World Facts

The World's 10 Most Crowded Islands

Colombia's Santa Cruz del Isolte is the most overcrowded island in the world.

One of the biggest problems with island life is the limited availability of land. As the human population on islands grow, people find themselves forced closer and closer together. This crowding has already become a problem on many islands. This article takes a look at the 10 most crowded islands around the world.

Santa Cruz del Islote, Colombia

Santa Cruz del Islote is located in the Caribbean Sea near the coast of Colombia, where it covers an area of only .004 square miles. On this very limited space, approximately 1,247 individuals make their homes. The island has very little economic activity, no electricity, and no running water. When a family member passes away, they are buried on a nearby island due to lack of space.

Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong

Ap Lei Chau is a small island located off the coast of the island of Hong Kong. It covers an area of .5 square miles and has a population size of 86,782. Despite this lack of land and high population, Ap Lei Chau is home to a number of businesses, including a shopping center, brewery, and winery. Most of the residents here are concentrated in the north.

Migingo Island, Kenya

Between 100 and 200 people live on the tiny island of Migingo in the middle of Lake Victoria between Kenya and Uganda. These 2 countries have a long-standing dispute over ownership of the island and fishing rights in the lake. This half-acre rocky outcropping is covered in shacks, the first of which was built in 2002.

Fadiouth, Senegal

Fadiouth Island is connected to the Petite Cote of Senegal by bridge. Approximately 9,000 people live on this .05-square mile, clamshell-covered island. These shells are so deep that they crunch underfoot and are used as building material here.

Malé, Maldives

Malé Island is the capital of the Maldives and covers an area of only three-quarters of a mile. It has a population size of over 90,000, roughly 25% of the entire population of this country. This island experiences a higher-than-average level of flooding and in response, the government has built a large wall around its perimeter.

Ebeye, Marshall Islands

With less than a quarter-square mile, Ebeye Island is part of the larger Marshall Island territory. It is home to around 15,000 people, many of whom came to this island to escape nuclear testing carried out by the US government on the Bikini and Enewetak atolls nearby.

Ilha de Moçambique, Mozambique

Ilha de Mocambique measures 2 miles in length and 1,800 feet in width. Within this tiny area lives a population of just over 54,000. It is home to both the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere and the oldest fort in sub-Saharan Africa.

Manhattan, US

Manhattan belongs to New York City in the US. It covers an area of 23 square miles and is filled with high rise apartments and office buildings. Approximately 1.62 million people live on this island, although many have been forced out due to the high cost of living.

Salsette Island, India

Salsette Island is located off the western coast of India, where it is home to the metropolitan area of Mumbai. It covers an area of 238 square miles, making it one of the largest islands on this list. Salsette Island also has one of the largest population sizes with over 15 million inhabitants.

Ile Saint-Louis, Paris

The Ile Saint-Louis is located on the Seine river, connected to Paris by a bridge. It spreads over 0.04 square miles and is home to around 2,465 individuals. This island is popular with tourists looking to get away from the busy streets of Paris.

The World's 10 Most Crowded Islands

RankIslandCountryPopulation density (population per square km)
1Santa Cruz del IsolteColombia103,917
2Ap Lei ChauHong Kong66,755
3Migingo IslandKenya65,500
4FadiouthSenegal60,000
5MaléThe Maldives47,416
6EbeyeThe Marshall Islands41,667
7Ilha de MoçambiqueMozambique36,210
8ManhattanNew York City27,489
9Salsette IslandIndia24,414
10Île Saint-LouisParis22,409

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