The Most Densely Populated Cities in Europe

Population density is calculated by taking both population and land area into account.

The current population of Europe stands at approximately 742 million people based on the UN estimates, accounting for 9.9% of the total world’s population. With a total land area of about 8.5 million square miles, Europe’s population density stands at 87 people per square mile. The majority of the population (74%) lives in urban areas such as towns and cities. Some of the largest cities by population in Europe include London, Istanbul, Moscow, and Ankara. As opposed to the total population which is the number of people in a defined place, population density is the number of people per square mile. Here are the most densely populated cities in Europe

Most Densely Populated European Cities

Cities with Over 45,000 People per Square Mile

Paris is the most densely populated city in Europe with a population density of approximately 54,415 persons per square miles. The French capital has an administrative-limit area of 105 square miles and a population of over 2.2 million people, making it among the largest municipalities in the EU. The second most densely populated city in Europe Spanish city of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat with a population density of 52,535 people per square miles. With a total population of over 252,000 people, L'Hospitalet is Spain’s 16th largest city. The city covers an area 4.8 square miles and is located in Catalonia.

Athens is the largest and the capital city of Greece. It is also one of the oldest cities in the world, spanning over 3,400 years. Athens covers an area of 15.04 square miles and has a population of over 745,000 people. With a population density of 49,560 people per square miles, Athens is the third most densely populated city in Europe.

Cities with 25,000 to 45,000 People per Square Mile

Barcelona is Catalonia’s capital and the largest city with approximately 1.6 million people. It is EU’s sixth most populous urban area and the largest metropolis are in the Mediterranean. Barcelona covers an area of about 39.4 square miles divided into 73 neighborhoods. It is the fourth most densely populated city in Europe with a population density of 41,417 people per square mile.

Frederiksberg is part of the regional capital of Denmark, occupying an area of approximately 3.4 square miles. The city has a population 103,192 people according to the 2015 census. With a small land area and a fairly high population, Frederiksberg has a population density of 30,720 people per square mile.

Lyon, France has a population density of 27,097 people per square mile, making it the 6th most densely populated city in Europe. The city has a total population of 500,715 people, the third largest in France after Paris, and Marseille. Lyon covers an area of approximately 18.48 square mile and is mainly inhabited by the Lyonnaise.

The other most densely populated cities in Europe include Bilbao, Bucharest, and Naples, with a population density of 22,496, 21,883, and 21,192 people per square mile respectively.

Effects Of High Population Density

The rapidly growing population density in the above cities of Europe is an inevitable consequence of mass labor immigration. The overcrowding in these cities has led to several challenges including lack of adequate housing. There is currently little or no room for expansion in most of these cities, further slowing the rate of growth and development in those areas. The high population density has also put pressure on some of the facilities including maternity units and classrooms.

The Most Densely Populated Cities in Europe

RankCityResidents Per Kilometer SquaredResidents per Mile Squared
2L'Hospitalet de Llobregat20,33652,535

About the Author

John Misachi is a seasoned writer with 5+ years of experience. His favorite topics include finance, history, geography, agriculture, legal, and sports. 


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