The Least Densely Populated Country In The World

Of the 7.9 billion people in the world, some live in terribly crowded areas and some others in areas so remote they may not see other humans regularly. The U.S is a microcosm of this. New Jersey’s population per square mile is 1,210. Alaska’s is 1.3. In areas in and around New York City, the figure is over 50,000.

There are 57.3 million square miles of land on Earth, yet 95% of the planet’s human population inhabits only 10% of that land, according to the World Bank. But, what about the other 90% of the land? How sparsely populated are parts of that? To identify the least densely populated country on Earth, 24/7 Tempo reviewed population density data from the World Bank for about 270 countries. Information on land area came from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Climate and geography play a significant role in population density. The most sparsely populated areas on Earth tend to be those with limited access to freshwater, including deserts and arctic zones, as well as those with dense impassable rain forests, rugged mountains, or those isolated from continental zones by miles of ocean.

The least densely populated country in the world is Greenland. Here are the details:

> Population density: less than 1 people per square mile
> Est. population 2020: 56,367 — #202 out of 217 countries
> Land area: 158,476 square miles — #58 out of 217 countries
> Population growth, 2015-2020: 0.5%

About 80% of the island nation of Greenland is covered by a massive glacier. The country’s arctic and subarctic temperatures range from the 30’s to the 50’s in the summer and are consistently below zero in the winter. Most of the population are Kalaallit (an Inuit people) and over 80% live on the southwest coast, which has the mildest climate.

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