Population density

Global population density

Along with our list of the world's largest countries we also provide this ranking by population density. The ranking by population density is headed by far by microstates like Monaco, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The second line is dominated by countries well known for their poverty rates. Here, large families are protection against elderly poverty. The giants in export and industry like Taiwan or South Korea can also be found near the top.

The United States comes 82nd with a density of 33.8 inhabitants per square kilometer.

Population density by country

Population density can vary widely within a country. In particular, large countries such as Russia or the US have large, almost uninhabitable desert areas that are sparsely populated. For example, only 23% of Russia's territory is on the European continent, but there 85% of its inhabitants live there. Another example is Egypt: the country covers over 1 million square kilometers (386,662 sqmi), but a quarter of the population lives in the Cairo metropolitan area.

per km²
1Macao *30 km²0.69 M22,585.8
2Monaco2.0 km²0.04 M18,161.4
3Singapore719 km²5.45 M7,584.9
4Hong Kong *1,110 km²7.41 M6,678.5
5Gibraltar *6.8 km²0.03 M4,804.3
6Vatican0.4 km²0.00 M2,272.7
7Bahrain778 km²1.46 M1,880.8
8Maldives300 km²0.52 M1,738.2
9Malta320 km²0.52 M1,620.4
10Saint Martin *34 km²0.04 M1,260.2
11Bermuda *53 km²0.06 M1,200.5
12Bangladesh147,630 km²169.36 M1,147.2
13Guernsey *78 km²0.07 M865.3
14Jersey *120 km²0.10 M854.1
15Palestine6,020 km²4.92 M817.7
16Mayotte *374 km²0.26 M685.9
17Taiwan *35,980 km²23.58 M655.4
18Barbados430 km²0.28 M654.0
19Mauritius2,040 km²1.27 M620.6
20St. Martin *53 km²0.03 M600.5
21Aruba *179 km²0.11 M595.5
22Nauru21 km²0.01 M592.9
23San Marino61 km²0.03 M551.5
24Lebanon10,450 km²5.59 M535.2
25South Korea100,339 km²51.74 M515.7
26Rwanda26,340 km²13.46 M511.1
27Burundi27,830 km²12.55 M451.0
28Comoros1,861 km²0.82 M441.5
29India3,287,259 km²1,425.78 M433.7
30Tuvalu26 km²0.01 M430.9
31Israel22,070 km²9.36 M424.3
32Netherlands41,543 km²17.53 M422.0
33Haiti27,750 km²11.45 M412.5
34Belgium30,530 km²11.59 M379.7
35Philippines300,000 km²113.88 M379.6
36Puerto Rico *8,870 km²3.26 M367.9
37Grenada340 km²0.12 M366.5
38Martinique *1,128 km²0.40 M350.2
39Curacao444 km²0.15 M343.2
40Sri Lanka65,610 km²22.16 M337.7
41Japan377,970 km²125.68 M332.5
42Guam *540 km²0.17 M315.8
43Virgin Islands *350 km²0.11 M302.5
44El Salvador21,040 km²6.31 M300.1
45Trinidad and Tobago5,130 km²1.53 M297.4
46Vietnam331,230 km²97.47 M294.3
47Pakistan796,100 km²231.40 M290.7
48Saint Lucia620 km²0.18 M289.8
49Guadeloupe *1,628 km²0.46 M280.1
50United Kingdom243,610 km²67.33 M276.4
51Luxembourg2,590 km²0.64 M247.1
52Germany357,580 km²83.20 M232.7
53Qatar11,610 km²2.69 M231.5
54Nigeria923,770 km²213.40 M231.0
55Switzerland41,290 km²8.70 M210.8
56Nepal147,180 km²30.03 M204.1
57Italy301,340 km²59.11 M196.2
58China9,562,910 km²1,425.67 M149.1
59Indonesia1,913,580 km²273.75 M143.1
60Thailand513,120 km²71.60 M139.5
61Denmark42,920 km²5.86 M136.5
62France549,087 km²67.75 M123.4
63Poland312,680 km²37.75 M120.7
64United Arab Emirates83,600 km²9.37 M112.0
65Portugal92,226 km²10.33 M112.0
66Egypt1,001,450 km²109.26 M109.1
67Turkey785,350 km²84.78 M107.9
68Malaysia330,345 km²33.57 M101.6
69Spain505,935 km²47.42 M93.7
70Cambodia181,040 km²16.59 M91.6
71Morocco446,550 km²37.08 M83.0
72Greece131,960 km²10.64 M80.6
73Romania238,400 km²19.12 M80.2
74Ukraine603,550 km²43.79 M72.6
75Ireland70,280 km²5.03 M71.6
76Ecuador256,370 km²17.80 M69.4
77Mexico1,964,375 km²126.71 M64.5
78Afghanistan652,860 km²40.10 M61.4
79Cameroon475,440 km²27.20 M57.2
80Iran1,745,150 km²87.92 M50.4
81South Africa1,219,090 km²59.39 M48.7
82United States9,831,510 km²331.89 M33.8
83Brazil8,515,770 km²214.33 M25.2
84Sweden447,430 km²10.42 M23.3
85New Zealand267,710 km²5.12 M19.1
86Saudi Arabia2,149,690 km²35.95 M16.7
87Argentina2,780,400 km²45.81 M16.5
88Finland338,450 km²5.54 M16.4
89Norway385,203 km²5.41 M14.0
90Russia17,098,250 km²143.45 M8.4
91Canada9,984,670 km²38.25 M3.8
92Australia7,741,220 km²25.69 M3.3

High population density in small countries

Population density The top of the table is headed by conspicuously small states. Macau, Monaco, Singapore and Hong Kong are all city states. These are states that basically consist of a single city and its environs. Liechtenstein and Luxembourg are also in the upper quarter of the listed countries. These smallest countries have an extremely high price structure in common. The population density here is directly proportional to size and price level. When a large business location is created in a small area, it usually attracts many people. However, it is precisely because of national borders that this area cannot expand, which at the same time means that living space becomes scarce and the cost of living explodes. This also applies to Macao and Hong Kong, which are considered special administrative zones in China, but at whose borders entry and exit controls are nevertheless carried out and the tax law changes.

Drastically increasing density in low-income countries

What is not apparent in the above snapshot is revealed in further considerations: In countries in the lower income brackets, population density has been rising drastically for a few decades. These include Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, Pakistan and Nigeria.

Age pyramid in low-income countries

Age pyramid Low-income countries

Due to the high poverty rate and the higher unemployment figures, different social systems have developed there since the middle of the last century compared to richer countries. There are no savings because there is simply not enough money available and basic state security in the form of unemployment benefits or social assistance are insufficient. Instead, they rely on a large number of offspring whose traditional task is to feed the entire family. The enormous population growth becomes particularly clear when one looks at the age pyramids of these countries.

* The marked countries are not independent and sovereign states, but dependent territories of other states. Cf. also our article What is a country?
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