Population Density By City

Population density is a key geographical term and a measurement of population per unit area. For example, it is commonly expressed as the number of persons per square mile or persons per square kilometer.

The world’s population density is about 14.7 people per square kilometer or 38 people per square mile (7.5 billion people divided by 510 million square kilometers or 197 million square miles. This includes land and water area.

Cities are the most densely populated areas in the world. Those cities with very high population densities are considered to be overpopulated and are at risk of facing a lack of quality housing (or housing in general) and infrastructure and access to resources. High population density areas also face high traffic volume, escalated rent prices, and an overall lack of adequate space.

Many of the world’s most densely populated cities are located in Asia (mostly Southeast Asia). The city population depends on what definition of “urban area” is used as this typically varies between countries. Densities are typically higher when only city centers are used than when suburban areas are included (an agglomeration or metropolitan area).

The ten most densely populated cities in the world are:

  1. Manila, Philippines (119,600/mi2)
  2. Pateros, Philippines (94,400/mi2)
  3. Mandaluyong, Philippines (90,460/mi2)
  4. Baghdad, Iraq (85,140/mi2)
  5. Mumbai, India (83,660/mi2)
  6. Dhaka, Bangladesh (75,290/mi2)
  7. Caloocan, Philippines (72,490/mi2)
  8. Port-au-Prince, Haiti (70,950/mi2)
  9. Bnei Brak, Israel (70,810/mi2)
  10. Levallois-Perret, France (68,460/mi2)

Manila, Philippines has the highest population density in the world of 119,600 persons per square mile or 46,178 persons per square kilometer. The Philippines, the 12th most populous country in the world, has 13 of the 50 most densely populated cities around the world and four in the ten most densely populated cities alone.