Population Density in the Ghettos
Grade Levels: 3 through 12
Sunshine State Standards:
- to make calculations of population density
- to recognize the stressful conditions experienced by European ghetto dwellers due to high population density and scarcity of resources.
View all Sunshine State Standards
- Grades 3-5
- MA.A.3.2.2, 3.2.3
- Grades 6-8
- MA.A.3.3.2, 3.3.3
- MA.D.1.3.1, 1.3.2
- Grades 9-12
- MA.A.3.4.2, 3.4.3
The St. Petersburg-Tampa urban area covers 650 square miles with a population of about 2,200,000 people. Pinellas is the most densely populated county in the state of Florida. To calculate the population density, expressed in people per square mile, divide the number of people by the number of square miles. Florida's population is about 15 million, with land of 58,664 square miles. By the year 2025, Florida will probably be home to 21 million. Los Angeles, the most densely populated US region, has approximately 12 million people living in almost 2000 square miles of space. The US population is about 270 million people, with 3,618,770 square miles of land. In 2025, the US is projected to have 335,050 million people. Worldwide, there are 5840 million people occupying land area of 51,673,874 square miles. By the year 2025, the Earth is expected to have over 8000 million human residents.
During the Nazi occupation of Poland, 230,000 Jews were forced to live in a ghetto in Lódz, Poland. By the end of 1939, the 4.3 square kilometer ghetto was occupied by an average of 3.5 people per room. In 1941, 25,000 additional people were brought to the ghetto to live. By October of 1940, Nazis had confined nearly 400,000 Jews in a 3.5 square mile area of Warsaw which normally housed about 160,000. The area was surrounded by a wall 10 feet high and was sealed off on November 15, 1940. Jews were forbidden to go outside the area on penalty of being shot on sight. No contact with the outside world was allowed.
- World Almanac or Internet sites for finding population density data for US and world regions
- Given the population data provided above, have students compare the population densities of Tampa-St. Pete to other US and world areas.
- Have students compare the population densities of their own area to other US and world areas.
- Calculate the population density of the school, by converting the building square footage to square miles. One square mile contains 27,878,400 square feet.
- Use graphs to visually display comparisons. Calculate the population density of Lódz in 1939 and 1941, and in Warsaw in 1940.
- Discuss how the students feel to live and work in very crowded situations. Include discussion of sharing resources and shortages under crowded conditions.
Population Reference Bureau
A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida © 2005.