Notes on the Percentage of Population as one of the Measures of Population Distribution


One measure of population distribution is its percentage in a particular area in relation to the population of a larger area in which that particular area is included.

For instance, when the population of the United States, which was 205.23 million in 1970, is considered as a percentage of the world population, which was 3.6 billion in the same year, it may be said that the population of the United States constituted 5.36 per cent of the world population in that year.

It may also be observed that, in 1970, 70.00 per cent of the world population lived in the less developed regions and 30.00 per cent in the more developed regions of the world.


Within a country, the unit of observation may be the State; within the State, it may be a district; and within the district it may be a taluka and so on.

In each case, both the numerator and the denominator would change, depending on which two spatial units are being considered. Thus in 1981 Maharashtra, with a population of 62.78 million, had 9.16 per cent of India’s population, which was 685.18 million.

On the other hand, Greater Bombay, with a population of 8.2 million, had about 13 per cent of Maharashtra’s population in 1981.

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