IU - Indiana University

Geography and History of the World


Standard 3. Population Characteristics, Distribution, and Migration

Students examine the physical and human geographic factors associated with population characteristics, distribution and migration in the world and the causes and consequences associated with them.

3.1 Map and analyze the distribution of the world’s human population for different time periods noting the
population characteristics and population density for specific regions.

3.2 Identify and describe the push-pull factors that resulted in the migration of human population over time and detect changes in these factors.

3.3 Analyze the changes in population characteristics and physical and human environments that resulted from the migration of peoples within, between, and among world regions.

3.4 Give examples of and evaluate how the physical and human environments in different regions have changed over time due to significant population growth or decline.

3.5 Analyze population trends in the local community and suggest the impact of these trends on the future of the community in relation to issues such as development, employment, health, cultural diversity, schools, political representation and sanitation.

Population Characteristics—The traits of a population including

  • Age-Gender Structure—The composition of a population as determined by the number or proportion of males and females in each age category.
  • Birth Rate—The number of births per 1,000 people in a given year.
  • Death Rate—The number of deaths per 1,000 people in a given year.
  • Growth Rate—The rate at which the population is increasing or decreasing in a given year due to natural increase and migration into the population, expressed as a percentage of the base population.
  • Life Expectancy At Birth—The average number of additional years a person would live if current mortality trends were to continue. A measure of well-being.
  • Natural Increase—The surplus or deficit of births over deaths in a population in a given time period.

Population Distribution—The patterns of settlement and dispersion of a population.

Migration—A change in residence intended to be permanent.

  • Forced migration—Human migration flows in which the movers have no choice but to relocate.
  • Internal migration—Migration flow within a country.
  • International migration—Migration flow involving movement across an international boundary.
  • Voluntary migration—Population movement in which people relocate in response to perceived opportunity, not because they were forced to migrate.

Push-Pull Factors—The idea that migration flows are simultaneously stimulated by perceived conditions in the source area, which tend to drive (push) people away, and by the perceived attractiveness (pull) of the destination.