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The distribution of population in the surface of the earth is not uniform due to many factors. These factors can be classified into four main groups, namely physical, historical, economical and political. The physical factors are divided into climate, relief, vegetation, soil, drainage and diseases;-

1. Climate: Temperature and rainfall are the two main influential climatic elements. People have a tendency to adapt to moderate variations in temperature. Extreme temperatures however play a significant role as far as human population is concerned.
Very high temperature like those experienced in Tanga, Zanzibar and Dar es salaam discourage human settlement and consequently influence the population pattern. Places receiving rainfall of over 1000 mm are densely populated, e.g. Kilimanjaro and Kagera.

2. Relief: Areas of high attitude have low population because of extremely low temperatures experienced there. Most crops do not do well beyond an attitude of 2500 m. However some communities choose to live in the mountain areas for security reasons.

3. Vegetation: Dense forests are sparsely populated. It is difficult to develop communication line in such areas. They are also habitats for wild animals which may be a danger to human habitation, Livestock and crops. Areas such as Miombo woodlands of Tanzania are infested with tsetse flies which are a threat to people and livestock. This has discouraged settlement in such areas.

4. Soils: Areas with fertile soil such as those areas around lake Victoria have attracted many people. Place with infertile soils such as the leached soils of the savannah are sparsely settled because they are agriculturally unproductive.

5. Drainage: Well drainage areas attract settlement and hence have high population. Swampy places and areas with seasonal swamps are normally uninhabited. Such places do not attract settlement or farming. People avoid settling in areas that are prone to flooding.

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