population density



We explain what population density is and how it is calculated. Natality, mortality and the countries with the highest population density.

The regions with the highest density will be those with the least surface area per inhabitant.

What is population density?

It is known as the density of population, population density or relative population to a statistical calculation that relates to the average number of inhabitants of a territory and the physical space it covers. It is the average number of inhabitants per unit area of ​​a geography determined.

The population density serves to understand how much a territory is populated, assuming a total distribution of the population along the surface of the territory. The regions with the highest density, in this sense, will be those with the least area allocated per inhabitant, while the least populated will allocate much area to each one.

Numerous factors affect the population density of a region, as their relief (the plains and lowlands are much more densely populated than the moutains and highlands), its weather (temperate climates prevail over extremes) and their availability of resources. Similarly, there are political considerations (national stability, peace) and economic (work, access to goods and services) that affect the preferences of the population when it comes to distribution.

How is population density calculated?

The calculation of population density is simple. It consists of dividing the total amount of persons that inhabit a given territory (expressed in inhabitants), between the surface of the populated area (usually expressed in km2):

Population density = number of inhabitants / area in km2

Therefore, the density is expressed in inhabitants per square kilometer (inhab / km2).

Birth and mortality

Population density increases when more people are born than die.

Other factors that affect population density are birth rates (annual births) and mortality (annual deaths). In principle, populations with population growth and, therefore, an increase in population density, have birth rates that exceed mortality rates (more people are born than die).

In the opposite case, in which mortality exceeds the birth rate, the logical thing is that the populations contract and the population density decrease. This reasoning does not take into account, of course, immigration and emigration, which also positively and negatively affect the total population and, by extension, population density.

Cities with higher population density

According to 2016 statistics, the most densely populated cities are found on the Asian continent, in developing countries, or in the Chinese superpower. Until 1993, the town Kowloon China was the most densely populated in the world, since its area of ​​just 47 km2 inhabited 2,019,533 inhabitants, which gives a figure of 43,033 inhabitants per square kilometer.

But inside Kowloon there was a citadel known as the walled city of Kowloon, whose 0.026 km2 inhabited almost 50,000 inhabitants, for an incredible population density of almost 2 million inhabitants per square kilometer. This city within the city was demolished, since its inhabitants lived in crowded conditions and in precarious situations.

Today the cities with the highest density on the planet are:

  • Dhaka. In Bangladesh, with 114,300 inhabitants / km2
  • Hyeradabad. In Pakistan, with 106,800 inhabitants / km2
  • Vijayawada. In India, with 80,700 inhabitants / km2
  • Chittagong. In Bangladesh, with 75,600 inhabitants / km2
  • Mumbai. In India, with 67,300 inhabitants / km2
  • Hong Kong. In China, with 66,200 inhabitants / km2
  • Aligarh. In India, with 65,600 inhabitants / km2
  • Macau. In China, with 65,500 inhabitants / km2

Countries with higher population density

Singapore has a density of approximately 8,017 inhabitants / km2.

The most densely populated countries (or cities) should not be confused with those with the largest populations. As will be noted below, they have high densities due to their limited geographic dimensions, which allows them to have a relatively small population, but densely inhabit their territory. On the other hand, huge countries like Russia or the United States have so much territory that, on average, their densities are very low, despite having a large population.

According to data from 2017, the most densely populated countries are:

  • Monaco. In Europe, with a density of 19,307 inhabitants / km2 approximately
  • Singapore. In Asia, with a density of 8,017 inhabitants / km2 approximately
  • Bahrain In the Middle East, with a density of 2,617 inhabitants / km2 approximately
  • Vatican City. In Europe, with a density of approximately 1,818 inhabitants / km2
  • Malt. In Europe, with a density of approximately 1,387 inhabitants / km2
  • Maldives. In Asia, with a density of 1,188 inhabitants / km2 approximately
  • Bangladeshi In Asia, with a density of 1,145 inhabitants / km2 approximately
  • Barbados. In America, with a density of 660 inhabitants / km2 approximately
  • Mauricio. In Africa, with a density of 636 inhabitants / km2 approximately
  • San Marino. In Europe, with a density of approximately 539 inhabitants / km2
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