Population Geography

Population Geography is one the simple components of the UPSC Mains syllabus. Most of the readings are easy and can be comprehended easily. Grasping this component of the syllabus can guarantee 15-25 marks in Paper I and equally in Paper II. There is not much to delve into the strategy portion for Population Geography. Few readings of the chapters from any reliable source can provide you enough insights to answer the questions. Few important things can however increase your skills in dealing with the questions on Population Geography. We will see them one by one.

Population Geography is an interesting discipline. Population and its attributes are manifestations of several other geographical factors that include climate, physiography, environment, economic development, regional characteristics, cultural settings and so on. At the same time, population works as an agent of change on these factors. For example, the interaction of population and environment may result in land degradation, water and air pollution, decline in ecological services and many other phenomena. Similarly, the migration of populations from one place to other may lead to changes in the racial profile of a region or it can alter the cultural landscape of that place. Phenomena like brain drain and indentured labour flows have in the past transformed the economic potential of various parts of the world in different intensities.

Therefore, it should be the aim of a reader to understand these interrelationships. Population Geography should no be treated in isolation. Keeping in mind this fact, we have prepared the consolidated list of topics that encompass both the papers as well as current affairs so that you develop a holistic understanding of the subject. Read these components in one stretch and try to apply the learning of one paper into another, especially the theoretical understandings of paper I into paper II and contemporary issues.

Paper I

  1. Growth and distribution of world population
  2. Demographic attributes
  3. Causes and consequences of migration
  4. Concepts of over-under-and optimum population
  5. Population theories
  6. World population problems and policies
  7. Social well-being and quality of life
  8. Population as social capital

Related Models and Theories

  1. Marxian and demographic transition models

Paper II

  1. Growth, distribution and density of population
  2. Demographic attributes: sex-ratio, age structure, literacy rate, work-force, dependency ratio, longevity
  3. Migration (inter-regional, intra- regional and international) and associated problems; Population problems and policies
  4. Health indicators

Related Contemporary Issue

  1. Population explosion and food security

Current Affairs

  1. Census 2011
  2. Socio Economic and Caste Census
  3. National Population Register
  4. Demographic Dividend
  5. Census of Religion etc

There are multiple sources for this part of the syllabus. Here, we present an exhaustive list of various sources and resources beyond which you need not refer anything. However, it must be kept in mind that we don’t recommend you to go through all these sources. NCERTs, a good reference book and news papers should suffice your needs.

  • NCERT, Class XI and XII Human Geography
  • SSS Series by K. Siddhartha
  • Any good reference Geography dictionary
  • Human Geography by Majid Hussain
  • Rupa Series book on Human Geography
  • Atlas
  • Issue of Geography and You: September-October, 2012

Also, prepare a comprehensive list of all the terms and terminologies associated with all the chapters and expand them in not more than 30 words. Try to use them frequently in your answers. We shall provide supplements from our side to aid your efforts.

Examples must supplement your understanding. This is very important in Population Geography. Examples from both around the world and India must be mastered by you through repeated revisions and discussions.

We shall keep you at your toes with our daily questions. These questions shall be of different types. Some will test your conceptual clarity while others will tease your brain to apply itself in a broader interdisciplinary manner. Yet others might be there to provide you with quick recall of concepts and issues.

Following mind map would be useful in giving you the broad contours of the syllabus and also keep a tab on your progress.

Population Geography


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