concepts is crucial for analyzing social, economic, and environmental dynamics in different regions and supporting effective planning and resource management.


The Difference Between Population Growth and Economic Growth

Population growth and economic growth are two interrelated but distinct concepts that have a profound impact on societies and nations. While they are interconnected, they represent different aspects of development. This table compares and contrasts the key aspects of population growth and economic growth.

AspectsPopulation GrowthEconomic Growth
DefinitionIncrease in the number of individuals in aIncrease in the production and consumption of goods
population over a specific periodand services within an economy
FactorsBirth rates, death rates, immigration,Investment, productivity, technological progress,
influencingemigrationinfrastructure development
RelationshipPopulation growth can impact economic growthEconomic growth can influence population dynamics
through changes in labor supply, demand, andthrough factors like improved living standards,
market dynamicshealthcare, and education
Impact onPressure on resources, infrastructure,Improved living standards, increased employment
Society andhealthcare, and education, potential strainopportunities, poverty reduction, enhanced
Economyon social servicessocial services and infrastructure
Policy FocusFamily planning, healthcare, education,Investment in physical and human capital,
immigration policiesinnovation, trade promotion
MeasurementPopulation growth rate, total fertility rate,Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate,
net migration rateper capita income, productivity measures
Regional ExamplesSub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa,China, India, United States, European Union
parts of Asia

Conclusion: Population growth and economic growth are distinct phenomena that have significant implications for societies and economies. Population growth refers to the increase in the number of individuals in a population, influenced by birth rates, death rates, immigration, and emigration. It exerts pressure on resources, infrastructure, healthcare, and education systems. Economic growth, on the other hand, refers to the increase in the production and consumption of goods and services within an economy, driven by factors such as investment, productivity, technological progress, and infrastructure development.

It leads to improved living standards, increased employment opportunities, poverty reduction, and enhanced social services and infrastructure. While population growth can impact economic growth, and vice versa, they are separate concepts with their own policy focuses and measurement indicators. Understanding the differences between population growth and economic growth is crucial for formulating effective policies and strategies for sustainable development.



Declining population This refers to a situation where population size is falling due to need to keep families small due to migration of the population to other areas.

Effects of a declining population

  • Decline in aggregate demand hence reduction in market size. The demand for goods and services decreases due to reduction in number of consumers.
  • Reduced pressure on government to provide social services. There is reduced pressure on government to provide social infrastructures, education and health since the number of people requiring the services is falling.
  • Decline in the level of investments. The level of investment falls due to inability of market to sustain productive industries. Some of the existing industries may collapse and close down.
  • Attainment of optimum. Where the economy was over-populated, a decline in population size may enable it to attain the desirable optimum size.

  • Reduced levels of unemployment. As population of an economy reduces, labour supply also falls. This leads to a reduction in the level of unemployment.
  • Decline in labour supply. When population in an economy declines, labour supply also decreases. This may lead to a decline in output and increase in labour costs if the economy was not experiencing unemployment.


Disadvantages of a high dependence ratio

Disadvantages of a high dependence ratio include:

  • Leads to low savings and low investment.
  • Leads to low productivity in the economy.
  • Leads to heavy burden on government to provide essential services.
  • Leads to underutilisation of resources.
  • Leads to low tax revenue.


The positive implications of an increasing population are:

  • Increased labour supply. As population increases, labour supply also increases as more and more people become available for employment at the existing wage

  • Wider market. As population increases, the number of consumers in an economy also increases. An increasing population therefore, provides a large and ready domestic market for goods produced both locally and imported.
  • Increases the rate of natural resource utilisation. Resources, especially land, that were previously under and unutilised (idle) are brought to use by the existing circulation.
  • Increased labour mobility. An increasing population prompts increased mobility of labour because of pressure on the existing resources in areas where population is increasing. Workers migrate from areas where there are shortages of factor inputs and wages are low to areas where co-operant factors are readily available and wages high.
  • Declining social per capita. The average cost of providing social infrastructures like roads, education and health per person falls as population size rises.
  • Increased innovations. The population becomes more innovative and inventive as they look for ways of increasing output using the limited available resources.
  • Strong national defence. An increasing population makes it possible for a sizeable proportion of the population to specialize in production and some labourers are committed to fulltime national defence.

  • Government is prompted by the increasing population to adopt appropriate policies such as land reforms, manpower planning and family planning to solve the problem



  • Leads to unemployment and underemployment. This is due to the excess labour supply arising from the high population growth rate.

  • Leads to high rates of rural-urban migration and its negative effects like prostitution, high crime rates and congestion. This is due to the poor working conditions in the rural areas.
  • Leads to high rates of rural-urban migration and its negative effects like prostitution, high crime rates and congestion. This is due to the poor working conditions in the rural areas.
  • Leads to high social costs in form of pollution, accidents, congestion and sanitary problems. This is due to the increase in the large number of people in the different areas. .
  • Causes income inequality. This is due to the increase in poverty levels especially in rural areas.
  • Leads to high government expenditure on provision of social services. This b due to the increasing demand for social facilities by the dependant population.

  • Leads to high dependence burden. This is due to the large number of your, g people that depend on the working population.
  • Worsens the balance of payments problems. This is due to the high level of importation to meet the demands of the population.
  • Leads to quick depletion of resources due to overexploitation of the available resources to meet the rising demand of the population. It makes effective government planning for the population difficult. This is due to the high birth rates.
  • It increases external resource dependence. This is due to increased reliance on foreign aid, foreign manpower and foreign technology to meet the nee: of the high population increase.
  • Leads to limited domestic market. This is due to the high level of poverty especially in the rural areas.
  • It increases brain drain. This is due to the high levels of unemployment that forces highly skilled labour to look for better opportunities in other countries.
  • It leads to low labour productivity. This is due to increase in the number of unskilled and semi-skilled labourforce.
  • It over strains the available infrastructure like schools and hospitals. This because the increasing population demands for social services like education and health.

  • Leads to low income per capita resulting in poor standards of living.
  • Leads to low capital accumulation due to low savings.
  • Leads to low investment due to the high level of consumption that limits funds set aside for accumulating savings.
  • Leads to political unrest and social tension.
  • It may lead to inflation due to high demand for goods and services.