Singapore is more developed than Nigeria

Population density in international comparison

In addition to the list of the largest countries in the world, we of course also have a list according to population density. So the ratio of the population to the total area of ​​individual states.

In this comparison, the smallest states Macau, Monaco, Hong Kong and Singapore are well ahead. Other export and industrial giants such as Bangladesh and South Korea follow. However, countries with a high population density for reasons of poverty are also at the top of this comparison. Because in many third world countries, a large family also means a more secure future.

Germany is in 19th place with 232.4 inhabitants per km².

Population density by country

The population density can vary greatly within a country. Large countries such as Russia or the USA in particular have extensive, almost uninhabitable desert areas that are barely populated. For example, only 23% of the area of ​​Russia is on the European continent, but 85% of the population live there. Another example is Egypt: The country is over 1 million square kilometers, but a quarter of the population lives in the metropolitan area of ​​Cairo.

High population density in small countries

The top of the table is led by conspicuously small states. Macau, Monaco, Singapore, and Hong Kong are all city-states. In other words, states that basically only consist of a single city and its surrounding area. Liechtenstein and Luxembourg are also still in the top quarter of the countries listed. These tiny countries have an extremely high price structure in common. The population density is in direct proportion to size and price level. If a large business location is created in a confined space, it usually attracts a lot of people. However, precisely because of the national borders, this area cannot expand, which means that living space is becoming scarce and the cost of living explodes. This also applies to Macau and Hong Kong, which are considered special administrative areas of China, but at whose borders entry and exit controls are still carried out and the tax law is changing.

Density increasing dramatically in low-income countries

What cannot be seen in the snapshot above becomes apparent on further considerations: In countries of the lower income classes, the population density has been increasing dramatically for a few decades. These include above all the countries of Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, Pakistan and Nigeria.

Age pyramid for low-wage countries


Due to the high proportion of poverty and the higher unemployment figures, different social systems have developed there since the middle of the last century than in richer countries. The most important precautionary measures there are no savings because there is simply not enough money available for them. There is also insufficient state basic security in the form of unemployment benefits or social assistance. Instead, they rely on a large number of offspring whose traditional task is to feed the entire family. The enormous population increases are particularly clear when you look at the age pyramids of these countries.




* Dependent outside areas

The following countries in the above illustration are not sovereign states, but dependent countries of other states:
  • Bermuda: self-governed territory of the United Kingdom
  • Hong Kong: China Special Administrative Region
  • Macau: China Special Administrative Region
You can read more information about the definition of a country in our article What is a country?
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