# Difference Between Population Density and Population Distribution

The main difference between population density and population distribution is that the population density is the number of individuals per unit land whereas the population distribution is the spreading of people over an area of land. Furthermore, population density is unable to describe where the population actually lives, unlike population distribution.

Population density and population distribution are two measurements of population used in a variety of applications in ecology.

### Key Areas Covered

1. What is Population Density
– Definition, Features, Examples
2. What is Population Distribution
– Definition, Features, Examples
3. What are the Similarities Between Population Density and Population Distribution
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Population Density and Population Distribution
– Comparison of Key Differences

## What is Population Density

Population density is the number of individuals that live in a unit area in a specified time. As an example, the population density of China is 144 people per square km in 2012. The density of the population of a particular area is determined by the geographical features such as the shape and the height of the land, available resources, climate, etc.

Figure 1: World Human Population Density Map

When it comes to the human population, these factors can be economic, social, and political. Populations with high density can have some advantages:

• Strong economic system
• People can have more opportunities

Populations with less density have their own disadvantages as well:

• Population starts to decrease due to the less number of individuals in it.
• Predators can easily catch individuals.

## What is Population Distribution

A distributed population has several advantages over dense population to a certain extent. As an example, the natural conditions of China leads to the unevenly distributed population.

Figure 2: World Population Distribution

An evenly distributed population has its own benefits. Some of them are described below:

• Each individual can occupy a sufficient area for living.
• They have more privacy; less peer pressure.
• They can use renewable energy sources.
• They can live in a cleaner environment.
• They are far away from danger.

The less distributed population has its disadvantages as described below:

• Spread of diseases is high in dense areas.
• Air, water, and land pollution become increased.
• Food sources become less abundant.

## Similarities Between Population Density and Population Distribution

• Population density and population distribution are two measurements of population used in ecology.
• A specific time period and a geological location have to be mentioned while describing both parameters.

## Difference Between Population Density and Population Distribution

### Definition

Population density refers to a measure of the number of organisms that make up a population in a defined area while population distribution refers to the arrangement of the population on a certain area in accordance with conditions and requirements of the society. This explains the difference between population density and population distribution.

### Significance

Population density describes the number of individuals in a particular population inside a unit area of land while population distribution describes the variability of the spread of the population in a particular area.

### Examples

As an example, the population density of Canada is 4 people per square km in 2012 while 86.2% of people in Canada lived in Ontario, BC, Quebec, and Alberta at the beginning of 2013.

### Conclusion

Population density is the number of individuals in a unit area of land under a defined time period. But, population distribution is the concentration of individuals in a particular area. The main difference between population density and population distribution is the type of parameters described by each measurement.

##### Reference:

1. “Population Size, Density, & Dispersal.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy, Available Here

##### Image Courtesy:

1. “World human population density map” (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “World population distribution” By The original uploader was Urocyon at English Wikipedia. – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Undead_warrior. (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia