Special Report

The Most Crowded Countries in the World

Source: La_Corivo / Getty Images

20. Haiti
> Population density: 1,032.0 people per square mile
> Population: 10,981,229
> Land area: 10,641 square miles
> Population growth (1990-2017): 54.7%

Approximately 95% of the population of this Caribbean country, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, is descended from African slaves — primarily from Congo, Nigeria, and Benin. They were brought to Haiti by French colonists to work on sugar plantations. Population numbers in Haiti have been impacted by an excessive mortality rate due to AIDS and by the massive earthquake that struck the island in 2010, killing more than 300,000 people.

Source: stellalevi / Getty Images

19. Israel
> Population density: 1,042.7 people per square mile
> Population: 8,712,400
> Land area: 8,355 square miles
> Population growth (1990-2017): 87.0%

Population figures for Israel include residents of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights — Israel’s ownership of both areas is disputed. The country’s population is concentrated in and around the capital, Tel Aviv and the area surrounding the Sea of Galilee. In the sparsely populated south, the exception is the coastline of the Gulf of Aqaba.

Source: guenterguni / Getty Images

18. Burundi
> Population density: 1,095.7 people per square mile
> Population: 10,864,245
> Land area: 9,915 square miles
> Population growth (1990-2017): 100.6%

Burundi has one of the world’s highest birth rates at about 6 children per woman. The country’s population size ebbs and flows due to migration into and out of the country by refugees from violence-torn neighboring nations. About two-thirds of the population is under 25.

Source: urf / Getty Images

17. Comoros
> Population density: 1,132.7 people per square mile
> Population: 813,912
> Land area: 719 square miles
> Population growth (1990-2017): 97.7%

Moroni, on the island of Grande Comore, is the country’s capital and largest city, but the population is concentrated on another of Comoros’s three islands, Anjouan. Widespread poverty in the country prompts thousands of Comorans annually to attempt illegal migration to the nearby island of Mayotte, a French territory. It is estimated that as many as 200,000 people of Comoran citizenship or descent live in France or elsewhere abroad.

Source: hadynyah / Getty Images

16. India
> Population density: 1,166.6 people per square mile
> Population: 1,339,180,127
> Land area: 1,147,955 square miles
> Population growth (1990-2017): 53.9%

The world’s second most populous country after China, India boasts five cities with populations of more than 10 million. Almost every corner of India is densely populated, with the exception of the mountains in the north and the Thar and other deserts in the northwest. The largest population concentrations are along the Ganges River in the northeast as well as other river valleys and the coastal regions of the south.