World Facts

The 10 Least Populated Countries In Asia

Maldives, Brunei, and Macao are the least populated Asian countries.

Asia is the world largest continent both in terms of size and population. The continent is known for its large and dense settlements and also large areas of extremely low population density. Asia is home to a population of about 4.5 billion that accounts for about 60% of the global population.

10. Oman - 4,424,760

#10 Oman - 4,424,760

Oman is Asia’s 10th least populated country in Asia. It is located in the Arabian Peninsula’s southeastern region where it has coastlines on the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. As of 2016, the population of Oman is 4,424,760. Nearly half of the population lives in the capital city of Muscat and the surrounding areas. Thus, 78% of Oman’s population is urban in nature. Nearly 45% of Oman’s population comprises of expatriates mainly from South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Morocco. The life expectancy at birth is 74.16 years. Islam is the official religion and also a religion of the majority in Oman.

9. Kuwait - 4,052,580

#9 Kuwait - 4,052,580

Kuwait is a Western Asian country that has a population of about 4,052,580. Nearly 70% of this population comprises of expatriates. The high number of expatriates in the population have been identified by the Kuwaiti government as a problem and deportations plans have been initiated in the country. With the oil industry acting as the backbone of Kuwait’s economy, the country has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Life expectancy at birth in Kuwait is 77.09 years.

8. Mongolia - 3,027,400

#8 Mongolia - 3,027,400

With mountains and deserts covering large parts of Mongolia, the country has very little arable land and hence is one of the least populated countries in Asia. As of 2016, the population of Mongolia has been estimated to be 3,027,400. Nearly 40 to 45% of the national population is based in and around the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Buddhism is the religion of Mongolia’s majority of the population.


7. Qatar - 2,569,800

#7 Qatar - 2,569,800

Occupying territory in the Qatar Peninsula in Western Asia, Qatar is a sovereign nation with a coastline along the Persian Gulf and with Saudi Arabia forming its only land border. The population of the country fluctuates considerably due to the huge migrant workforce’s changing numbers. As of 2016, the population of the country was 2,569,800. The life expectancy at birth is 75.19 years and the total fertility rate is 2.08 children's born per female. Qataris themselves are only 12.10% of the population of the country while ethnic Indians account for 25.00% of the population. 67.7% of the population practices Islam.

6. Bahrain - 1,425,170

#6 Bahrain - 1,425,170

Asia’s third smallest nation by size (780 square km), Bahrain is the 5th smallest in the continent by population. This small island nation in the Persian Gulf is home to a population of about 1,425,170 people. The archipelago of Bahrain is centered on the Bahrain Island which is surrounded by smaller islands and islets. A large percentage of the country’s population comprised of foreign nationals including a large workforce from South Asia. The country is also the fourth most densely populated of the world’s nations. Al Muharraq and Manama are two cities of the country which hosts the major proportion of the country’s population. Muslims account form about 70.2% of the population followed by Christians at 9.8%. Islam is the official religion here.

5. Timor-Leste - 1,268,670

#5 Timor-Leste - 1,268,670

An island nation in Maritime Southeast Asia, East Timor occupies an area of 14,874 square km in the eastern half of the Timor island. The country is the seventh smallest country in Asia by population. As of 2016, the population of East Timor is 1,268,670 people. 67.72 years is the life expectancy at birth. The total fertility rate is 5.01 children born per woman. The Austronesian and Papuans are the major ethnic groups inhabiting the country. Roman Catholics constitute 96.9% of the population (2005 data).

4. Bhutan - 797,760

#4 Bhutan - 797,760

Bhutan is a small, mountainous country in South Asia. Located in the heart of the Eastern Himalayas, the country is endowed with natural beauty and a unique culture. The fourth least populated nation in Asia, Bhutan has a population of only 797,760 living in an area of 38,394 square km. Ngalop and the Sharchop are the two major ethnic groups of the Bhutanese population, accounting for nearly 50% of the total population. Lama Buddhism is the religion followed by 75.3% of the Bhutanese. The total fertility rate is 1.93 children born per woman. 70.1 years is the life expectancy at birth.

3. Macao SAR, China - 612,170

#3 Macao SAR, China - 612,170

The third least populated Asian country is also the world’s most densely populated nation. Macao is located on the Pearl River Delta’s western banks where it spreads over a 30.5 square km and houses a population of 612,170. 95% of Macau’s population comprises of the Han Chinese and 47% of the residents here were born in mainland China. Macau receives a large number of immigrants, mostly overseas workers. The life expectancy at birth here is 84.37 years and the total fertility rate is 0.91 children born per woman, one of the world’s lowest. Shenism and Buddhism have the highest number of followers in the country.

2. Brunei Darussalam - 423,200

#2 Brunei Darussalam - 423,200

Brunei is a small country located in the Borneo island’s northern side in Southeast Asia. The country is nearly completely surrounded by Sarawak, a Malaysian state with the exception of a coastline along the South China Sea. Brunei is the second least populated country in Asia with a population of only 423,200, as of 2016. 76% of the population inhabit urban areas. The life expectancy at birth in this country is 77.7 years. Ethnic Malay constitute 65.7% of the population of Brunei. Islam is the religion of the majority in this country.


1. Maldives - 417,490

#1 Maldives - 417,490

Located in the Indian Ocean, Maldives consists of a series of 26 atolls dispersed through an area of 298 square km, Maldives is the smallest Asian nation both by size and population. The South Asian island nation is located to the southwest of Sri Lanka and India. The population of the country is 417,490. Although the country is the least populated Asian nation, it has one of the world’s highest birth rates. As a result, the limited resources of the islands are strained and the wildlife is at threat. The Dhivehi constitute the biggest ethnic group while Sunni Islam is the state religion of the country. The life expectancy at birth in Maldives is only 62.2 years.

The 10 Least Populated Countries In Asia

RankCountryPopulation (2016), World Bank
1Maldives417,490
2Brunei Darussalam423,200
3Macao SAR, China612,170
4Bhutan797,760
5Bahrain1,425,170
6Qatar2,569,800
7Timor-Leste1,268,670
8Mongolia3,027,400
9Kuwait4,052,580
10Oman4,424,760

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