Patterns of density and distribution within an ELDC
For this section, I have decided to look at the case study of Brazil. Brazil is an Economically Less Developed Country and has a distinguished pattern of population distribution.
What are the patterns?
- Over 90% of Brazilians live in a discontinuous strip of about 500k wide, adjacent to the east coast. This strip is less than a quarter of the size of the whole country.
- The density of population fades the more north-west you go and in some areas it is hardly permanently populated at all.
- The west of the Country is tropical rainforest whilst the eastern parts increase with population density as you reach the coastal areas.
- There are two anomalies to the pattern, the settlements of Manaus and Carajas.
- The North East, central-eastern and the South East are centres of large settlements.
What are the causes to these patterns?
- Land inward of the coast (east of central Brazil) is often prone to drought. Combined with its high temperatures and poor soils, it makes this area unsuitable for growing high-yielding crops or rearing livestock.
- Low in minerals and energy
- Poor communications
- Basic services such as health, water, education and electricity are lacking.
- High birth rates (often more than 10 babies to a mother) there is rapid out-migration to the eastern areas on the coast.
- High Infant Mortality and lowlife expectancy.
- The North East of Brazil is a recent growth pole, based on the discovery of mineral deposits (iron, bauxite) and the construction of energy resources in the form of hydro-electric power stations.
- Brasilia is a very new city in modern day terms (1960) and was built by the Brazilian government to redress the centre-east power, population and economic imbalance.
It is important to acknowledge that there are both human and physical factors to why the population of Brazil is distributed in the way that it is. The physical factors are due to the differences in environments (and continentality) which enable human settlement and also due to the mineral and energy distributions that aid settlements. The human factors are due to employment and tourism but also due to government decisions on how to aid a city or even to the extreme of creating a new city to redress population distributions domestically. The physical ractors are usually the reson to high population densities whilst the human factors are the explainations to such figures.