Part 1. Population and Economic Development Patterns

Conceptual Understanding:

Key Question:

How does population vary between places?

Key Content:

  1. Physical and human factors affecting population distribution at the global scale.
  2. Global patterns and classification of economic development in low-income countries (LICs), middle-income countries (MICs) and emerging economies, and high-income countries (HICs).
  3. Population distribution and economic development at the national scale, including voluntary internal migration, core-periphery patterns and megacity growth.

• Two detailed and contrasting examples of uneven population distribution

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities:

​The relative importance of different influences on where people live and spatial interactions between places at varying scales

Thursday 15 September 2022

What do you know about the world and its population?

Task 1. You are going to be answering 13 questions (timed of up to 45 seconds per question) on the World around you. Please complete the test linked below and then make a note of your score.

Gapminder Quiz

If you got any questions incorrect, please copy and paste your response and correction on the last page into a word document. 

Once you have done this, write out the following title –  
       ‘My Top Three Global Misconceptions’

Underneath this, try to explain why you had misconceptions about certain places and patterns that exist globally.

Task 2. ​Now watch the video by Orla Rosling below and take further notes on how you compared to the average respondent of this test. 
Orla Rosling Video

Factors affecting population distribution at the global scale…

Task 3. Spend a little time watching the video linked below. It shows the growth of world population over time plotted against historic events and migrations. Note the increase levels until the early 1800’s. 

You are going to be completing a summarising task using the worksheet attached below.

This sheet aims to show you the major factors that influence population distribution and asks you to use your own knowledge to suggest places where this may be evident. 
Human Population Through Time

Lesson 1. Factors Influencing Population Distribution (Google Doc)

Global patterns and classification of economic development…

Lesson 2. Global Patterns of Global Economic Development (Google Doc)

Task 1. Watch the video ‘200 years that changed the world’ (linked below) by Hans Rosling. Whilst watching, answer the following questions:

  1. Describe the state of development 200 years ago. 
  2. Describe the pattern of economic development in 2007.
  3. What does Hans Rosling mean by the flat world?
  4. How does economic development vary in the world according to Hans Rosling?
200 Years That Changed the World

Task 2. Watch the video ‘How many are rich and how many are poor’ (linked below) by Hans Rosling (founder of Gapminder) that shows the distribution of population by wealth across the world. 

Distribution of Population by Wealth

The World Bank classifies countries into different levels of economic development. The most recent figures for 2021 are shown below in the table:

Task 3: Using the table above, the World Bank interactive website at the link below complete all the activities set out in the worksheet.

World Mapped by Income

Tuesday 20 September 2022

Starter: Study the infographic below and complete the following questions on your worksheet. 

1. State the total wealth percentage shared by the richest percentage group on the infographic.

2. State the total combined wealth of the world. 
3. Suggest one improvement to the infographic. 

Infographic – Wealth Pyramid

Population Density and Development in China and Nigeria

Enquiry Question:

How does population density and voluntary internal migration affect China and Nigeria in terms of core – periphery and mega cities?

Lesson Objectives:

  1. To Describe the patterns of internal migration in China and Nigeria
  2. To assess the causes of internal migration and its impact on core-periphery and mega city growth

Lesson 3. Population Density and Development in China and Nigeria (Google Doc)

Task 1. Define the following key terms as indicated on the Google Doc worksheet.

  • Megacity
  • Millionaire City
  • Primate City
  • Urban Hierarchy
  • Core
  • Periphery
  • Population Density
  • Population Distribution

Task 2. Study the graph below adapted from Bloomberg and based on 2015/2016 OECD data and comment on the pattern of largest cities in Nigeria (red) and China (blue).

Largest Cities in China and Nigeria

Task 3. Contrasting Economic Development:

Study the data on the Human Development Report website for China and Nigeria and record the following variables in the table on the Google Doc worksheet.

  • Human Development Index
  • Life Expectancy
  • Expected years of schooling
  • GNI
  • Gini Coefficient (a score closer to 0 means more income equality)
  • Population in multidimensional poverty (%)

Next, compare the levels of economic development in China and Nigeria. Remember to classify their economic development and pick out both the big differences and similarities.

Task 4. Population Density:

Using the population density data listed below, create a choropleth map for both Nigeria and China. Then annotate the maps with the statements from the list below. Use the following colour scheme for your density map:

  • White: 0 people (uninhabited)
  • Yellow: 1-2 people per square km
  • Orange: 2-99 people per square km
  • Red: 100-500 people per square km

Density Figures:

China RegionDensity: Persons/square kmNigeria RegionDensity: Persons/square km


Population: 1.4 billionPopulation: 191 million
50% live in just 8.2% of the land area50% live in urban regions
90% live in just 30% of the land area20 cities have over 100,000 residents
4% live in 30% of the land areaThe south regions hold 40% of the population

Task 5. Core-Periphery:

Core-Periphery Models suggest that some cities, regions or countries develop faster because of human and physical advantages and turn into the core regions and other areas that lack human and physical advantages become less important periphery regions. Core areas experience greater growth, investment and net migration gain, while the peripheries are slower to develop, may well be exploited and suffer from lack of investment or alternatively experience slow trickle down of investment.

Use the following images to map the core areas onto your choropleth maps.

Core cities in China
Statistic: Largest cities in Nigeria in 2020 (in 1,000 individuals) | Statista
Core cities in Nigeria

Task 6. Internal Migration

Internal Migration – The movement of people within a country for both voluntary and involuntary reasons.

Use the following images to map the internal migration in China and Nigeria onto your choropleth maps.

China Internal Migration Map
Nigeria Internal Migration Map

Task 7. Causes of Internal Migration in China

Watch this videographic on China and complete the questions on the worksheet provided below.

Lesson 3. Internal Migration (Google Doc)

Task 8. Causes of Internal Migration in Nigeria

Study the following map, which shows the states with the largest in-migration and out-migration.

  • Describe the geographical pattern of internal migration.
  • Use the extract below to suggest reasons for internal migration.
Internal Migration in Nigeria

Extracts adapted from IOM report 2014 Patterns of Migration in Nigeria 2014 and Causes and Consequences of Rural-Urban Migration Nigeria: A Case Study of Ogun Waterside Local
Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria, by 
Omonigho T. Okhankhuele

The 2006 Population and Housing Census revealed that more than 10 per cent of Nigerians are lifetime migrants or live in states other than their states of birth. People born in Ogun, Kwara, Osun and Imo are the most migratory, with more than 20 per cent living in other states. The Internal Migration Survey conducted by the National Population Commission in 2010 revealed that 23 per cent of the sampled population of Nigerians are migrants, having changed residence within 10 years, and 2 per cent are return migrants. This shows that a large number of Nigeria’s population is on the move internally.

A number of Nigerian studies have shown that government policies have been in favour of urban  development, by purposely and continuously creating employment opportunities, educational opportunities and other infrastructural amenities more in the urban areas, compared to the rural areas. This has resulted in inequality in development and quality of life between the rural and urban areas, and therefore enhancing rural-urban migration.

These migratory flows are mostly influenced by a desire for better economic prospects and social facilities. The survey indicated that about 60 per cent of internal migrants reside in urban areas, with obvious consequences on socio-economic infrastructures in the urban areas.

The distribution of household population by migration status reveals that migrants constitute at least two fifths of the total population in 7 of the 36 states of the country. The states with relatively high proportion of migrants are Abia (48.7%), Ekiti (48.1%), Delta (45.3%), Imo (45.1%), Anambra (44.4%), Bayelsa (43.2%) and Lagos (40.1%).

The increasing importance of the south-south and north-central zones as the poles of migration flow in the country is related respectively to the huge natural resource base (specifically petroleum), and the administrative pull exerted by the burgeoning of Abuja into a federal capital city.