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Great Wall of China. Photo: Asia Fund Manager

Living shoulder-to-shoulder, side by side in tight spaces is not something most of us want. In some places in the world, this is a reality, however. Some countries, like Canada, have so much open space no one really knows what to do with it all, but in other locations around the globe, space is at a premium. Some of the most densely populated countries on Earth include Vatican City, South Korea, and Bangladesh. Here is the list of most populated countries in the world that KnowInsider collects:


China is the largest country in the world most populous and placed in the first position in the ten most populous countries. It has population of 1,359,100,000 people. It represents 20% of the world. Its growth has been controlled in part by the one-child policy. Its total fertility rate is 1.7 which means on average each woman gives birth to 1.7 children throughout life. 91.51% of the population is Han Chinese, and 8.49% were minorities. In the 11 provinces, special municipalities, and autonomous regions of the southeast coast, the population density was 320.6 people per square kilometer.

For many centuries, China has maintained its position as the most populous country in the world. Since the beginning of the 1950s, several campaigns of population control and family planning had begun in the country. The rapid population growth was a concern for the government.

The population is concentrated in the east of the mountains and south of the northern steppe. The most densely populated areas include the Valley of the Yangtze River, Sichuan Basin, North China Plain, the Pearl River Delta, and the industrial area around the city of Shenyang in the northeast.


The South Asian country, India, is one of the most populous nation in the world that has more than 1270 million people. It is one of the largest by area of 1,269,346 square miles state. India is the second most populous in the world, after China. The population of India is 17.3% of the entire world population. India and China together make up 36.4% of the total population.

India is expected to surpass China in population. Since 2005, India had a total fertility rate of 2.8. Thus, it is growing at a much higher rate than China. By 2025, India is expected to become the most populated country in the world. In 2050, the population is estimated to reach 1.6 billion. More than 50% of the Indian population is under the age of 25 years and more than 65% below the age of 35. It is expected that the average age of an Indian to be 29 years in 2020. The population India is diverse, ranging from different ethnic groups, religious groups and even races.

This federal constitutional republic has 29 states and 7 union territories having pluralistic, multilingual, multiethnic society and so it is one of the nation divers worldwide. Africa is the only continent in the world that overcomes the genetic, cultural and linguistic diversity found in India.

United States

The United States has a population of 329 million people. It is the third most populated country in the world. America is pretty big in comparison to some other countries on the list, with a total land area of 9,147,420 km². It has a population density of 36 people per km² and 82.5% of people live in urban areas. Its most populated states are California and Texas. California has a population of 39.5 million and Texas has a population of 28.7 million. The largest city in the United States is New York City, with a population of approximately 8.4 million. By 2050, the United States is expected to grow to a population of 438 million people.


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Gate to Hindu temple in Bali, Indonesia. Photo: Asia Times

Indonesia is the fourth most populated country in the world. It has a current population of 270 million people and a population density of 149 per km². Indonesia is made up of approximately 17,000 islands and has a total land area covering 1,811,570 km². About 56.7% of Indonesia’s population, live in Java, the most populated island. The median age in Indonesia is 28.8 years old and the population equates to 3.51% of the total world population. It has 11 cities with a population of over one million, and its capital city, Jakarta, has a population of 10.6 million. Indonesia’s population has doubled in the last 4o years, from 119 million in 1971 to 240 million in 2010. It is expected that the countries population will continue to grow over the next coming decades.


Pakistan is home to more than 209 million people covering the area of 307,374 square miles. Its estimated 2015 population is about 209,715,000, which is 2.59% of the population in the world. During 1950-2011, the urban population of Pakistan extended beyond seven times, while the total population increased by more than four times.

Pakistani society is multicultural and multiethnic. It consists of the natives, the largest refugee populations, and also a young population. 50% of the population lives in cities with 5,000 people or more.


Brazil is the sixth most populated country in the world, with a current total population of 211 million. It’s the largest country in South America, with a population density of 24.66 people per km². The largest city is Sao Paulo, with a total of 11.9 million residents, and the Capital, Brasilia, has a population of 2.8 million. Brazil covers a total area of 8,358,140 km² and holds roughly 25 people per km². It has a median age of 31.8 years and 87.4% of the population is urban. Due to families deciding to wait longer to have children and more Brazilian women entering the workplace, the birth rate in Brazil has fallen considerably since 1970. The average birth rate today is 1.77 births per woman, which has fallen from 4 per woman in the 70s.

It is expected that Brazil will continue to grow slowly until 2050, and then the impacts of a decline in birth rate will start to take effect and the population will begin to stagnate and or decrease.


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Nigeria. Photo: Pinterest

The current population of Nigeria is approximately 202 million people. Over 50% of people, 51.2% to be exact, live in urban areas. Nigeria has many cities, five of which have a population of more than one million people. Lagos is Nigeria’s capital city and by far the largest city in Nigeria. It has roughly 17.5 million people. The median age of Nigeria is 17.9 years old and there are approximately 221 people per km². Nigeria has a total land area of 910,770 km² and its population is equivalent to 2.61% of the total world population. It’s predicted that Nigeria’s population is expected to hit 206 million by 2020 and 264 million by 2030. If that rate of growth continues, by 2036 Nigeria could cross the 300 million population threshold.

When it comes to population, numbers have always tended to be the highest in Asia. Currently, Asia holds around 4.4 billion inhabitants, just over 60% of the world's population. The world's two most populated countries, China and India, are both in Asia. China and India are the only countries in the world with a population of over 1 billion.
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