Population density (people per km2) by country, 2006
Living population density by country
Population density (people per km2
) map of the world in 1994. In relation to the equator it is seen that the vast majority of the human population lives in the Northern Hemisphere
, as 67% of the Earth's land area is there.
Population density (people per km2) map of the world in 2005
World environments map, compare with the maps above
Biological population densities
Population density is population divided by total land area or water volume, as appropriate.
Low densities may cause an extinction vortex
and lead to further reduced fertility. This is called the Allee effect
after the scientist who identified it. Examples of the causes of reduced fertility in low population densities are:
- Increased problems with locating sexual mates
- Increased inbreeding
in Southern Europe
, currently holds the record for being the most densely populated nation in the world.
is the least densely populated country in the world.
This population cartogram
of the European Union (2007–2012) uses areas and colors to represent population.
Population density is the number of people per unit of area, usually quoted per square kilometre or square mile, and which may include or exclude for example areas of water or glaciers. Commonly this may be calculated for a county
, another territory
or the entire world
The world's population
is around 7,800,000,000
's total area (including land and water) is 510,000,000 km2
(197,000,000 sq. mi.).
Therefore, from this very crude type of calculation, the worldwide human population density is approximately 7,500,000,000 ÷ 510,000,000 = 14.7 per km2
(38 per sq. mi.). However, if only the Earth's land area of 150,000,000 km2
(58,000,000 sq. mi.) is taken into account, then human population density is 50 per km2
(129 per sq. mi.). This includes all continental and island land area, including Antarctica
. Furthermore, if Antarctica is also excluded, then population density rises to over 55 people per km2
(over 142 per sq. mi.).
However, over half
of the Earth's land mass consists of areas inhospitable to human habitation, such as deserts and high mountains, and population tends to cluster around seaports and fresh-water sources. Therefore, additional criteria are needed to make simple population density values meaningful and useful.
Several of the most densely populated territories in the world are city-states
and urban dependencies
In fact, 95% of the world's population is concentrated on just 10% of the world's land.
These territories have a relatively small area and a high urbanization
level, with an economically specialized city
population drawing also on rural resources outside the area, illustrating the difference between high population density and overpopulation
Deserts have very limited potential for growing crops as there is not enough rain to support them. Thus their population density is generally low. However some cities in the Middle East, such as Dubai
, have been increasing in population and infrastructure growth at a fast pace.
City population and especially area are, however, heavily dependent on the definition of "urban area" used: densities are almost invariably higher for the centre only than when suburban settlements and intervening rural areas are included, as in the agglomeration
or metropolitan area
(the latter sometimes including neighboring cities).
In comparison, based on a world population of 7.8 billion, the world's inhabitants, if conceptualized as a loose crowd occupying just under 1 m2
(10 sq. ft) per person (cf. Jacobs Method
), would occupy a space a little larger than Delaware
's land area.
Countries and dependent territories
With population under 10,000,000
With population above 10,000,000
Other methods of measurement
Although arithmetic density is the most common way of measuring population density, several other methods have been developed to provide a more accurate measure of population density over a specific area.
- Arithmetic density: The total number of people / area of land
- Physiological density: The total population / area of arable land
- Agricultural density: The total rural population / area of arable land
- Residential density: The number of people living in an urban area / area of residential land
- Urban density: The number of people inhabiting an urban area / total area of urban land
- Ecological optimum: The density of population that can be supported by the natural resources
- Living density: Population density at which the average person lives
Lists of entities by population density
- ^ a b c Matt Rosenberg Population Density. Geography.about.com. March 2, 2011. Retrieved on December 10, 2011.
- ^ Minimum viable population size. Archived October 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Eoearth.org (March 6, 2010). Retrieved on December 10, 2011.
- ^ U.S. & World Population Clocks. Census.gov. Retrieved on December 10, 2011.
- ^ World. CIA World Handbook
- ^ Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division (2009). "World Population Prospects, Table A.1" (PDF). 2008 revision. United Nations. Retrieved March 12, 2009.
- ^ The Monaco government uses a smaller surface area figure resulting in a population density of 18,078 per km2
- ^ "Urbanization: 95% Of The World's Population Lives On 10% Of The Land". ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
- ^ Portnov, B. A.; Hare, A. Paul (1999). Desert regions : population, migration, and environment. Springer. ISBN 3540657800. OCLC 41320143.
- ^ Human Population. Global Issues. Retrieved on December 10, 2011.
- ^ The largest cities in the world by land area, population and density Archived May 16, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Citymayors.com. Retrieved on December 10, 2011.
- ^ Territory claimed by Spain.
- ^ Analysis of living population density per countries, based on NASA SEDAC world gridded data.
Last edited on 29 June 2021, at 21:50
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