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. This works out to an average, today, of about 186 people per square mile. That’s not bad as density goes. It’s just a slightly higher concentration than what you’d find in the Seychelles or Andorra, neither of which is particularly overrun with people. (The U.S. is much less dense, with about 92 people per square mile.)
Of course, population is hardly evenly distributed. Anyone who has ever tried to ride a subway car in Tokyo at rush hour or, at the other extreme, trekked across the vacant gypsum dunes at White Sands in New Mexico knows that first-hand.
24/7 Wall St. has calculated which countries around the world have the highest population densities. The majority of these, we learned, are in Asia, followed closely by Europe and the Caribbean. Some places commonly thought of as countries are not included here. Among these are Hong Kong and Macau, both Special Administrative Regions of China; Bermuda, which is a British overseas territory; and Puerto Rico, which, though often referred to as a U.S. territory, is actually classified by the American government as one of two U.S. commonwealths, along with the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific.
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