Population Maps

Population Maps


maps of population; maps that show the location and pattern of settlement of the population, its composition and reproduction, its migration, and its socioeconomic characteristics. Population maps play an important role in the economic geographical evaluation of territory, in national economic planning, in building cities, and in accomplishing public service and cultural construction tasks.

Population maps are subdivided by content into maps of population distribution and pattern of settlement, demographic maps, ethnologic anthropological maps, and socioeconomic maps. The most detailed and, in a practical sense, valuable maps of population distribution are maps of the size of populated areas, which use different symbols to indicate the populations of various areas. Maps showing the size of populated areas are found in many Soviet regional atlases, including the Atlas of Kustanai Oblast (1963) and the Atlas of the Tadzhik SSR (1967). Most Soviet survey maps of population location indicate the size of urban settlements with symbols and the density of rural population in cartograms, by administrative units or area of settlement. Abroad, the dot system, or point method, is widely used to show population distribution.

Maps that give integrated descriptions of the population density of an area and maps of the potential field of settlement (demographic potential) are also being developed.

Maps of the pattern of settlement characterize populated areas and their systems according to production and functional characteristics, history of formation and development, topographical position, and planning and building. The main type provides a production and functional description of the pattern of settlement. Maps of the pattern of settlement are most commonly found in comprehensive geographic atlases (for example, the Atlas of Kustanai Oblast, 1963, and the Atlas of the Transbaikal, 1967).

Demographic maps show the composition of the population by sex and age, natural increase and migration, and marital status. Maps of age and sex distribution are often done as diagrammatic maps by the method of “age pyramids,” which show the distribution of population by age groups with a breakdown according to sex. Maps of natural movement reflect the birthrate, mortality, and natural increase. Maps of mechanical movement show the volume, directions, and results of migration. Maps showing commutation to places of work and service points are under intensive development.

Ethnologic anthropological maps show the nationality composition of the population; the ethnic pattern of settlement; the distribution of languages, national cultures, domestic customs, and religions; racial composition; and anthropological characteristics. Ethnologic maps and atlases are most common. Major advances in ethnologic mapping have been made in the USSR (for example, the Atlas of the Peoples of the World, 1964).

Maps of the socioeconomic characteristics of the population reflect social composition, labor resources and their use, and employment. They are directly related to economic description of an area and are found chiefly in comprehensive geographic atlases and special-subject atlases for scientific reference (for example, the Atlas of the Transbaikal, 1967).


Baranskii, N. N., and A. I. Preobrazhenskii. Ekonomicheskaia karto-grafiia. Moscow, 1962.
Bruk, S. I., and V. I. Kozlov. “Osnovnye problemy etnicheskoi karto-grafii.” Sov. etnografiia, 1961, no. 5.
Bruk, S. I., O. A. Evteev, and V. I. Kozlov. “Kartograficheskii metod v geograficheskom issledovanii naseleniia.” In Nauchnye problemy geografii naseleniia. Moscow, 1967.
Evteev, O. A., and S. A. Kovalev. “Naselenie i trudovye resursy.” In Sotsial’no-ekonomicheskie karty v kompleksnykh regional’nykh atlasakh. Moscow, 1968.
Korovitsyn, V. P. “Voprosy kartografirovaniia naseleniia.” In Geografiia naseleniia v SSSR: Osnovnye problemy. Moscow-Leningrad, 1974.
Hunt, A. J. “Problems of Population Mapping: An Introduction.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 1968, no. 43.


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