Where people live

The places where people live are strongly correlated to climate, soil quality, terrain, and abundance of local resources (availability of fresh water, building materials, etc.). Although humans live in some of the most extreme and remote places (like deserts and tundras), most reside in concentrated urban and suburban areas that experience moderate climates. The map above shows a gridded representation of population concentration throughout the world, derived from country population estimates and census counts, as of 1995. As can be seen, areas of eastern Asia and the Indian subcontinent, as well as selected areas of Europe and North America, are heavily populated. These areas are said to have a "high population density." Human geographers and demographers are interested in population mapping for a wide variety of reasons, such as urban planning, clean air and water resource assessment, socio-economic profiling, and emergency planning and management.

Credit: Museums Teaching Planet Earth and SEDAC/CIESIN - Columbia University

For more info: http://www.geog.ucsb.edu/~dylan/mtpe/biosphere/topics/pop/population.html