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NCERT 12 human geography chap 3: population composition

  1. People can be distinguished by their age, sex and place of residence.

  2. Other distinguishing attributes of the population are occupation, education and life-expectancy.

    SEX composition:

  3. The number of women and men in a country is an important demographic characteristic.
  4. The ratio between the number of women and men in the population is called sex-ratio.
    it is calculated in some country by this formula sex ratio = ( male population /female population )*1000 or the number of males per thousand females
  5. In India ,the sex ratio is worked out using the formula
    sex ratio = ( female population /male population) or the number of females per thousand males
  6. The sex-ratio is important information about status of women in a country.
  7. The world population reflects a sex ratio of 990 females per 1000 males.
  8. The highest sex-ratio is recorded in the world in Latvia which is 1187 females per 1000 males
  9. The lowest sex-ratio is recorded in the world in U.A.E which is 468 female per 1000 males.
  10. The world pattern of sex-ratio does not exhibit variations in the developed regions of the world.
  11. The sex-ratio is favorable for female in 139 countries. And unfavorable for females in 72 countries.
  12. Asia has a lower sex-ratio.
  13. China, India, Saudi-Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan have a lower sex ratio

    Age composition :
  14. It represents the number of people of different age groups
  15. This is an important indicator of population composition.
  16. Age 15-59 represent working population
  17. Age 60 or more represent ageing population.
  18. Age-sex pyramid represent structure of population refers to the number of female and males in different age group. Its shape reflects characteristics of population.
3 kind of mostly found age-sex pyramid :

  • Expanding populations : wide base ,triangular shapes ;indicate high birth rate e.g.: Bangladesh ,Nigeria ,Mexico

  • Constant population : bell shaped , tapered toward top shows almost same birth-death rate Australia

  • Declining population: narrow based and tapered top, population growth in developed country is almost zero or negative. Japan


  1. Rural areas are those where people are engaged in primary activities
  2. Urban areas are those when majority of the working population is engaged in non-primary activities.
  3. Sex-ratio in Asian urban is male dominated. 
  4. Female-participation in farming is fairly high in India
  5. Reasons behind to discourage women to migrate from rural to urban areas : shortage of housing, high cost of living , paucity of job opportunities ,lack of security in cities
  6. In India denotes the percentage of population above 7 year of age who able to read, write and have the ability to do arithmetic calculation with understanding.
  7. Population of literate people in a country is indicator of

  • Socio-economic development
  • Standards of living
  • Social-status of females
  • Availabilities of educational facilities
  • Policies of government
  1. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining are classified as primary activities.
  2. Manufacturing is classified as secondary activities.
  3. Transport, communication and other services are tertiary services.
  4. Jobs related to research and developing ideas are quaternary activities.

  5. Populations engaged in these 4 sectors are indicator of good economy.


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