Of the 7.9 billion people in the world, some live in terribly overcrowded areas and others in areas so remote that they may not see other humans on a regular basis. The United States is a microcosm of this. New Jersey’s density is 1,210 people per square mile. In areas of New York and surrounding areas, the figure is over 50,000. Alaska’s is 1.3.
Greenland is even less densely populated than Alaska, with less than one person per square mile. The island nation is the least densely populated country in the world. (On the other hand, it’s the most densely populated city in the world.)
There are 57.3 million square miles of land on Earth, but 95% of the planet’s human population inhabit just 10% of that land, according to the World Bank. What about the remaining 90% of the land? How sparsely populated are these areas and where are they located?
To identify the least densely populated country on the planet, 24/7 Wall St. looked at World Bank population density data for about 270 countries. Land area information is from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Some of the least densely populated countries are also among the 25 largest countries in the world.
Climate and geography play an important role in population density. The least populated areas on Earth tend to be those with limited access to fresh water, including deserts and arctic areas, as well as those with impassable dense rainforests, steep mountains, or those isolated from areas continents by miles of ocean.
In Greenland, the population of 56,367 is spread over 158,476 square miles. But about 80% of these are covered by a massive glacier. The country’s arctic and subarctic temperatures range from the 30s to the 50s in the summer and are consistently below zero in the winter. Most of the population lives on the southwest coast, which has the mildest climate.
Click here for the least densely populated countries in the world