The United Nations reports that the world’s population is now about 7.6 billion, and it is growing constantly. According to projections by the Population Research Bureau (PRB), an 80-year old non-profit organization that collects and analyzes data about population, health, and the environment, that figure will reach 9.9 billion by 2050.
An estimated 71% — 40,825,000 square miles — of the Earth’s dry land is considered habitable, which works out to an average of one square mile for (roughly) every 186 of us. That’s not bad as density goes. It’s just a slightly higher concentration than what you would find in the Seychelles or Andorra, neither of which is particularly overrun with people.
Of course, population is far from evenly distributed. Anyone who has ridden a subway in Tokyo at rush hour or, at the other extreme, trekked across the vacant gypsum dunes at White Sands in New Mexico in early morning knows that first-hand.
It’s at that latter extreme that 24/7 Wall St. has determined which countries around the world have the lowest population densities. We drew information the World Bank, CIA Factbook, the United Nations, media reports, and online encyclopedias and geographic reference materials to compile our list.