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GEO 04 – Population Density
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The distribution of population may be illustrated in a number of different ways. GEO_03 illustrated the use of dot maps. This activity uses information from the Year Book Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 1301.0) to calculate and map population density for the states and territories of Australia. The advantages and disadvantages of displaying the data in this way are examined.
- Sweets/lollies and paper/card squares (optional)
- Attachment, Map of Australian states and territories
The concept of population density may be introduced using a number of small "lollies" and a small square of plain paper or card. The card represents one square kilometre. Density is altered by the addition of "lollies" to the paper/card square.
Population density is the number of people per square kilometre. The formula for calculating density is shown below.
Population Density = Number of People/Area of land (square kilometres)
1. Ask students to use the formula to calculate population density and complete Table 1. Correct answers are shown in section 7.
Source: Year Book Australia, 2008 (cat. No. 1301.0) Table 7.3 and Table 1.1
(a ) Includes Other Territories. Other Territories comprise Jervis Bay Territory, Christmas Island and the Cocos(Keeling) Islands.
2. Use the data from the table and Figure 1 to display the density of population for Australia’s states and territories. Remember to add BOLTSS
(border, orientation, legend, title, scale and source) to the map.
At this point ask students to either:
– 20-99 people per square kilometre
- identify the categories for the data, or
- use the categories provided below.
- – 100+ people per square kilometre
– 2-9 people per square kilometre
– < 2 people per square kilometre.
FIGURE 1: MAP OF AUSTRALIA
3. Identify one advantage and one disadvantage of representing the information about the population in a population density map.
|TABLE 1: DENSITY OF POPULATION FOR AUSTRALIAN STATES AND TERRITORIES, 2006|
|State/Territory||Population||Estimated Area (km2)||Density of Population People per square kilometre|
|Australian Capital Territory ||334200||2358||141.7|
|New South Wales ||6817200||800642||8.5|
|Northern Territory ||210700||1349129||0.2|
|South Australia ||1568200||983482||1.6|
|Western Australia ||2059000||2529875||0.8|
Source: Yearbook Australia, 2008 (cat.no. 1301.0)
Distribution of Population is the spread or arrangement of something over an area.
Density of Population is the number of people per square kilometre.
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This page last updated 6 February 2012