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Density of Population

  • Population density refers to the number of people per square kilometer of land area
  • The average density of population in the whole world is 45 persons per square km.
  • South Central Asia has the highest density of population followed by East and South East Asia
  • Average density of population in India is 324 persons per square km.

Population density per square kilometer by country, 2006


Rank Country Density ( People per Sq. Km.)


Macau – (People Republic of China) 18,196


Monaco 16,754


Singapore 6,489


Hong Kong 6,407


Gibraltar ( UK) 4,654


Vatican City 1,866


Bahrain 1,454


Malta 1,272


Bermuda (UK) 1,211


Maldives 1,105
  • India stands in the 33rd position at 336 people per Sq. Km.
  • Greenland has the lowest population density at 0.026 people per Sq.Km


Factors Affecting Distribution of Population



I. Geographical Factors


  • People prefer to live on plains rather than mountains and plateaus because these areas are suitable for farming, manufacturing and service activities.
  • The Ganga plains are the most densely populated areas of the world while mountains like Andes, Alps and Himalayas are sparsely populated.


  • Areas with extreme climates are usually sparsely populated
  • Deserts and Polar Regions are sparsely populated.


  • Fertile soils provide suitable land for agriculture. These areas are thickly populated as agriculture is the back bone for human subsistence.
  • Fertile plains such as Ganga and Brahmaputra in India, Hwang-He, Chang Jiang in China and the Nile in Egypt are densely populated.


  • People prefer to live in the areas where fresh water is easily available.
  • The river valleys of the world are densely populated.


  • Areas with mineral deposits are more populated.
  • Diamond mines of South Africa and oil in the Middle East lead to settling of people in these areas.

II. Social Factors

Areas with better housing, education and health facilities are more densely populated


III. Cultural Factors

  • Places with religion or cultural significance are usually thickly populated.
  • Varanasi, Jerusalem and Vatican City are some of the places with religious significance that are thickly populated.

IV. Economic Factors

  • Industrial areas provide employment for people, so these areas attract people and are thickly populated.
  • Osaka in Japan and Mumbai in India are two densely populated areas.

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