The Getaway
The Most Populated Countries in the World

Earth is home to more than 7.4 billion people. This is expected to increase in the coming decades to more than 9.7 billion. Some countries have initiatives to help control the population, but others are encouraging large families. There are 193 countries that are United Nations members, two that are officially recognized UN observers, and two unrecognized nations, in the world that people call home. Some of these, such as Vatican City, aren’t highly populated. Other countries are highly populated.


01 China

China is the most populated country in the world with an estimated 1.389 billion residents. This is expected to decline in coming decades due to the one-child policy that ended in 2016. The decades of limiting couples to one child means that by mid-century, there will be a decrease in the population. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences notes that by 2065, the population will dip to 1.172 billion.


02 India

With a population of around 1.311 billion, India ranks second on the list. Around 17 percent of the world’s population lives in India. The country has 3.28 km2 of land area, but the residents aren’t evenly distributed within it. Around 166 million people live in Uttar Pradesh, which is the most populated state in the country. The least populated state is Lakshadweep with only 60,000 residents.


03 United States

The United States has a population of just over 331 million. The residents are spread out across 50 states with the distribution of people very uneven. Around half of the people in the country live in only nine states – Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Illinois, Texas, Michigan, and California. While the country went through a period of population growth, there has been a slight decline since the turn of the century. Overall, there is still growth, just not as fast as before 2000.


04 Indonesia

The Indonesian population is estimated at more than 264 million people. Around 56.7 percent of the population lives on the island of Java. The country has more than 17,000 islands and encompasses 1.9 million square miles. The median age in the country is just over 30 years old. Just over 25 percent of the country is under 14 years old, which bodes well for its population and workforce in the future.


05 Pakistan

More than 210 million people call Pakistan home. The population has increased since the country became a sovereign state in 1947. It is the fastest growing state in South Asia. Around 36 percent of the population lives in cities, and more than 50 percent of citizens here live in an area with a population of at least 5,000.


06 Brazil

Brazil has more than 210 million residents. Sao Paulo is the most populated city with more than 11.9 million residents, while the capital city of Brasilia has only 2.8 million people. Rio de Janeiro’s population is 6.3 million, which makes it the second most populated city but it is the most famous tourist attraction in the country. The citizens of this country are young. Around 62 percent of citizens are 29 years old or younger. The population growth in the future is predicted to be very rapid.


07 Nigeria

Nigeria is home to just over 208 million people, according to a U.S. Census Bureau estimate. This African nation has a population density of around 212.04 people per square kilometer. Rapid population growth has led to the government offering free contraception to residents in an effort to slow this down and boost the financial future of the country.


08 Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s population is estimated to be more than 161 million people. The population density is 1,115.62 people per square kilometer. The largest city based on population is Dhaka, which is home to 14.4 million residents. There are more than 600,000 rickshaws on the road in this city each day. The second most populated city, Chittagong, has only 2.6 million residents.


09 Russia

Slightly more than 141 million people are Russian residents. Around 81 percent of residents consider themselves ethnic Russians, but there are more than 185 different ethnic groups here. Nearly half of all residents live in the Volga and Central federal districts. The eastern portion of the country is the least densely populated area.


10 Mexico

Mexico comes in last on the list with an estimated 127 million residents. Federal District, Mexico City, is the most populated area with a population of around 21.2 million people, but only around 12.2 million of those live within the city limits. Itzapalpa is the second most populous city with 1.82 million residents, and Ecatepec is third with 1.8 million residents.


Scroll Down

for the Next Article

The Getaway Badge
Sign up to receive insider info and deals that will help you travel smarter.