Population density varies substantially from city to city, state to state, and country to country. The U.S. is a good example. Alaska is the least densely populated state with one person per square mile. It is also the largest geographically as it covers over 570,000 square miles. It ranks second in the total population at just over 738,000. New Jersey is the most populated state with 1,218 people per square mile. The major contributor is a pocket of cities and towns adjacent to or near New York City.
The states with the greatest population density tend to be in the Northeast. The states least density populations, except Alaska, are Plains States which cover more square miles than almost any others.
To identify the least densely populated country on Earth, 24/7 Tempo reviewed population density data from the World Bank for about 270 countries. Information on land area came from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Climate and geography play a significant role in population density. The most sparsely populated areas on Earth tend to be those with limited access to fresh water, including deserts and arctic zones, as well as those with dense impassable rain forest, rugged mountains, or those isolated from continental zones by miles of ocean.
The United States is among the largest countries in the world by land area as well as among the most populous. But because of its size, it’s among the least densely populated countries.
The least densely populated country in the world is Greenland. Here are the details:
> Population density: 0 people per square mile
> Est. population 2020: 56,367 — #202 out of 217 countries
> Land area: 158,476 square miles — #58 out of 217 countries
> Population growth, 2015-2020: 0.5%
About 80% of the island nation of Greenland is covered by a massive glacier. The country’s arctic and subarctic temperatures range from the 30’s to the 50’s in the summer and are consistently below zero in the winter. Most of the population are Kalaallit (an Inuit people) and over 80% live on the southwest coast, which has the mildest climate.