World Geography (Social Aspect)

Category : UPSC


World Geography (Social Aspect)


As a part of Human geography. Cultural geography deals with the socio-cultural aspect of various human groups based upon their geographic location which includes their habitat, clothing, food, shelter. Skills, tools, language, religions, social organization and life style. Basing upon the above criteria each continent has some unique ethnic groups which are otherwise called as Human Race, who are confined to a particular region of that continent only.



Race is biologically denned as a geographically isolated population of organisms that differs from other populations of the same species in certain heritable traits. As to clarify it further it is a categorization of humans based on their physical characteristics such as skin colour, stature, head form, face, hair, eye, nose, body type, blood group etc. along with regional variations. Accordingly three major human races are identified which are distributed across the world. They are Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid which further sub divided into geographically viable groups. In this chapter we are going to discuss continent wise racial groups and their distribution pattern.



Major Ethnic Group/Race




Arabian (Middle East)

Bahrain, State of Palestine, Lebanon, Comoros, 1 Kuwait, Qatar, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia, Yemen, Djibouti, Sudan, Algeria, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Libya, Mauritania

This is a major Pan ethnic Group which is primarily habited in Western Asia. The parimary language spoken by Arabian group is Arabic. Besides 15 other languages are spoken among Arabians m different parts of the World

Indian (Indoaryan & Dravidian)

Most part of Indian Sub continents (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh)

On the basis of ethno linguistic composition the group is highly diversified still the map Population is restricted within two major  linguists groups such as Indo-Aryan and Dravidian


This group is primarily concentrated m Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and gradually spreading towards Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, Hebel, Henan. Sichuan, Yunnan and Beijing

They speck mainly the dialect of Atlantic Language family. The major three of them are Inner Mongolian, Barag-Buryat and Uirad  Largest  populated race of the world.





Rwanda Burundi, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo (ROC), the Central African Republic Cameroon, the Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola Botswana, Namibia, Madagascar, and Zambia are populated by these group

A short height tribal group gathering fruits, nuts and honey from dense Jungles and they are primarily confined to ram forests only. Most primitive Tribe of Africa


They are the huge inhabitant of Kalahari desert Other than this they spread along Botswana Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe an Angola, with loosely related groups in Tanzania

They are basically yellow-skinned nomads whose primary food intake in plant products collected from jungles which accounts for 70% of their diet. and for the rest 20%-30% the depend on hunting


They are mainly concentrated in KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. Some are also scattered throughout the other provinces. KwaZulu-Natal borders on Mozambique in the north, Eastern Cape in the south, the Indian Ocean in the east, and Lesotho in the west. They are highly concentrated in South Africa.

They are the descendants of Nguni-speaking people and best known African tribes who were exploited by Britishers during the late 1800s. The most spoken languages are Zulu and English.


They are the semi nomadic tribes who originated from the lower Nile valley north of Lake Turkana (Northwest Kenya) and began migrating south around the 15th century, and finally settled in Kenya around 17th and 18th Century

They commonly use Kenya and Tanzania, Swahili and English language for communication as well as education.


The Bantus are primarily found in Rwanda, Angola, Burundi, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, with some among other nations in the Southern part of Africa.

As these tribes are highly resourceful and adaptable their occupancy in the total continent is also the highest. They mainly speak bantu language which gave them their nomenclature. They live on agriculture and metal working which give opportunity to adopt colonization.

North America

Groups of Indigenous peoples

They mostly confined to Canada and some part ofU.S.A.

The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the descendants of the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America.

Native Hawaiians

Most Native Hawaiians reside in State of Hawaii and the American Southwest

Native Hawaiians are the indigenous Polynesian people of the Hawaiian Islands or their descendants.

South America


Mainly concentrated in Latin America. (Mexico, central America and No. of Island)

They emerged due to extensive intermixing between Europeans and Native Americans early in the colonial period


Brazil is home to Latin America's largest mulatto population. Other than Brazil they spread in Dominican Republic, Cuba, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Ecuador.

Mulattoes are people of mixture of European and African.


Zambos are the small minorities in the northwestern South American countries such as Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana and Ecuador.

This is a small yet noticeable group resulting from unions ofAmerindian women to Afro-Ecuadorian men are not uncommon in major coastal cities of Ecuador.



The Nordics are inhabited in the countries around North and Baltic Seas.

As a sub group of Caucasian race this group is a set of people having distinct physical characteristics such as concurrence of fair, colour, somewhat wavy hair, light eyes, reddish skin, tall stature and a dolichocephalic skull


They are mostly concentrated in Afghanistan, Baluchistan, and Hindustan, with perhaps a southward extension into Ceylon.

This is a relatively small, light boned, long skulled race, of brunet color becoming even swarthy in certain portions of its range and possibly emerged during Neolithic times


They acquire all central and eastern Europe, and extending through Asia Minor to the Hindu Kush and the Pamirs.

The Alpines have their special physical characteristic of round skull, medium height and sturdy build, both as to skeleton and muscles. The color of both hair and eyes was originally very dark and still tends strongly in that direction, but many light colored eyes especially gray, are now found in the Alpine populations of western Europe.


Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders

They contribute only 3% of the total population though they are the original inhabitant of Australia and the rest 7% are contributed by races of Asiatic origin.

Upto 2010-2012 the average life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was approximately ten years (10,6 years for men and 9.5 years for women) which is much below the race of Asiatic origin, the leading causes of death are being heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and cancer.


Population Density


Human being is dependent upon the resource provided by nature for living. Suitable climate, fertile land, favorable environment gives ample of opportunities to grow. Hence the geographical unit which provides all sorts of facilities to human for it growth has a high pressure of population rather than the unfavorable ones. In these areas the density of population is also high in comparison to that of the unfavorable climates.


Population Density refers to the capacity of a piece of land for supporting the population living on it. In other words it refers to the ratio between the numbers of people to the size of land which is generally measured in persons per sq. km.

Density of Population = Population / Area

Most densty populated sovereign nation is Monaco followed by Singapore.


Factors affecting Population Distribution

The population on the earth surface is very unevenly distributed as result of so many factors which broadly categorized into three sections.


Geographical Factors

  • As nature and its resources provide living aids to human being, factors such as land, water, climate and soil play a major role in influencing the density of population of a particular locality. Smooth terrain, fertile land, suitable climate and proper provision of water for irrigation and other basic uses of human being supports comparatively a large of population that the unfavorable natural conditions:
  • For example Indo-Gangetic plain provides favorable living environment than hilly terrain of North eastern part of India.
  • Most


Economic Factors

  • Sometimes the economic prosperity of a region attracts the population of the surrounding areas which leads to migration of population from rural to newly built urban area in search of earning livelihood. The urban agglomeration then gradually increases with further economic growth.
  • On the other hand the areas with huge mineral deposits give rise to industrial development which again require skilled and semi- skilled labours to work for the industry hence result into growth of population.
  • Canton and Shanghai of China, Tokyo of Japan, Seoul of South Korea, Mumbai and Delhi of India are the brightest example of such economic growth which attracts maximum population of the adjacent rural areas.


Socio-cultural Factors

  • Besides geographical and economic factors, social aspects also play a vital role in the growth of population of a particular area. Sometimes regions with religious and cultural back ground help people find their way in the midst of such places.
  • Social and cultural factors in India and China had strongly influence the increase in population as people sometimes attached to the belief of having large families. In the developed world, smaller families are the norm.


Trends in Population Growth

As per the recent statistics of United Nations population Find the world population has reached to 7 billion mark in 2011 which is quite alarming. The rate of growth has increased to seven times to that of early years of economic and social development. The growth was at its peak during 1750. The noticeable change occurred due to the massive change in three major social components of birth, death and migration. With technological advancement during the era of industrial development has helped in reducing the death rate and increasing the fertility rate, decrease in the infant mortality rate, increase in the life expectancy, decrease in the death rate and finally increasing urbanization and migration.


Crude Birth Rate is the number of live births per year per 1000 persons which is generally estimated mid-year.

It can be calculated as:

CBR = (Bi/P) x 1000 where Bi = the live births during the year


Crude Death Rate is number of death per 1000 population of a specific geographical location, Like CBR it is also estimated in mid year.

It can be calculated as:

CDR = (D/P) x 1000,

where D = no. of death per year

P = Estimated mid- year population


Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is the number of deaths of infants under one year old per 1,000 live births. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country.

The rate of population growth is the percentage of population change over a period of time and can be divided into:


Natural Growth refers to Birth - Death

Actual Growth refers to birth-death + In migration-Out




  • The third most important component of change in population is It's the movement of people from one place in the world to another for the purpose of taking up permanent or semi -permanent residence, usually across a political boundary. The place people move from is known as Place of Origin and the place they move to is known as Place of Destination.
  • According to world Migration Report 2015, over 54%. of people across the globe were living in Urban Areas in 2014.
  • Basing upon the duration of stay the migration is of three types permanent, temporary and seasonal.
  • There are two sets of factors which greatly influence migration.
  • Push factor are the reasons such as unemployment, poor living condition, political turmoil, unsuitable climate, natural disasters and socio-economic backwardness etc. compels the dweller of a particular region to leave the place. This is somewhat less attractive. The resultant migration is called
  • Pull factors seem like interesting as they attract the migrants with opportunities like better jobs, living condition, peace of mind and social stability and the resultant migration is known as



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