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Mapped: Asia’s Population Patterns by Density

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A map of Asia's population patterns, visualizing where people actually live.

A Map of Asia’s Population Patterns by Density

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Nearly 60% of the world’s 8 billion population lives in Asia: a vast continent sprawling over 44 million km², home to sprawling megacities, high-altitude deserts, the world’s biggest plateau, and impenetrable rainforests.

We visualize Asia’s population patterns using data from WorldPop—a research group based out of the University of Southampton that tracks population growth and movement across the globe.

A spike on the map denotes higher population density.

Other figures in this article are sourced from World Population Review (population numbers) and the World Bank (area).

Ranked: Asia’s Countries By Population

Immediately the map visualizes at impressive scale a rather well-known fact: that India and China together account for 35% of the world’s population just by themselves.

Pakistan (ranked 4th in population) and Bangladesh (ranked 5th) together account for another 400 million people.

The role of the Himalayas in this distribution is understated: the mountain range is a source of ten major rivers, flowing to India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and China, providing fresh water to 1.3 billion people in its watershed.

RankCountryPopulationArea
1🇮🇳 India1,437,982,6613,287,260 km²
2🇨🇳 China1,425,317,7209,562,910 km²
3🇮🇩 Indonesia279,119,6261,916,907 km²
4🇵🇰 Pakistan243,772,596796,100 km²
5🇧🇩 Bangladesh174,173,808147,570 km²
6🇷🇺 Russia144,101,44917,098,250 km²
7🇯🇵 Japan122,833,540377,974 km²
8🇵🇭 Philippines119,106,224300,000 km²
9🇻🇳 Vietnam99,308,524331,340 km²
10🇮🇷 Iran89,626,6611,745,150 km²
11🇹🇷 Turkey86,127,389785,350 km²
12🇹🇭 Thailand71,863,281513,120 km²
13🇲🇲 Myanmar54,849,472676,590 km²
14🇰🇷 South Korea51,756,284100,430 km²
15🇮🇶 Iraq46,225,266435,050 km²
16🇦🇫 Afghanistan43,026,322652,860 km²
17🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia37,473,9292,149,690 km²
18🇺🇿 Uzbekistan35,522,965448,924 km²
19🇾🇪 Yemen34,982,136555,000 km²
20🇲🇾 Malaysia34,562,556330,411 km²
21🇳🇵 Nepal31,136,781147,180 km²
22🇰🇵 North Korea26,220,850120,540 km²
23🇸🇾 Syria24,010,759185,180 km²
24🇹🇼 Taiwan23,942,52236,197 km²
25🇱🇰 Sri Lanka21,933,15565,610 km²
26🇰🇿 Kazakhstan19,764,1582,724,900 km²
27🇰🇭 Cambodia17,071,236181,040 km²
28🇯🇴 Jordan11,368,89889,318 km²
29🇦🇿 Azerbaijan10,448,63686,600 km²
30🇹🇯 Tajikistan10,277,238141,379 km²
31🇦🇪 UAE9,569,30098,648 km²
32🇮🇱 Israel9,272,22822,070 km²
33🇱🇦 Laos7,736,681236,800 km²
34🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan6,807,948199,950 km²
35🇹🇲 Turkmenistan6,573,631488,100 km²
36🇸🇬 Singapore6,119,203728 km²
37🇵🇸 Palestine5,494,9636,025 km²
38🇱🇧 Lebanon5,257,50110,450 km²
39🇴🇲 Oman4,692,824309,500 km²
40🇰🇼 Kuwait4,337,70317,820 km²
41🇬🇪 Georgia3,720,47769,700 km²
42🇲🇳 Mongolia3,480,0401,564,116 km²
43🇦🇲 Armenia2,777,97929,743 km²
44🇶🇦 Qatar2,730,86411,490 km²
45🇧🇭 Bahrain1,494,745790 km²
46🇹🇱 Timor-Leste1,374,02514,870 km²
47🇨🇾 Cyprus1,260,1389,250 km²
48🇧🇹 Bhutan790,91838,390 km²
49🇲🇻 Maldives518,765300 km²
50🇧🇳 Brunei454,8695,770 km²

Note: Russia and Georgia are typically regarded as European countries for cultural reasons, despite their geographic locations. They have been included in the dataset for context only.

Other countries that are covered by red: Indonesia (ranked 4th in population), Japan (ranked 7th), and the Philippines (8th), are all some of Asia’s most populous countries.

They also have some of the world’s densest cities:

  • Manila: 42,857 people/km²
  • Mumbai: 28,195 people/km²
  • Karachi: 24,000 people/km²
  • Jakarta: 14,464 people/km²

Tokyo and Beijing—despite being some of the world’s largest cities by population—record lower densities in comparison, helped by their much larger administrative areas.

But when sorted by average population density across the entire country, the ranks look a little bit different.

Ranked: Asia’s Countries By Population Density

The city state of Singapore is the densest country in Asia, with more than 8,000 people/km². Far behind it, the similarly sized in area Bahrain has one-sixth the population and ranks second (1,892/km²) in Asia’s densest countries.

RankCountryPopulation Density
1🇸🇬 Singapore8,405 people/km2
2🇧🇭 Bahrain1,892 people/km2
3🇲🇻 Maldives1,729 people/km2
4🇧🇩 Bangladesh1,180 people/km2
5🇵🇸 Palestine912 people/km2
6🇹🇼 Taiwan661 people/km2
7🇰🇷 South Korea515 people/km2
8🇱🇧 Lebanon503 people/km2
9🇮🇳 India437 people/km2
10🇮🇱 Israel420 people/km2
11🇵🇭 Philippines397 people/km2
12🇱🇰 Sri Lanka334 people/km2
13🇯🇵 Japan325 people/km2
14🇵🇰 Pakistan306 people/km2
15🇻🇳 Vietnam300 people/km2
16🇰🇼 Kuwait243 people/km2
17🇶🇦 Qatar238 people/km2
18🇰🇵 North Korea218 people/km2
19🇳🇵 Nepal212 people/km2
20🇨🇳 China149 people/km2
21🇮🇩 Indonesia146 people/km2
22🇹🇭 Thailand140 people/km2
23🇨🇾 Cyprus136 people/km2
24🇸🇾 Syria130 people/km2
25🇯🇴 Jordan127 people/km2
26🇦🇿 Azerbaijan120 people/km2
27🇹🇷 Turkey110 people/km2
28🇮🇶 Iraq106 people/km2
29🇲🇾 Malaysia105 people/km2
30🇦🇪 UAE97 people/km2
31🇦🇲 Armenia94 people/km2
32🇰🇭 Cambodia94 people/km2
33🇹🇱 Timor-Leste92 people/km2
34🇲🇲 Myanmar81 people/km2
35🇧🇳 Brunei79 people/km2
36🇺🇿 Uzbekistan79 people/km2
37🇹🇯 Tajikistan73 people/km2
38🇦🇫 Afghanistan66 people/km2
39🇾🇪 Yemen63 people/km2
40🇬🇪 Georgia54 people/km2
41🇮🇷 Iran51 people/km2
42🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan34 people/km2
43🇱🇦 Laos33 people/km2
44🇧🇹 Bhutan21 people/km2
45🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia17 people/km2
46🇴🇲 Oman15 people/km2
47🇹🇲 Turkmenistan13 people/km2
48🇷🇺 Russia8 people/km2
49🇰🇿 Kazakhstan7 people/km2
50🇲🇳 Mongolia2 people/km2

Note: Russia and Georgia are typically regarded as European countries for cultural reasons, despite their geographic locations. They have been included in the dataset for context only.

Bangladesh, with 1,180 people/km², has the rare distinction of being a top five Asian country by both population and average population density.

Meanwhile, India is 9th in population density (437 people/km²), its large landmass bringing down the average considerably.

Similarly, China nearly breaks into the top 20 with a population density of 149 people/km². Despite its vast population, the country’s immense size presents a challenge, particularly in its western regions, which are largely inhospitable to substantial human settlement due to the presence of mountains, the Tibetan plateau, and two deserts.

At the bottom of the rankings, Mongolia (2 people/km²) and Kazakhstan (7 people/km²) are some of the least dense countries in the world.

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