Population density

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Population density (people per km ) by country or U.S. state in 2019 People's -Km2 for all countries (and us states, uk kingdoms).png
Population density (people per km ) by country or U.S. state in 2019
Population density (people per km ) map of the world in 1994. In relation to the equator it is seen that the vast majority of human population lives in the Northern Hemisphere, as 67% of Earth's land area is there. World population density 1994 - with equator.png
Population density (people per km ) map of the world in 1994. In relation to the equator it is seen that the vast majority of human population lives in the Northern Hemisphere, as 67% of Earth's land area is there.

Population density (in agriculture: standing stock or plant density) is a measurement of population per unit land area. It is mostly applied to humans, but sometimes to other living organisms. It is a key geographical term. [1] In simple terms, population density refers to the number of people living in an area per square kilometre, or other unit of land area.

Contents

Biological population densities

Population density is population divided by total land area, sometimes including seas and oceans, as appropriate. [1]

Low densities may cause an extinction vortex and further reduce 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 [2]

Human densities

Population density (people per km ) by country, 2006 Countries by population density.svg
Population density (people per km ) by country, 2006
Population density (people per km ) map of the world in 2005 World human population density map.png
Population density (people per km ) map of the world in 2005

Population density is the number of people per unit of area, usually transcribed as "per square kilometer" or square mile, and which may include or exclude, for example, areas of water or glaciers. Commonly this is calculated for a county, city, country, another territory or the entire world.

The world's population is around 7,800,000,000 [3] and Earth's total area (including land and water) is 510,000,000 km2 (197,000,000 sq. mi.). [4] Therefore, from this very crude type of calculation, the worldwide human population density is approximately 7,800,000,000 ÷ 510,000,000 = 15.3/km2 (40 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/km2 (129 per sq. mi.). This includes all continental and island land area, including Antarctica. But if Antarctica is excluded, then population density rises to over 55 persons/km2 (over 142 per sq. mi.). [1]

World environments map provided for comparison with maps above Vegetation.png
World environments map provided for comparison with maps above

Several of the most densely populated territories in the world are city-states, microstates and urban dependencies. [5] [6] In fact, 95% of the world's population is concentrated on just 10% of the world's land. [7] 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. [8]

Mongolian Steppes. Mongolia is the least densely populated country in the world due to its harsh climate as a result of its geography. Mongolian Steppes (6228096139).jpg
Mongolian Steppes. Mongolia is the least densely populated country in the world due to its harsh climate as a result of its geography.

Cities with high population densities are, by some, considered to be overpopulated, though this will depend on factors like quality of housing and infrastructure and access to resources. [10] Very densely populated cities are mostly in Asia (particularly Southeast Asia); Africa's Lagos, Kinshasa, and Cairo; South America's Bogotá, Lima, and São Paulo; and Mexico City and Saint Petersburg also fall into this category. [11]

Monaco is currently the most densely populated nation in Europe. Monaco by night.JPG
Monaco is currently the most densely populated nation in Europe.

City population and especially area are, however, heavily dependent on the definition of "urban area" used: densities are almost invariably higher for the center 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.[ citation needed ]

Countries and dependent territories

Population under 10,000,000
RankCountry or
dependent territory
AreaPopulationDensity
km2sq. mi.per km2per sq.
mi.
1Flag of Macau.svg  Macau (China)30.512650,83421,33955,268
2Flag of Monaco.svg  Monaco 2.020.7837,55018,58948,145
3Flag of Singapore.svg  Singapore 719.92785,612,3007,79620,192
4Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong (China)1,106.34277,409,8006,69817,348
5Flag of Gibraltar.svg  Gibraltar (UK) [12] 6.82.633,1404,87412,624
6Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain 7572921,451,2001,9174,965
7Flag of the Vatican City.svg   Vatican City 0.440.178001,8184,709
8Flag of Malta.svg  Malta 315122475,7011,5103,911
9Flag of Maldives.svg  Maldives 298115378,1141,2693,287
10Flag of Bermuda.svg  Bermuda (UK)522063,7791,2273,178
Population above 10,000,000
Rank
[ clarification needed ]
CountryAreaPopulationDensity
km2sq. mi.per km2per sq.
mi.
6Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh 143,99855,598170,329,7681,1833,064
10Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Taiwan 36,19313,97423,539,5886501,683
13Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 100,21038,69151,824,1425171,339
14Flag of Rwanda.svg  Rwanda 26,33810,16912,955,7684921,274
16Flag of Burundi.svg  Burundi 27,81610,74012,574,5714521,171
17Flag of Haiti.svg  Haiti 27,06510,45011,743,0174341,124
18Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 41,52616,03317,572,8314231,096
19Flag of India.svg  India 3,287,2401,269,2101,374,547,1404181,083
22Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 30,52811,78711,554,449378979
23Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines 300,000115,831109,961,895367951

Other methods of measurement

This population cartogram of the European Union (2007-2012) uses areas and colors to represent population. EU Pop2008 1024.PNG
This population cartogram of the European Union (2007–2012) uses areas and colors to represent population.
Living population density by country Living population density.png
Living population density by country

Although the arithmetic density is the most common way of measuring population density, several other methods have been developed to provide alternative measures of population density over a specific area.

See also

Lists of entities by population density

Related Research Articles

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Earth has a human population of 7.9 billion, with an overall population density of 50 people per km2, excluding Antarctica. Nearly 60% of the world's population lives in Asia, with almost 2.8 billion in the countries of China and India combined. The percentage share of India, China and rest of South Asia in world population have remained on similar levels for the last few thousands years of recorded history. The world's literacy rate has increased dramatically in the last 40 years, from 66.7% in 1979 to 86.3% today. Lower literacy levels are mostly attributable to poverty. Lower literacy rates are mostly found in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The world's largest ethnic group is Han Chinese, with Mandarin being the world's most spoken language in terms of native speakers.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Matt Rosenberg Population Density. Geography.about.com. March 2, 2011. Retrieved on December 10, 2011.
  2. Minimum viable population size. Archived October 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Eoearth.org (March 6, 2010). Retrieved on December 10, 2011.
  3. U.S. & World Population Clocks. Census.gov. Retrieved on December 10, 2011.
  4. World. CIA World Factbook
  5. Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division (2009). "World Population Prospects, Table A.1" (PDF). 2008 revision. United Nations. Retrieved March 12, 2009.{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. The Monaco government uses a smaller surface area figure resulting in a population density of 18,078 per km2
  7. "Urbanization: 95% Of The World's Population Lives On 10% Of The Land". ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  8. Portnov, B. A.; Hare, A. Paul (1999). Desert regions : population, migration, and environment. Springer. ISBN   3540657800. OCLC   41320143.
  9. "Why Mongolia is sparsely populated?". Esther Fleming. SidmartinBio.
  10. Human Population. Global Issues. Retrieved on December 10, 2011.
  11. 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.
  12. Territory claimed by Spain.
  13. Analysis of living population density per countries, based on NASA SEDAC world gridded data.