The Effects of Population Density Essay Sample

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Introduction of TOPIC

Population density indicates the population that lives in an area by unit of territorial surface of that zone. Allows us to distinguish which are the areas where there’s a high or a low number of people be contingent of the territory they occupy. This essay will discuss the effect of population density and noise on individuals. In addition there’s a brief description of the concepts of territoriality, privacy and personal space and the importance of these concepts to an individual since population has become denser. The human population is the total of people living on Earth. A particular amount of the large surface of the Earth has a “production capacity”, which limits the increase in human population. Some observers of human societies have proposed the concept of production capacity also applies to the human population, and that uncontrolled population growth can cause a Malthusian catastrophe, however others vehemently oppose to this happening. A possible mathematical model to describe the growth of a population is called exponential in the shape of a logistic curve.

However the most disconcerting fact is that according to Veitch & Arkkelin(1995) “in the United states alone, 70 percent of individuals live on only 2 percent of the habitable land” (p.229). Instead of distributing ourselves evenly over the surface of the earth we have lean towards concentrating our numbers into limited geographical areas (Veitch & Arkkelin, 1995) Population concentration has a various of social, psychological and physical effects on individuals due to the population density and noise, among others. Currently almost half of humanity lives in urban areas. The world is an increasingly urbanized. Urbanization is a universal process quite complex and characteristic of developing countries, which originates in response to deterioration or at least, the stagnation of the quality of life in rural areas at all levels. People migrate to cities in search of work, educational opportunities and higher levels of life, and leaves rural lands that no longer provides sustenance. But the large volume of housing developments and the rapid rate of urban population growth test the ability of national and local governments to provide basic services.

“Urban environments display three specific aspects: ambient physical conditions (essentially noise and air pollution), social conditions (density), and overstimulation (exposure to a high number and variety of visual and other stimulations)” (Urban environments and human behavior,

2004, para.3). Usually rapid urban growth is accompanied by many intractable problems like poverty,

unemployment, inadequate housing, poor or lack of sanitation, water and air pollution, noise pollution, other forms of environmental degradation, congestion streets and the saturation of public transportation systems. Noise is basically unwanted sound or sounds. Noise is a major cause of concern among the population of cities, as it affects the quality of life and can also cause harmful effects on health, behavior and activities of man, and causes psychological and social effects Noise is the common stress to which individual that lives on an urban area is exposed to on a daily basis. The sound level is linked to the size of the population of an area and a direct consequence of the population’s activities that takes place. The noise was considered the most harmless source of contamination because, unlike other agents, is perceived only by one sense and its effects are less immediate.

It is, however one of most invasive contaminants found in the environment, because “noise can come from anything that makes a sound, because noise is in the perception of the hearer and not in the sound itself” (Veitch & Arkkelin, 1995, p.208). The effects of noise are not easily visible, and can only be noted in time. Above all, noise leaves no residue. “Psychological perceptions of sounds vary in their timbre, pitch, and loudness” (Veitch & Arkkelin, 1995, p.207). Exposure to loud noise can affect memory, produced perceptual errors, stress, affect learning and generate aggression. And several of the psychological effects of loud noise on individuals, problems sleeping, unstable behavior, memory loss, lack of attention, depression, anxiety, stress or insomnia. Some of the physiological effects include, auditory problems, blood vessels constrict, and the pupils dilate, the voluntary and involuntary muscles tense and adrenalin increases causing neuro-muscular tension, nervousness, irritability and anxiety (Veitch & Arkkelin, 1995).

Territoriality, privacy and personal space have a great significance for individuals since population has become denser. Territoriality is defined as a marked geographical space in which individual sees as their property, in other words the marking of a space, and the sense of territory as a space in which an individual has complete domain. “Human territories may be less rooted in survival needs than in a desire for status, privacy, and solitude” (Territoriality, 2004, para.4). Personal space is the emotionally tinged zone around the human body that people feel is “their space” (Personal Space, 2004, para.1).When personal space is invaded without consent there is the tendency to become anxious and angry. Another important concept in any individual’s life is their privacy.

Privacy is the realm of life that takes place in a reserved space and that the individual is entitled to protect against interference to remain confidential. It is a concept equivalent to intimacy. According to Veitch & Arkkelin (2005) “Much of our territorial behavior is aimed at protecting our privacy” (p.266). Individuals must have the capacity to choose, what information and space they want to share with others. The important for individuals to have some kind of control is essential because of the crowding that we are daily expose to, there’s a need for each individual to have something of their own that they can choose to share or not.


Personal Space. (2004). In Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology. Retrieved September 29, 2011 from personal_space Privacy. (2004). In Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology. Retrieved from Urban environments and human behavior. (2004). Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology. Retrieved September 29, 2011 from Territoriality. (2004). In Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology. Retrieved September 29, 2011 from territoriality Veitch, R., & Arkkelin, D. (1995) Environmental psychology: An interdisciplinary perspective. New Saddle River, NJ:

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