Softwoods are not soft or less dense; they are just softer and lighter in color than hardwoods.
There is however a lot of variation in the actually softness and hardness of the softwoods. Some types of hardwood (like balsa) are actually softer than most softwood.
Softwood comes from conifer trees, which are trees that have needle shaped leaves. These trees are also called evergreens.
The main evergreens used for softwood are cedar, pine, cypress, redwood, and spruce.
Softwood makes up about 80% of the world’s wood production and most of it is in the Russian, Scandinavian, and North American regions.
The reason that softwood is used so much is because it is easy to work with.
It is used mostly in construction to build structures of homes, to make furniture, raw material like paper and paper board, printing, and in millwork.
Because it is so readily available, it is less expensive than hardwood.