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Why do human settlements grow in specific locations only? - Geography

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Answer in Brief

Why do human settlements grow in specific locations only?

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Solution

Human settlements are organised and structured human habitation in different regions. It determines how the population is distributed in different regions. Human settlements grow only in specific regions. Some important determinants of the location-specific growth of settlements are:

  • Availability of water resources: An important factor in determining the growth of human settlements is the availability of freshwater. The existence of lakes and rivers is an important feature influencing the growth of settlements. Only these regions will permit cultivation and allied activities like dairying. Because of this reason, we can find most of the ancient human habitations in the banks of the rivers. Indraprastha, Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and Varanasi are some examples of such settlements.
  • The topography of land: The landscape is an important aspect influencing the growth of human settlements. Flat, plain and fertile lands will be more densely populated as compared to hilly and rugged areas. The transportation and other facilities will be more developed in the plains leading to a higher concentration of population.
  • Climate: Climate of the area also determines the density of human settlement. Population and settlements will be much lesser in deserts and arid lands with less rainfall. Population will be higher in the coastal areas and the plains even if the climate is hot and humid because of adequate rainfall.
  • Natural resources: Regions rich in fertile soil and other natural resources will be densely populated than others. The rich natural resources will provide more opportunities for the people thus improving their quality of life.
  • Infrastructure development: The population will be concentrated in areas with high infrastructure development and facilities. This will improve the transportation and communication network resulting in the migration of more people.
Concept: Examples of Settlement Patterns in India
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