Briefly explain the association between the climatic conditions experienced in Australia and the population distribution in the country.

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The population of Australia is concentrated on the southeastern side of the continent, particularly in New South Wales (where Sydney is located) and Victoria (where Melbourne is located). Sydney is the largest city in Australia, followed by Melbourne, and about twelve million out of approximately 22 million Australians live in New South Wales or Victoria. A great deal of the population is settled along the eastern coast. The northeastern side of the continent, comprising Queensland, is also more populous than the interior and western side of the continent. There is also some population density in the far southwest. This population pattern is determined by climate, as only the southeast has a temperate climate. The southwest corner of the continent is also temperate, while the northeast is tropical and the northern part of the continent is subtropical. The interior of the continent is comprised of deserts and grassland and has very hot summers and relatively arid conditions with little predictable rains. The hot and dry climate in the interior makes the land susceptible to bushfires, and the population density in the interior region is lower than that of the coasts because of the harsh climate in this area.

mthiringer eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One has only to place a climate map of Australia next to a population density map of Australia to see that there is a significant association between the climate in Australia and where in the country people choose to live.

The population of Australia is about 24 million people, approximately 69% of whom live in major cities. The major cities in Australia are located on the southwest and southeast coasts, where the climate is temperate. People do live in the more remote areas of the country, but relatively few compared to the number of people residing in the major cities.

The remote areas of Australia are predominantly desert and grasslands, and only about 2.3% of Australia’s population lives there. Obviously, desert climates are known to have very hot weather in the daytime and very cold nights.  So you can see that population density in the country is heavily influenced by its climate.

I’ve included links to the relevant maps below. I hope this helps!