• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Population Density

  • By: Hugh Millward
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Population density is an arithmetic average expressing the number of people, animals, or plants per unit of area for a given spatial unit. For example, Denmark has an average of 121 persons/km2 (square kilometer), and the island of Manhattan has 27,267 persons/km2. Population density is an important indicator of the ecological relationship between populations and natural resources. In human populations, density has important impacts on the way people live and interact and on the efficiency and environmental impact of their settlements.

Density in Ecology

The defining theme of the science of ecology is the distribution and abundance of organisms—that is, their population densities. Ecologists and biogeographers have developed concepts and methods for the analysis of density patterns applicable to individual animal and plant populations (e.g., species) and ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles