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Term 1 Unit 3 | Geography | 7th Social Science - Population and Settlement | 7th Social Science : Geography : Term 1 Unit 3 : Population and Settlement

Chapter: 7th Social Science : Geography : Term 1 Unit 3 : Population and Settlement

Population and Settlement

Learning Objectives • To know the population, races and their classification • To learn about the different religions • To know about the major languages • To know the favourable conditions for settlement • To understand the Rural and Urban settlement • To recognize the classification of settlement

Unit –III

Population and Settlement


Learning Objectives

• To know the population, races and their classification

• To learn about the different religions

• To know about the major languages

• To know the favourable conditions for settlement

• To understand the Rural and Urban settlement

• To recognize the classification of settlement



Population Geography is a study of demographic phenomena which includes natality, morality, growth rates etc., through both space and time. Increase (or) decrease in population indicates population distribution and growth. The study of movements and mobility of population is called migration. Among the human people from place to place the ancient origin is grouped under major races such us language and religion.


The Races

Race has been defined as a biological grouping within the human species. The race is a group of people with more (or) less permanent distinguishing characteristics that are inherited. The most widely found human racial types are based on visual traits such as head shape, facial features nose shape, eye shape and colour, skin colour, stature, blood groups etc.,

The major world Human races are

• Caucasoid (European)

• Negroid (African)

• Mongoloid (Asiatic)

• Australoid (Australian)



The Caucasoid is known as European race. This group is the one with fair skin and dark brown eyes, wavy hair and narrow nose. The Caucasoid are also found in Eurasia.

Human geography is the study of Man and his surroundings to the natural environment



Negroid have the dark eyes, Black skin, black wooly hair, wide nose, long head, and thick lips. They are living in different parts of Africa.



The mongoloid race is commonly known as the Asian-American race. The mongoloid have the light yellow to brown skin, straight hair, flat face, broad head and medium nose. Such people are found in Asia and Arctic region



Australoids have wide nose, curly hair dark skin, and short in height. They are living in Australia and Asia.


Races of India

India is said to be one of the cradle lands of human civilization. The ancient Indus valley civilization in India was believed to have been of Dravidian origin in northern India. The Dravidian people were pushed south when the Indo-Aryan came in later. South India was

dominated by the three Dravidian kingdoms of the chera, the cholas, and the pandyas. The Dravidian languages are Tamil, Telugu, kannada, Malayalam and Tulu almost all the Dravidians live in the southern part of India.



Religion means a particular system of faith and worship, which brings human being with human society. Religion, is a symbol of group identity and a cultural rallying point.


Classification of Religion

a) Universalizing Religions

Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.

b) Ethnic Religions

Judaism, Hinduism and Japanese Shintoism.

c) Tribal or Traditional Religions

Animism, Shamanism and Shaman.



Language is a great force of socialization. Language, either in the written or oral form, is themost common type of communication. Language promotes the transmission of ideas and the functioning of political, economic, social and religious systems.


Languages of India

India has many languages and culture. Each state has its own language though the national language is Hindi, 22 major language were spoken by about 97 percent population of the country. India follows Kashmiri, Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Rajasthani, Gujarati, Bengali and Assamese etc., these language are followed in North India. The main languages of the Dravidian family are Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam etc., These languages are mainly spoken in southern India.

Today usage of language has changed. It is often used as communicational skill. With the different means of communication and fast moving world advancement in technology helps in understanding of different languages very easily with easy access to electronic media along with its pronunciations. These technologies have really brought the world closer.



Settlement is a place where people live and interact through activities such as agriculture, trading and entertainment. A rural settlement is a community, involved predominantly in primary activities such as agriculture, lumbering, fishing and mining. An urban settlement engages in predominantly in secondary and tertiary activities, such as industries, trade and banking. There is often a correlation between the functions, size of population and population density. A rural settlement tends to have a small population and low population density. Urban settlement often has a large population size and high population density.

Site and situation refers to the location of the actual settlement. The initial choice of a site for a settlement depends on how it is useful for meeting our daily needs, like water supply, availability of farmland, building material and fuel etc.,


Old House Types

In the early periods of human settlement, houses were built using local materials. The form of the house was closely related to the environment. In the agricultural regions, houses were built with mud walls and the roof was made of stalks of paddy (or) other crops of grass (or) thatch. Local wood was used to provide frame for the roof. Such old houses had wide verandahs and an open air circulation. The size of the house depended on the economic status of its inhabitants.


Patterns of Settlements

Settlements also be classified into Compact settlements and Dispersed settlement


Compact settlements

Compact settlement is also known as nucleated settlement. In this type large a number of houses are built very close to each other such settlement develop along the river valleys and fertile plains, In India compact settlements are found in the northern plains and the coastal plains of peninsular India.


Dispersed Settlements

Dispersed settlements are generally found in the areas of extreme climate, hilly tracts, thick forests, grasslands, areas of extensive cultivation. In these settlements, houses are spaced far apart and after interspersed with fields. In India this type of human settlement is found in the northern kosi tract, the Ganga delta ,the Thar Desert of Rajasthan and the foot hills of Himalayas and the Niligris.


A hierarchy of settlements


Rural settlement

Rural settlements are predominantly located near water bodies such as rivers, lakes, and springs where water can be easily available. People choose to settle near fertile lands suitable for agriculture, along with the provision of other basic needs. Hence, they prefer to live near low lying river valleys and coastal plains suited for cultivation. The availability of building materials like wood, stone and clay near settlements is another advantage, for settlements to be built.


Factors Influencing Rural Settlement

• Nature of topography

• Local weather Condition

• Soil and water resources

• Social organisation

• Economic condition


Pattern of Rural Settlement

Thepattern of settlement has been defined as the relationship between a house or building to another. A rural settlement pattern is a function of relief, climate, water supply and socio-economic factor. It is broadly classified under the following patterns, such as Linear, Rectangular, Circular, Star like pattern etc.,

In a Linear settlement, houses are arranged along the either side of a road,railway line, river (or) canal,the edge of a valley,etc., e.g. the Himalayas the Alps, the Rockies.

The rectangular settlements are almost straight, meeting each other at right angles. Such a settlement is found in plain areas (or) inter montane plain. E.g.,Sutlej. Houses built around a central area are known as Circular pattern of settlements. Such settlement develop around lakes and tanks. The Star like pattern of settlement develops on the sites and places where several roads converge and houses spread out along the sides of roads in all directions.e.g. The Indo – Ganga plains of Punjab and Haryana

Pilgrim settlement

Pilgrim settlement may come up around a place of worship(or) any spot with a religious significance. E.g. Thiruverkaduin Tamil Nadu.


Wet Point Settlement

A wet point is a site with reliable supply of water from wells, tank, river, spring (or) pond in an area.


Dry Point Settlement

A dry Point settlement is located in low-lying areas in the regions of excessive dampness. Dry point settlements are not affected by flooding, due to the landscape and the source of water. Such settlements are found in the coastal plains of Kerala and deltas along the east coast of India.


Urban Settlements

The settlements in which most of the people are engaged in secondary and tertiary activities are known as urban settlements. In other words, urban is related to cities and towns. The word urban is often used in terms of town, city, mega city, conurbation, megalopolis.


Classification of Urban Settlements

The definition of urban area varies from are country to another. Some of the common basis of classification are

• Size of population

• Occupational structure

• Administration



Town is a general name for an urban place, usually a settlement meeting a prescribed minimum population threshold. Population more than 5000 people. Based on the function that cities perform they can be classified into the following types of towns, such as administrative, cantonment, academic etc.,



The term City is generally applied to large urban places with no strict definitions to separate if from smaller town. City is a nucleated settlement which multifunctional in character, including an established central business district. In India an urban place with more than one lakh population is considered as a city (Population more than 1,00,000).


Mega city

A mega city is a very large city typically with a population of more than 10 million people. A mega city can be a single metropolitan area

E.g. Canton, Tokyo, Delhi, Mumbai are some of the examples of megacities.

World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that among other things a healthy city must have

• A Clean” and “Safe” environment

• Meets the basic needs of “All” its inhabitants

• Involves the “Community” in local government

• Provides easily accessible “Health service.



The word megalopolis is given for a large conurbation, when two or more large cities whose total population exceeds ten million. The region made up of cities between Boston and Washington D.C is a well-known megalopolis. In India, Kolkata is the largest urban area which is a megalopolis. Gandhinagar, Surat, Vadodara, Rajput in Gujarat are the important megalopolis cities in India.



A Conurbation is a region comprising of a number of cities, large town, and other urban areas that through population growth and physical expansion have merged to form one continuous urban (or) industrially developed area. West Midland in England, the Ruhr in Germany, Randstad in the Netherlands are example of conurbations. Mumbai in Maharashtra, Gurgaon, Faridabad in Haryana, Noida in Uttar Pradesh are the conurbation cities of India.


Satellite Town

A satellite town is a town designed to house the over population of a major city, but is located well beyond the limits of that city. Satellite towns are generally located outside the rural urban fringe. In India most satellite towns are purely residential in character. Satellite towns occasionally present a look of twin towns such as Dehri and Dalmianager in Rohtas district of Bihar. They may be connected with roads. For e.g. Patna, Barauni, Varanasi and Hajipur.


Smart City

In an urban region, a city which is very much advanced in terms of infrastructure, real estate, communication and market availability is called a Smart City. The first ten smart cities of India are Bhubaneshwar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Ludhiana, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Solapur, New Delhi and Udaipur. Tamil Nadu has 12 major cities to be transformed as smart cities. They are Chennai, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Tiruchirappalli ,Thanjavur, Tiruppur, Salem, Vellore, Coimbatore, Thoothukudi, Dindigul and Erode.


Wrap up

 • Races has been defined as a biological grouping within the human species, distinguished or classified according to genetically transmitted differences

 • Caucasoid (European) Negroid (African) Mangoloid (Asiatic) Australoid (Australia) are the major classification of races

 • Religion is classified into universalizing Ethnic and Tribal religion

 • Language is a cultural form of enduring value and a culture can survive with the presence of language only

 • Settlement is defined as a place in which people live and carryout various activities

 • Settlement may be classified on basis of occupation as rural (village) and Urban (town)

 • Compact settlements develops along river valleys and infertile plains

 • Dispersed settlement are generally found in the areas of extreme climates, hill tracks, thick forest, grassland and in poor agricultural land.

 • Smart city is a city which very much advanced in terms of infrastructure.



1. Dr. S.D Maurya (2016) cultural Geography sharda pustak Bhawan publication, Allahabad.

2. R.Y. Singh (2007) Geography of settlements Rawat publications, New Delhi

3. Majid Husain (2002) Human Geography Rawat publications Jaipur and New Delhi. 

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